Baltimore Orioles: Rain and Pain on the North Side of Chicago

A big lead in your division in Major League Baseball is made for days like Saturday—a day where it was predetermined from the foundations of the world that absolutely nothing was going to go well for the Baltimore Orioles.

This Birds were facing a tough, young pitcher in Kyle Hendricks, but they put together five hits in the first two innings to get a pair of runs. That usually portends a good day for the Orioles, especially when the starting pitcher gets credit for the second RBI.

But in the bottom of the second, when Bud Norris failed to hit his spots, he gave up a walk. Then he hit his spots and gave up three junk singles. And finally, a very poor 3-2 pitch with two outs and the bases loaded was lined into the right-field corner for a triple by Chris Coghlan—a player who was previously 0-for-16 off Norris.

At that point, the weather completely joined the conspiracy against the Baltimore Orioles. The fog rolled in, the day turned to night, and the field became a pond.

The best thing the Orioles could have done at that point was acknowledge that this was a day they were the bug and not the windshield, and simply forfeit the game to come back and play another day… just go get some sleep, beat the Cubs on Sunday, and go home happy from a long nine-game trip.

But no, they had to play it out. And after 3:09 of rain delay, it was Ubaldo Jimenez taking over for the O’s on the mound. Some might have expected the downpour to turn into a total hurricane at that point, but Jimenez pitched reasonably well for four innings—giving up only one run on three hits, and only adding one walk to his league-leading total.

Tommy Hunter would give up two more runs over two innings, and the offense never got back into the game at all—tallying only two hits in the last seven innings. The final score was 7-2.

And on a day like this, nobody needed to look at the scoreboard to know that both the Yankees and Blue Jays would win and draw to within seven and eight games respectively.

One might ponder if the Manny Machado season-ending surgery news cast a pall over the mood along with the gloomy weather. I doubt that; it does not fit with the corporate persona of this team. It is more likely the function of the eighth game of a road trip, while being stuck in a damp and old stadium waiting half of the day for the rain to stop.

Is there anything to panic about? Not really. If on March 15th I had offered you a seven-game Orioles lead in the AL East on August 24th, would you have taken it? Yep, you would have. You would have said, “Wada opportunity!” And you’d be correct again.

The Orioles are facing Tsuyoshi Wada on Sunday—the $8 million washout. After all of that and his surgery, he ought to throw some 80 mph fastballs in the center of the plate as gratitude. But don’t expect that. He is 3-1 with an ERA of 2.75—can’t lie to you and say that I saw that one coming!

The Orioles will reinstate Miguel Gonzalez, who is 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA.

Just to put some commonly-known information in one area of print in front of us, the Baltimore Orioles have 35 games to go, 21 at home and 14 on the road. After Sunday there are two long home-stands of three series each, and two road trips of two series each. This looks very manageable. Here are the opponents …

Cubs – 1    

Home

Rays – 4

Twins – 4

Reds – 3

Away

Rays – 3

Red Sox – 3

Home

Yankees – 4

Jays – 3

Red Sox – 3

Away

Yankees – 4

Jays – 3

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

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