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Game 85: Orioles (36-48) @ Red Sox (51-35), 7:10pm

The season in a nutshell.
The season in a nutshell.

The Orioles have lost eight of their last nine games. They stumbled through interleague, winning fewer games than they should, and were then promptly swept by Texas as they returned to the AL. Now it's back to playing the AL East as tonight begins a four-game series against the Red Sox.

The brakes have failed. Someone cut the line and the fluid all leaked out. Now we careen down a slope with like 9% grade and there is a hairpin bend at the end. We cannot arrest our downward momentum. We will thus plummet off the side into a fiery oblivion. Only a miracle could save us from that fate, and we are fresh out of miracles around here.

I hate to be such a bummer, but I am bummed. This team is a bummer to follow. Yet another year I've convinced myself not even that things might be good but that they will suck less. And here even those meager hopes are being dashed against a jagged stone wall. The rotation is heading into full-on disaster territory. The bullpen has always been a disaster, barring JJ and Koji, who may be tiring from overuse. Some fielders could not catch a cold. The offense wouldn't seem as bad if the pitching hadn't completely fallen apart. But instead we have some kind of feast-or-famine bats where it's either singles or home runs but nothing in between. Most of the time, we are not allowed to homer with men on base. Also, the O's have the second-worst walk percentage in MLB.

Tonight's starter, Jake Arrieta, comes in with a 4.74 ERA, which doesn't sound very good. There is some small comfort in knowing that it would be a full half run lower if an error had been charged to Luke Scott in that Altanta game, as it should have been. Well, on second thought a 4.24 ERA isn't very good either, not this year. In fact it would be the 82nd-best ERA in MLB. The 81st-best, incidentally, is none other than yesterday's starter, Jeremy Guthrie. No wonder the pitching staff has the second-highest ERA in MLB - a bare 0.01 lower than Houston.

We bad, guys. We real bad. Yet here we are to watch another game, wondering what will go wrong today. Misery loves company.