It was an 80 degree night at Camden Yards, and the stadium could not fit another person inside. The announced attendance was 46,298, but many more will say they were there that night.
It was the night the Baltimore Orioles proved they for real in the race for the American League East.
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Orioles’ fans had seen this script far too many times. A good game against the Yankees, only for it to be taken away on a comeback.
But, the Orioles had other ideas. Adam Jones was coming into his own, and on this night he hit a big home run to lead off the eighth inning, giving the Birds the lead back at 7-6. But, they weren’t done.
After Matt Wieters reached first, Reynolds came up again. Once again, Reynolds homered, his eighth in seven games and the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. 9-6 Orioles.
And then Chris Davis hit the only home run to right field on that night, still with no outs, giving the O’s a 10-6 lead, which would be the final score.
Six home runs in one game.
So why am I bringing up a game from almost three years ago? That was the last time the Orioles honored Cal Ripken Jr. And the stadium was electric.
Tuesday night, the team again honored Cal Ripken Jr. for the 20th anniversary of breaking Lou Gehrig’s home run record.
The stadium was only half full, nowhere near the standing room only sight from three years prior. The Orioles played as if they had no energy, losing 11-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays, who have struggled all year to score runs.
No one saw this coming from the Orioles. Sure, the starting pitching was suspect, and the reliance on the home run a cause for concern.
But just 15 days ago, the Orioles were half a game out of the second wild-card. No one saw the wheels come completely off the bus like this.
The O’s have limped to 4-13 since the 15th of August, worst in the American League. There isn’t much more to say about the daily struggles of this team.
They lack timely hitting, unless it is a home run. The starting pitching has not done well. The bullpen at this point is overworked, saved by the expanded rosters.
At this point, the O’s just need to win a game. My goals have changed from contending for the second wild-card, to just getting to .500.
The past few years for me, football season hasn’t started on baseball season ended. Right now, I’m ready for some football.
I’m guessing many of you feel the same.