The good news about the 2019 Orioles is that they only have 148 games left to play. The bad news is that 148 games is actually quite a lot of games to get through when you don’t have much of a starting rotation, bullpen, or lineup.
Worse is that the Orioles are still set up where every game offers the possibility of chasing the bad kind of history. They’ve allowed a home run in each of their first 14 games, a club record, and are now just two games shy of the all-time record held by the 2009 Phillies.
Chris Davis extends his own records with every hitless at-bat, with the next in his sights being hitless ABs to start a season - he’s got four to go to catch the 0-37 mark by Eugenio Velez with the Dodgers in 2011.
The Orioles themselves could end up being the exact thing that the up-til-now-ailing Red Sox needed to see. That’s not a very fun realization for O’s fans. Many things about this year so far have been un-fun and more that is not fun will likely come along as the months pass.
That this is the result of an intentional plan for rebuilding rather than the failure of a terrible plan for competing, like what happened last year, doesn’t make it a lot better except that this year we could all set low expectations ahead of time.
This is the lineup that will try to avoid a fifth straight defeat today:
- Jonathan Villar - SS
- Trey Mancini - RF
- Dwight Smith Jr. - LF
- Renato Nunez - DH
- Rio Ruiz - 3B
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Hanser Alberto - 2B
- Pedro Severino - C
- Cedric Mullins - CF
That’s with Andrew Cashner as the starting pitcher. It seems likely that the home run allowing streak will continue with Cashner pitching in Fenway, but one thing that really is fun about baseball is even if you look at two teams and know that one is better than the other, you never know what might happen in any one game.
You can know what’s most likely to happen, but you never know. Perhaps if O’s fans are lucky, today will be one of those unknowable surprises that produces a delightful outcome, even if they do keep making history by allowing home runs.