No team in baseball has more wins over one opponent this season than the Sox do over the Orioles. Last night's win made the Sox a sterling 12-2 against Baltimore this year, a record that includes an unforgettable 11-10 loss on June 30 in which the Sox somehow blew a 10-1 lead. This year, the Sox have not lost a game to the Orioles in which the Boston starter was anyone other than John Smoltz.Good luck making that case to Red Sox fans at Camden Yards. Something about "You're only good because you play us so much" doesn't sound like a winning argument.
The Orioles have not been the Sox' only punching bag. The Sox are 11-4 against Toronto (another doormat) and went 11-7 against the inferior National League. That leaves the Sox at 46-45 against everyone else. All of this suggests the Sox are far closer to being a mediocre team than they are an elite one.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck.