Baltimore Orioles Need to Win 75% of Remaining Games


Aug 30, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Hanser Alberto (68) leaps over after forcing out Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Caleb Joseph (36) during a ballgame at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The post-game story for the Baltimore Orioles over the past two weeks (with one notable five-homer game) could be pretty much written before the first pitch is thrown. The constituent elements are all pretty much the same: an anemic offence that scores three runs or less, a mediocre pitching start that would at least keep the O’s in the game if only they could score some runs, the few runners on base are stranded, and the bullpen looks like it is tired and barely hanging on at the end of a long season. Maybe you could throw in a dose of bad luck bounces and silly infield hits and bloops that put the opposition runners on base over and over.

Every one of these issues has been written about on this blog in some fashion over this period of time, especially the dormant offence characterized by obscene strikeout numbers — add 11 more from Sunday in the 3-0 shutout by the Rangers on three hits at the hands of Derek Holland.

Holland was very good, as have been many of the pitchers the O’s have seen recently. So is it a matter of the pitching being very good, or is it that the hitting is simply bad?  It is both. And I am convinced that the pitching is excellent against the Birds because the O’s hitters have been well-scouted and simply do not make adjustments. This is evident by the hitting streaks that turn into extended slumps, and it is also seen when new players join the team and hit well — for a while — until their weaknesses can be seen and attacked.

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Regarding the strikeouts, Buck Showalter said in his post-game comments …

"“We talk about it. They see it and Scott (Coolbaugh) sees it. I see it, all the coaches. We’re all a part of it. You guys see it, too. It’s pretty obvious. We just need to correct it. Try to play within our skill set.”"

But here is the problem: if good pitching stops the good hitting of the Orioles, and the O’s cannot figure out how to beat strong pitchers, they cannot ultimately win championships, let alone make it to the playoffs.

The Orioles are now 63-67.  I cannot believe this. They have already now, even before the end of August, lost more games than they did in the entire 2014 season (66 losses).

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There are 32 games remaining. To have a chance at the final wildcard spot, a team will likely need to win 87 games. This means that the Baltimore Orioles will need to win 24 of their final 32 games. That is asking quite a lot.

But as I said yesterday, a comeback now would make for a great story and lots to write about. But if the O’s continue to lose, writing about where to go from here will have lots of material as well. So I’m in a win-win situation … just wish I could give that to the Orioles.

Next: The O's strikeout problem seen statistically