Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They continue to trail the division-leading Red Sox by 11.5 games, and they’re now even 1.5 games behind the fourth-place Rays, who’ve won four straight. If you want to talk wild card instead, the Orioles are 7.5 games back of the Blue Jays for the second spot.
The team’s latest loss on Sunday afternoon was a game where pretty much nothing went right except for Manny Machado being awesome. Check out Tyler Young’s recap of the game for some of the not-so-lovely totals, including the non-Machado Orioles picking up just three hits all game. This is a sad-sack lot right now and anyone pretending differently is soft pedaling the gravity of the situation.
Consider that the Orioles are now ten games below .500 just 22 games into the year. They are guaranteed a losing record at the end of April for the first time since 2011. In all three of their recent playoff seasons, they were never more than three games below .500 at any point - and in 2012 and 2016, they were never below .500 at all. Good baseball teams, as a general rule, do not find themselves ten games below .500.
Where are they to go from here? Farther into last place, if they don’t start winning some games. At this point, if the Orioles went 6-4 over each of the next five ten-game stretches, they would only hit .500 at the end of that sustained stretch of good baseball - 50 games from now. Barring any postponements, the Orioles will not play their 72nd game until June 16.
So there is my arbitrary goal for the Orioles. Find their way back to .500 by mid-June and then start winning some more games from there. Can this be done? Not if they persist in having one of the worst offenses in the AL, if not the worst, a starting rotation that has two good pitchers at best, and a bullpen that has only one reliever with an ERA below 3.
The most likely scenario is that the Orioles have been bad because they are bad, and unless that changes dramatically in a hurry, they are going to continue to be bad. Still, they’ve only got one more game to go before they finally get out of the tough April schedule that was always going to be a challenge. They’ve got to get it figured out soon, and they probably won’t, but there’s no fun in admitting that before we really have to.
Around the blogO’sphere
Trumbo to rehab at Bowie, Mancini’s knee better (School of Roch)
Mark Trumbo has at least six rehab games in his future, assuming he doesn’t have a setback some time during that stretch of games.
Andrew Cashner sees his success stranding runners end in loss to Indians (Baltimore Sun)
Surprisingly, Andrew Cashner was not able to continue having a .000 batting average against with runners in scoring position. It’s almost like that luck couldn’t last.
Sunday Notes: Trey Mancini kept his kick (Fangraphs)
Get well soon, Trey, because you’re the best.
Manny Machado and Andrew Cashner after O’s loss to Cleveland (Steve Melewski)
The quotes after every loss sound the same.
Myriad O’s thoughts: Tillman’s start, and more (Baltimore Baseball)
It is uncomfortable to watch people trying to find the positives about Chris Tillman’s start from Saturday.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2009 six-gamer Sean Henn, 1968 reserve Chico Fernandez, and 1957 seven-gamer Buddy Peterson.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: playwright William Shakespeare (1564), 15th president James Buchanan (1791), physicist Max Planck (1858), baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (1921), wrestler/actor John Cena (1977), and comedian John Oliver (1977).
On this day in history...
In 1014, legendary Irish High King Brian Boru defeated Viking invaders in the Battle of Clontarf. Boru was killed in the battle, along with his son and grandson, but it came to be seen as the end of Viking power in Ireland.
In 1914, the first baseball game was played in a brand new park: Weeghman Park in Chicago. You know this place today as Wrigley Field.
In 1985, Coca-Cola released New Coke. As almost no one liked New Coke, they returned to the old formula within three months time.
In 2005, the first ever video was posted to YouTube. A user named “jawed” posted a video entitled “Me at the zoo.”
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 23 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Indians, although nobody says it’s guaranteed to be good. Have a safe Monday, and go Orioles!