During last night's game I came to the very sad realization that the Orioles really just aren't good enough to do this thing. I'm not saying that they're not good, because they are. They wouldn't be where they are now if they weren't. But they're not good enough. If they can hang on to get a playoff spot then it's possible they could bash their way through a few wins, but right now it's hard to think that far ahead.
Speaking of that playoff spot, the Orioles are now the second wild card behind the Blue Jays, who have been knocking around the Mariners the last two nights. They are just one game up in the loss column on the Detroit Tigers. On Monday before the series with the Red Sox started, ESPN put them at a 74.5% chance to make the playoffs; after last night's loss that is down to 53.4%. You can read about that loss, if you really want to, in Mark's take from last night.
The Orioles threw two of their best three pitchers at the Red Sox the last two nights, and the Red Sox devoured them both. Tonight we rely on Ubaldo Jimenez to get them back on track, which is terrifying. I know Ubie has been good of late, but will we ever really trust him?
Whatever happens, I'll be watching tonight because that's what we do. And I'll try to remind myself that this kind of misery is so much better than the misery of a 90-loss team, but it really doesn't help much in the moment.
Let's go to the links:
Orioles lose game and more ground (with quotes) - School of Roch
If you can stomach the game quotes from last night...
How much further can the Baltimore Orioles push Dylan Bundy? - ESPN
This is a question I ask myself every time I see him pitch. I know how tough it is without other good alternatives, but Bundy just doesn't look great out there.
Cal Ripken Jr.'s replacement thought the end of the streak was a 'rookie prank' | FOX Sports
Yesterday was the anniversary of the day Cal Ripken finally sat out a game. Cal remembers it in this story.
Who would start?: How pitching rotations line up for MLB Wild Card game hopefuls - CBSSports.com
It's starting to feel at this point like the Orioles would be lucky to get the wild card. Maybe that's dramatic. But regardless, Chris Tillman is the guy currently on pace to start that game.
With a remarkable season, Orioles closer Zach Britton is in Cy Young contention | pilotonline.com
Cy Young talk aside, this is a nice article on the evolution of Zach Britton, including some cold hard truths from his brother Buck.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Unfortunately your O's birthday buddy list is short and unremarkable. Only relief pitcher Zach Phillips, who pitched in 16 games from 2011-12 for the Orioles, shares your special day with you. There are some fun celebrities with this birthday, though, including Bill Murray and the late, great Larry Hagman. Question, do you prefer Mr. Hagman as Major Nelson or as J.R. Ewing?
It's also the birthday of Maggie Grace, who survived a plane crash in LOST and who was saved by Liam Neeson in Taken, as well as author Stephen King. I do not wish him a happy birthday, however.
Birdland is likely to be a dismal place today, which is too bad. But let's do our best to keep spirits high, ok?