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Orioles’ skid hits 17; baseball continues to be a cruel joke

The O’s hit four home runs and still came up short, becoming the ninth team in the modern era to lose 17 straight games.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Baltimore Orioles lost a baseball game tonight.

Their 5-4 loss to the Braves on Saturday was their 17th consecutive defeat, their 18th in 19 August games, and their 84th of the year to just 38 wins. They continue to be the worst team in baseball, perhaps at any level in any league.

Seventeen losses in a row. What do you even say at this point? Do you laugh? Do you cry? Do you go numb? Do you renounce baseball forever? What this?

It’s a mark that’s been reached by just eight other teams in baseball’s modern era, and none in a decade. With another defeat tomorrow, the O’s would have the sixth-longest losing streak in modern history.

You would think through pure dumb luck the Orioles could have backed into one win — one lowly, measly win — in the last two and a half weeks. Heck, given 17 chances, a random minor league team could beat the best team in the majors at least once. We’re not asking the Orioles to split the atom. Just score more runs than the other team over a nine-inning stretch. It shouldn’t be this hard!

Tonight, you couldn’t even point the finger at one player or event and say, “The Orioles lost the game because of this,” which was frankly a refreshing change of pace. Nobody had a disastrous game. Starting pitcher Matt Harvey gave up four runs, which isn’t great, but isn’t terrible. And he ate up 5.1 innings, the longest outing by an O’s starter in nearly two weeks.

The O’s offense wasn’t horrendous. They were hitless with runners in scoring position but did hit four home runs, all solo shots, two by Anthony Santander and one each by Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urias.

And the Birds’ bullpen was nearly flawless, with rookie Marcos Diplan continuing to be a revelation — throwing two hitless innings to extend his career-opening scoreless streak to 11 frames — and Tyler Wells retired both batters he faced, while Cole Sulser allowed a ninth-inning run as his only blemish.

Yet, in the end, it just wasn’t enough. Because nothing ever is. As far as the Orioles are concerned, the outcome is inevitable. Defeat is assured. For Orioles fans, baseball is a cold, cruel mistress, an unending chasm of agony and despair. The dawn of each new day brings another opportunity to be disappointed by our favorite club all over again. Nothing ever changes. Perhaps nothing ever will.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone.