Three days ago, you could have still believed that the Orioles could pull off the turnaround, assuming they started turning it around in Toronto. It’s a lot harder to believe that now since they’ve lost two games to the Blue Jays, doing even worse than failing to start the turnaround by falling even farther behind. Check out John Beers’s recap of yesterday’s latest loss.
The math was tough before. It’s almost impossible now. The Orioles trail the Rays in the wild card race by 5.5 games with 18 games to play. The Rays hold the tiebreaker over the Orioles, so the O’s would have to pass them outright, without the benefit of any more head-to-head games. At this point, the Orioles could go a near-miraculous 14-4 and that might not be enough. The Rays are already at 81 wins. Mathematical elimination won’t hit for at least another week, but that’s only a matter of time.
It’s starting to feel like the Orioles themselves might not even get to 81 wins! That’s probably a dramatic overreaction to how the team’s been hitting so far this month, but it’s a grim picture that’s not getting any better, with the starting rotation starting to falter as well, along with the guys who get plugged into middle innings when the starters slip up. The O’s only need a 7-11 record to reach 82 wins, a winning season.
The first two games of the series were ones you could talk yourself into thinking that the Orioles had a good chance to win. They ought to have been able to make hay in the bullpen game on Friday, and 5+ ERA Jose Berrios should have been someone they could get to as well. They didn’t. Now they face Alek Manoah in the finale today.
The O’s won two games Manoah started in August, but only 11 days ago, Manoah dominated the O’s, allowing only one run in eight innings. If the offense is up to more of its same recent performance, which will be expected if the Orioles deploy what’s become their typical Sunday afternoon-caliber lineup, Dean Kremer won’t have much margin for error, if any at all.
Around the blogO’sphere
Despite bumpy start, O’s ready for sprint to finish season (Orioles.com)
The performance of the team overall, and the offense in particular, does not offer much support to this thesis.
In wild card race, Orioles performance against left-handed pitchers could be the difference (The Baltimore Sun)
Believe it or not, the Orioles are 27-18 in games started by an opposing lefty this season. Pretty good! Too bad they’re 48-51 against righties, which is why they’re rapidly falling away from wild card contention.
Three more early reflections on the 2022 Orioles season (School of Roch)
Roch’s thoughts on some mildly surprising developments this season, based on what you might have guessed in April: Rougned Odor made it to September, Robert Neustrom never made it to Baltimore, and DJ Stewart never made it back to Baltimore. I’m mostly only surprised by the first one of these.
D.C. threatens to shut down Nationals Park, putting events at risk (The Washington Post)
Obviously, my immediate reaction to the headline is: LOL. It seems that the owner of the stadium, a separate entity from the Nationals, promised to develop 46,000 square feet of commercial and retail space near the stadium, and has not actually done this, leading a District agency to say it may no longer continue renewing temporary permissions to operate as of the end of this month. Do the Nats have home games scheduled for October? Yes, they do.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
It’s been six years since the Orioles were victorious on this day. The 2016 squad beat the Rays, 2-1, with Mark Trumbo breaking a tie in the eighth inning with his 43rd home run of the season. The dinger helped Brad Brach to his tenth win of the season and provided an opportunity for Zack Britton to notch his 45th save.
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2021-22 reliever Marcos Diplan, and 1964-65 reliever Harvey Haddix.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: actress Greta Garbo (1905), baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (1959), actor James Gandolfini (1961), Baltimore-born actress Jada Pinkett Smith and cyclist Lance Armstrong (1971), and actor/comedian Jason Sudeikis (1975).
On this day in history...
In 1793, construction on the United States Capitol began as President George Washington laid the first cornerstone for the building. It was completed enough for use in 1800.
In 1948, Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the United States Senate, making her the first woman to be elected to a term that was not completing someone else’s term first.
In 1977, the Voyager I spacecraft photographed Earth and the Moon together in the distance, the first such photo ever taken.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 18. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!