Baltimore Orioles: A Likely Story about Losing Baseball Games


Sep 6, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) walks off the field after being relieved during the fifth inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It is difficult to know what to say or write about the 2015 Baltimore Orioles that has not been said by O’s writers everywhere. This is largely due to the fact that there is not a great deal of diversity or new material to comment upon due to the outcome of these late-season games.

In dropping the series finale 10-4 to the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, the Orioles displayed a number of too common traits: falling behind early, generating little offense against the opposition starter, and by the time they begin to score some runs, they are too little, too late.

The Orioles have lost 14 of the past 17 games. Sunday’s was the first time however that the Orioles scored more than three runs in one of those losses. Is that a scoop for a story? If so, we would be writing about how the fourth run scored on a Nolan Reimold homer in his first game back after being DFA’d and playing briefly for the Norfolk Tides.

The current seasonal situation facing the Orioles is about like being four or five runs behind going into the ninth inning. What are the chances of winning such a game? Not good, especially this year where such a thing has not happened. Even if the Orioles win 20 of the 26 remaining games, they would be 85-77; and that might not be good enough to get them into the playoffs.

Once about every five games, the Orioles break out the big bats like we used to see, and fly balls start going over the walls. Pitchers make critical pitches to get out of tight situations. And we fans get our hopes up that it is the beginning of a big turnaround.

But nope. It is not going to happen this year. There are a lot of reasons and explanations. More on that in coming months.

But right now … is it more that the pitchers are afraid to throw for fear of giving up too much, attempting to be too perfect because they know they’re not going to get much run support? Or is it more a matter that the hitters press too much, swinging wildly at bad pitches in an aggressive effort to score now … fearing that the pitching is not going to keep them in the game?

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Honestly, it is both of those things. Put it together and you have a sub-.500 team, even while loaded with a ton of talent that should be playing at a much higher level.

Let’s see today what Wei-Yin Chen can do in New York. And what can the Orioles do against Michael Pineda? He has been far from fantastic this year, but this O’s collection of banged-up, slumping, fill-ins, etc. could well make him look like a Cy Young candidate.

The typical sort of O’s game would be for Chen to give up two runs in the first inning, a solo shot in the third or fourth, and then a fourth run in about the sixth inning when he runs out of steam. Meanwhile, the Orioles will blow one opportunity after another, getting one run in the first five innings and another one or two when Pineda fades out in the seventh. But Dellin Betances and company will not allow any more offense at all, while the Yankees win 5-3.

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