Baltimore Orioles: Another Day, Another Buck Short


Aug 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) and left fielder Gerardo Parra (18) and shortstop Paul Janish (15) cannot catch a fly ball during the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For quite some time now the Baltimore Orioles have been a run shy, a critical hit short, a bad break away from a key moment … but it just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t look like it is going to happen. And if it does happen … wow … that is going to be some story.

The Orioles lost for the ninth time in the past 10 games by dropping a Saturday evening game to the Texas Rangers, 4-3. This drops them 4.5 games behind the second wildcard. That is not good.

At least there was some better fight from the O’s in this game. After falling behind 3-0, they fought back to tie it. And then when trailing in the ninth inning, they managed to get the tying run to second base with one out and to third base with two outs … but … we’re back to talking about being a buck short. The usually free-swinging Manny Machado never got the bat moving, striking out to end the game.

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Though the Orioles did get nine hits, they were only 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Steve Pearce did get a solo home run for the first O’s score of the game, but he also stranded two runners in the top of the eighth.

So what has caused this terrible swoon since the Twins came to town? How can this lineup score so few runs?

The answer surely has many components to it, including the poor plate discipline which we discussed yesterday. But I think one other reason has to be something we read about in Roch Kubatko’s column yesterday, as well as see with our eyes — the issue of nagging injuries to numerous key players. Through the eyes and pen of Roch — who has access to the locker room — he communicated …

"Jonathan Schoop struck out in all four at-bats last night. His left hand and wrist were heavily wrapped before and after the game. No idea what that’s all about, but it’s worth checking. Everyone is beat up. Davis has his right hand wrapped because of the blisters. Jones was packed in ice after Thursday’s game in Kansas City. And the Orioles are limping to the finish."

Jones in particular has been banged up in varied ways all year. Gerardo Parra appears to also have something going on that is not 100%.  J.J. Hardy finally broke down after clearly having a lot of issues that were very, very visible.

I’m not fishing for an excuse, I’m looking for an explanation. It does not make sense. Not that it likely much matters at this point. The odds being given now of the Orioles making the playoffs are under 10%. And that is more than a buck short.

On the bright side, it was great to see Dariel Alvarez get his first two hits tonight. He looks so young; and he also looks totally thrilled to be in the big leagues.

I will say that I am already looking forward to turning a page and seeing some of these sorts of players moving up and for a new team and new identity to arrive. Again, a huge comeback for 2015 would not be unwelcomed here by me. But it requires SO MANY things to go well that it, well, looks to me like even a great effort could fall a buck short.

Next: Proof the O's poor plate discipline

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