The Orioles have lost so many times this season that they are starting to run out of new ways to lose. They tread on some familiar ground as they dropped a Saturday night game to the White Sox, 2-0. This was the 14th game this season in which the Orioles have been shut out.
That makes 106 losses on the season for the O’s. It’s hard to contemplate, especially with 14 games still to play after this. They will almost certainly lose most of those games and pile up even more losses by season’s end. Until they win another game, it’s not out of the woods that they could tie the record of the 1962 Mets for most losses in a season - those woeful fellows went 40-120 due to two cancellations.
On a night-to-night basis, what else is there to say about these sad sacks? They aren’t good. They were not good even when the best version of the team, the version that the front office constructed in February and March and told itself would be a contender, was here. The trades started two months ago now and they’re still bad. They can’t hit. Often, they can’t pitch. Fielding is sometimes not so great, either.
On Saturday night against Chicago, it was mostly the hitting that was at fault. Starting pitcher Yefry Ramirez allowed just a run in 5.2 innings, and with only four hits and a walk surrendered, it’s not like he had to dance around a bunch of dicey situations. They got a run off of him. It happens. Most of the time a starter gives up one run, his team will win the game. This is true even for the worst of the worst teams.
The games where the starter actually pitches well and the team still loses are more plentiful for the 2018 Orioles, who are now 2-11 in September and 42-106 overall, 59.5 games back of the division-leading Red Sox.
They only gave up six hits and they lost! It is ridiculous. The Orioles themselves only got five hits. They were not able to cluster those hits effectively, getting multiple baserunners in just two of the game’s nine innings. As has been depressingly typical this season, they were mostly mystified by the other team’s starting pitcher, in this case 24-year-old Reynaldo Lopez, who after throwing seven shutout innings against the O’s tonight has a 4.05 ERA for the season.
No one did much of anything, except for Chris Davis, who struck out two times to pull himself into a tie for 39th place on the career strikeouts list with Dave Winfield. Davis and the Hall of Famer each have 1,686 strikeouts. Another eight to go until Davis catches up to another Hall of Famer, Rickey Henderson. His march up that leaderboard is one of the most compelling storylines remaining for this team.
Because it’s 2018 and nothing is allowed to go right for the Orioles, Mychal Givens came in for a tune-up inning to try to hold a 1-0 deficit where it was and instead he allowed a home run to put the team in a 2-0 hole. Givens entered the year as a possible closer of the future and here in mid-September he has a 4.46 ERA. It’s not great.
If the Orioles had mustered any sort of offense at all, they might have been able to send the announced crowd of 23,266 home happy. Caleb Joseph threw out three runners who attempted to steal. Ramirez pitched well. Mike Wright Jr. did not allow a run in 2.1 innings of relief. There were a couple of nice plays on defense.
These are nice things to see. They aren’t wins, though. We want wins. We know we’re not getting many this year, but we still want them. It is a sad time to be an Orioles fan. Tomorrow’s not looking much better. The O’s and White Sox close out the series with a 1:05 game, with David Hess and Lucas Giolito as the scheduled starting pitchers.