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Game 113: White Sox (56-58) @ Orioles (44-68), 7:05pm

It is August 9th and the Orioles starter is Jo-Jo Reyes. He is the 11th different pitcher that the Orioles have had start a game, which is the most by any team in MLB. He is sporting a 5.37 ERA. That is the big picture.

On the other side, Maryland's own Gavin Floyd is starting. We might have once traded for him straight up for Brian Roberts, but reports at the time generally agreed that the O's insisted on getting Chris Getz from the White Sox also. Floyd threw 187.1 innings last year and he's pitched 136.1 this year, averaging over 6.1 IP per start this season. That's a full inning more than O's starters have averaged. Roberts has appeared in 98 games in that span. Floyd will have made $7.75 million for 2010 and 2011. Roberts will have made $20 million.

This is the part where ordinarily I would pivot from that horrible reality and try to offer at least one shred of good news, however insignificant. I can find none. This is a hot mess. We have maybe two good pitchers on the active roster, and one of them may be getting worn out from overuse due to the combined factors of a starting rotation that's thrown the fewest innings of any team in MLB and a bullpen that had only one other good pitcher, who has now been traded. The other is Jeremy Guthrie, who may better be described as adequate.

It seems like only a matter of time before the next 30-3 game, where a string of pitchers who should not be on any MLB roster get lit up one after the next. If not that, being on the wrong end of an embarrassing no-hitter at the hands of either a bad pitcher or a raw rookie pitcher. Maybe both of these things will happen in the same game, and then the failure will be complete.

There is a very good chance the failure is already complete. You know this as well as I do, because you have been watching the games. We have reached that point in the season where the only question left to ask is: how bad will it get? Once things reach that point, the answer to that question is irrelevant. We have all lost.