Here lie the 2015 Orioles. They just weren't good enough.
After getting our hopes up by playing their way back to .500, the team has crushed those hopes in the cruelest way in back-to-back games against the Red Sox. Yesterday's complete game shutout at the hands of former Oriole Rich Hill was bad enough. Today, a Boston bullpen that was pressed into duty for a whole game was able to combine to shut out the Orioles for a second straight day. They lost the game, 8-0.
The Orioles looked like nothing more than a circus that has folded up the tents to move on to the next town. There was no life and no fun. They played horribly and lost horribly. Why was I ever foolish enough to believe, even dimly, in the late surge of these guys? Oh, sure, they were without Adam Jones once again, but a lack of Jones isn't why you lose by eight runs. Especially when six of the eight runs were officially unearned due to a combined three errors.
Two of these errors were committed by Manny Machado at third base, the kind where he just cruises along to get a ground ball, goes down to get it, and doesn't come up with the ground ball. These plays cost the Orioles two runs in the seventh inning and two runs in the eighth inning.
Of course, since they managed to score a whopping zero runs against Craig Breslow and friends, how much did it really matter? Well, everything matters at least a tiny little bit in a game of baseball... but as far as impacting the game's ultimate outcome, no. With the Orioles offense only mustering five hits the whole game, they came uncomfortably close to committing more errors than they collected hits. It was terrible. They were terrible.
One person who wasn't terrible was Wei-Yin Chen, today's Orioles starter. He was merely alright. Chen could not complete the sixth inning, giving up "only" two runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out seven Red Sox.
That's good enough many nights. It's not good enough when the Orioles offense combines to get shut out by Breslow, Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes, Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne (a barber showing photographs), Noe Ramirez, and Jonathan Aro.
Good grief. What horror awaits tomorrow when they face Henry Owens? I am afraid to find out.
Wild card hopes finally, if not yet mathematically, pierced, all that remains is to hope that the Orioles can get themselves back to .500 and stay at or above that point. That is an uphill battle since, with eight games remaining, they now need to go 5-3 in those games, including one last game on the road against Boston tomorrow. The remaining seven are against above-.500 teams, against whom the Orioles have been collectively bad this year.
Well, good luck with that. Ubaldo Jimenez and Owens are the scheduled starters for the 1:35pm game.