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Down to 1 (Let's Not Panic)

Pete Walker threw really well for Toronto yesterday, giving them about what they could expect high-end from him (5 1/3, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). The Jays played a good game. Mazzilli...made some tactical errors, if you'd like to call them that.

And of course the second costly balk of the season for the Orioles, as Cabrera allows the winning run to score in the bottom of the fifth on his mistake.

That said, Cabrera pitched, um, valiantly? I won't say well - he threw 100 pitches on the nose through five. Bullpen did their job, but Toronto's was just as good and held that 3-2 lead. These things happen.

Boston finished a road sweep of Cleveland. The Red Sox are within one game of first place, and we're hurting. Mora's day-to-day with his hamstring and Surhoff has gone on the DL, with Newhan returning to take his spot. It's not that I think Surhoff is greatly important, but give me a choice of who to pinch-hit late in a game, and I'll take Surhoff every time.

The cold, hard reality of it all is that the Boston Red Sox have a lot more talent. We cannot really control whether or not Boston goes on a tear like they're getting into and they take over first place. I don't think it's going to do anything more than drive us in circles if we focus on the media's attention to Boston. At this point, the O's are in deep survival mode. Injuries have piled up and we've remained in first. How much longer can that last?

I don't know, I don't know that it really matters. All the O's can do is win on their own and hope Boston stumbles. Even if you are the most optimistic person, the AL East division title has to have seemed like a stretch, and it still does to me. If the Orioles can plug away, they can still make the playoffs as the wild card even if the Red Sox start playing to their ceiling which - let's be honest now - is much higher than ours on paper. The fact that Boston is now within a game is not to be worried over, I don't think. It'd be great to win the division. Of course I'm still rooting for it. But realistically, and looking at the big picture, again: all we can do is win our games. We can't lose Boston's for them at the same time.

I haven't mentioned the Yankees because, well, I don't think the Yankees are very good right now. That could change, but until they show any consistency whatsoever, I am not worried about the New York Yankees. And that itself is a hell of a good feeling.

Anyway, I know this might sound like I'm losing hope or giving up the fight with the Red Sox surging, but I'm not. I'm only saying we can't control Boston's W-L record except for when we're playing them, so I think the best thing to do is to ignore what they're doing and focus on what we're doing. If Boston takes first place in the next two games, we're not dead or anything. When August comes if it's like this, yeah, then I'll be fired up and ready to throw down and all this. Until then, the Orioles just need to do what they can with the injuries that are still hurting the team and try to keep their heads above water. When the team is 100% (and if we acquire a player or two), then we'll get down to real business.

I feel very calm for a post-loss day. Let's win today, split the series, and get down to Atlanta. After the final interleague series of the season (praise the heavens), the Yankees come to town to get owned again.