What if the reason the Orioles have been bad in this series is that like everybody is sick? Manny Machado is now sick enough that he's not able to play. Chris Davis is still out of the lineup. Buck Showalter also got sick and may not even manage tonight's game.
So there are some tangible reasons for this slump. Maybe other guys are battling the illness as well, not sick enough that they have to stay in their hotel room and can't play, but still perhaps sick enough that it affects their performance in some way. You probably wouldn't do very well at hitting if you were having a roiling stomach due to the flu being all up in your system, either.
But that doesn't make it much fun to watch in the meantime, and this illness is certainly not striking down the Orioles division competition at the same time as it is the Orioles. They're now only a half-game up on the Red Sox, and just one game ahead of the Blue Jays. They could be in second place by the end of the night.
The players will recover eventually but the ground in the standings will still be lost - and the starting rotation will probably still be bad, flu or no flu.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Joey Rickard - RF||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Carlos Beltran - DH|
|Mark Trumbo - 1B||Brian McCann - C|
|Pedro Alvarez - DH||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Nolan Reimold - LF||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 3B||Aaron Hicks - RF|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Ronald Torreyes - 3B|
|Yovani Gallardo - RHP||Michael Pineda - RHP|