The Orioles got our hopes up with a seven game winning streak and now it’s like they’re setting out to crush every single hope with an equally long losing streak. They have lost five in a row and it has knocked them back to 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot with four teams to pass and 18 games to play.
That adds up to a “tragic number” - the combination of Orioles losses and Twins wins that would eliminate the O’s from postseason contention - of 16. The Orioles probably need to win 13 of their final 18 games, at least, to have a prayer of making it. We know this team is capable of doing it... but not if they pitch like they’ve pitched for most of the year and not if their offense falls apart over the last couple of weeks.
Maybe a more realistic goal is just to hope for .500 or better. That’s a hope from the loser years. These Orioles aren’t losers. They are, however, saddled with the worst starting rotation, by ERA, in the American League, one that has remained bad all year, and one that has remained largely constant despite three or four of its six post-July members being awful. So maybe 10-8 to end up 81-81 is the best it could get.
I’m not sure about that. What I am sure of is that after Mark Trumbo had one of the worst outfield botches you’re ever going to see on Monday night, he’s back as the designated hitter on Tuesday, with Joey Rickard in right field. What about Rickard makes Buck Showalter think, “This guy needs to play more,” is not something I have yet ascertained.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Tim Beckham - SS||Richard Urena - SS|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Trey Mancini - LF||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Teoscar Hernandez - LF|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Joey Rickard - RF||Luke Maile - C|
|Dylan Bundy - RHP||Joe Biagini - RHP|