Everything remains terrible for the Orioles in the month of September. They can’t hit and they can’t pitch. They can’t do much of anything right except lose. They’ve proven themselves very good at that, finding a variety of ways to do so. The latest, on Wednesday night, saw them get shut out while letting Chris Sale rack up his 300th strikeout of the season.
This September stretch is truly soul-crushing as a fan, the kind of thing we just haven’t seen much - and not at all this late in the year - since before Buck Showalter arrived. They are giving up 5.61 runs per game for the month, and after the Wednesday shutout, the O’s offense is scoring just 2.90 runs per game. That’s a good recipe for a 5-14 record for the month.
The Orioles can’t be eliminated from the wild card race before Saturday, but it’s only a matter of time, truly. Their elimination number is down to five - five O’s losses or Twins wins before it’s all over. Eventually, the Twins or the Angels or somebody will remember how to actually win games. Probably the Twins, when they start playing the woeful Tigers tonight.
Even the .500 record as a consolation prize would require an 8-1 record from here on. At this point, even if the Orioles did do that, I would end up being annoyed at them. Like, what, you couldn’t do that any sooner, dudes?
But of course they couldn’t, because they’ve actually been playing good teams in September. The Orioles are 27-50 against teams better than .500 this season. They’re much worse than actual good teams. That’s all there is to it. The Orioles are not good and good teams have thrashed them.
It’s time to say “Maybe next year” - too bad that the Orioles are losing brutally in ways that make it harder with each passing day to look forward to next year. Well, seven of their final nine games will come against the Rays, and the Orioles are 46-30 against sub-.500 teams. So maybe there’s at least a tiny bit of hope that the O’s can win another game in the 2017 season. Maybe.
Around the blogO’sphere
Britton may be shut down (plus Machado and Beckham updates) - School of Roch
Tim Beckham had a little tooth problem, and Manny Machado was out of the lineup on Wednesday because he’s been sick for two weeks. Machado has a .382 OPS over the last week, so that story checks out.
Zach Britton to have a stem-cell injection in knee Thursday; likely done for rest of 2017 (Baltimore Baseball)
The first link’s headline was from before the game. This one was from after. So ends a disappointing season for Britton. I don’t expect he will miss any save chances over the last nine games.
Kevin Gausman's second half is encouraging in looking toward 2018 - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski is one to always look on the bright side of life. (Spamalot whistling)
For Brad Brach and Orioles bullpen, smallest margins magnified in up-and-down season (Baltimore Sun)
The headline has a nice way of phrasing the fact that the back of the Orioles bullpen just hasn’t been as good this year as it was last year.
Trey Mancini reflects on ‘career-changing’ major league debut one year ago (Baltimore Sun)
There’s never a bad time to read a nice story about Trey Mancini.
Planning for the Future in Today’s Record Home-Run Environment | FanGraphs Baseball
Travis Sawchik of Fangraphs sees a connection between modern nuclear submarines and the home run explosion in baseball.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1984, O’s rookie Jim Traber made his MLB debut in a game against the Red Sox. This is noteworthy because Traber also sang the national anthem before the game. He went 1-4, but the O’s lost.
One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: Zach Phillips, occasionally of the 2011-12 O’s bullpen.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Frederick III, the first Habsburg emperor (1415), science fiction writer H.G. Wells (1866), composer Gustav Holst (1874), animator Chuck Jones (1912), singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934), movie-making man Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), funny man Bill Murray (1950), singer-songwriter Faith Hill (1967), TV chef Anne Burrell (1969), and violinist/YouTuber Lindsay Stirling (1986).
On this day in history...
In 1780, during the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold gave the British the plans to West Point.
In 1792, the French National Convention proclaimed the First French Republic, ending the absolute monarchy, at least for a couple of decades.
In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court, making her the first woman to be a Supreme Court Justice.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 21 - or at least, until something happens later, which it certainly will when the O’s open up their series against the Rays tonight. Nobody says it’s going to be good, though. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!