Dan Duquette says the Orioles will do whatever they can to make the playoffs this season.
Here's a thought for the O's executive vice-president: how about if this team gets a few more wins like that 2-1 thriller over the Washington Nationals on Sunday at Camden Yards?
How about if the Orioles get a few more two-run homers like they did from Matt Wieters, who hadn't homered since the last Bush Administration? (OK, maybe it just felt that way.)
Because if the Orioles keep hitting as badly as they did before Wieters' eighth-inning rainbow blast off Sean Burnett landed in the home team's bullpen, the last thing they'll have to worry about is postseason play.
"That was fun — at the end," O's manager Buck Showalter said, the relief evident in his voice.
Right. Because up until the eighth, it felt as if the Orioles might never score again.
Here's how ugly it's been for the offense: the Orioles took two of three against the Nats even though they scored only five runs in three games. In fact, after scoring 27 runs in the three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Orioles have scored only 17 runs in their last nine games.
They could be forgiven if a sense of frustration — or maybe its evil cousin, gloom — had begun to seep into their collective psyche.
"I wouldn't say frustration," Showalter said. "There was a good vibe in our dugout today. You could tell how much the game meant to them. It's frustrating for [the players], we were so close sometimes.
"It's one thing about setting the table, like in pool, and you just can't make the shots sometimes."
Yes, you read the first part of that quote right. At first Buck said he didn't think the Orioles were frustrated. Two sentences later, he said, yeah, the Orioles were frustrated.
OK, I give him a pass on that one. It was a long, hot day for Showalter and his team.
And if I had to sit in that dugout night after night over the last nine games and watch my team flail away (4-for-44) with runners in scoring position, I'd be punchy and contradicting myself, too.
But give the Orioles credit. Somehow, through this dreadful hitting slump, they've managed to stay in the American League East race.
Say what you will about them, but this is a team that has played with a ton of heart so far. So many fans in this town are holding their breath, waiting for this team to collapse like every other Orioles team for the past 14 seasons.
Yet somehow these Orioles hang in there. Even with the bats nearly comatose, they've won four of their last five series and found themselves just 2 games behind the division-leading Yankees heading into New York's game Sunday night.
We briefly interrupt this column now to bring you the latest transcendent Bryce Harper Moment.
It came in the sixth inning, when the Nats' sensational rookie outfielder hit a ground ball past Brian Roberts at second.
It looked like a routine single. Except Harper never stopped running all-out as he rounded first base. And by the time Adam Jones fired the ball into second, Harper was sliding in head-first, just ahead of Roberts' tag.
What's the line I heard a Nats' broadcaster use to describe Harper on the basepaths? Basically, he said Harper was like the Road Runner. He just keeps running and running until someone tags him out.
"If he stays healthy, we're looking at the reincarnation of Pete Rose," MASN analyst Rick Dempsey said in his postgame wrap-up.
Another Pete Rose without the off-field issues, the Nats hope.
But back to the Orioles. Just how exciting was this three-game series with the Nationals? As exciting as any we've seen around here in a long, long time.
OK, maybe there's not a howling, full-fledged I-95 rivalry between these two teams yet. I get that. They play in different leagues. And there's not enough history between two teams, even though they play just a long Jones home run apart from each other.
But here's what you do have: two teams stocked with promising young players that are playing well and contending at the same time.
And you've got two fans bases that have endured years of losing and are geeked at the prospect of finally seeing quality — and winning — baseball. That's why there were sellout crowds at Camden Yards on Friday and Saturday and an announced 41,794 packed into the place Sunday despite the Guatemala-on-the-Chesapeake weather.
It's almost July and the Orioles are still in a pennant race.
Who would have ever imagined that?
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."