Sep 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; General view of the tarp on the field before the scheduled game between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles picked up a 4-1 win on Tuesday night over the Washington Nationals in a battle of two teams who not only share the same metro area, but also share the same disappointment about 2015.
Maybe the rain on Monday night was a symbol of how the excitement of the pennant race has been dampened in Baltimore and Washington.
The Nationals were the popular pick to win the NL, as some have thought they might for the last few years.
Instead, they sit 6.5 games behind the New York Mets and all but eliminated from the wild card race.
The Orioles are a loss or a Toronto win away from being out of division contention –EDIT– after Dioner Navarro homered off New York Yankees’ closer and former Oriole Andrew Miller, Toronto tied the game at 3. Miller then loaded the bases, but managed to get the game to extras. The Yankees would win in the 10th, meaning the O’s are still technically alive in the division race. They still have a little hope in the wild card, but they need help.
Luckily, the four teams ahead of the O’s are all playing each other, so if the O’s keep winning, they can’t help but gain games.
However, with four teams to pass, the Orioles need to practically win out. And this team has shown consistently they can’t go on a long winning streak.
As for the game, the O’s got good pitching from Ubaldo Jimenez and the bullpen, despite walking six Nats. The team scored four runs without hitting a home run, putting together good at-bats.
The O’s defense was uncharacteristically awful in this game, with three, count it…one, two, three errors in the game. Junior Lake dropped a ball he should have caught, Jonathan Schoop booted a double play ball and Steve Pearce also had an error.
Two of those plays occurred in the same inning, which also included a great play by Jonathan Schoop on a pop fly to right field and a sterling 2-5-3 double play, Joseph to Machado to Davis.
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The O’s sit only two games under .500 at this point, and finishing above .500 may be the team’s ceiling at this point.
And all of this is happening with numerous players dealing with injuries. Adam Jones has missed several games now with numerous injuries. Gerardo Parra is not playing a lot, whether due to Buck letting other people audition or his struggles in an Orioles’ uniform.
J.J. Hardy is not healthy either, and you have to wonder about Zach Britton a little bit too.
The O’s are a team that is ready for the long MLB season to be over. But, they may have some unfinished business to deal with, either if they can get A LOT of help, or in helping decide the Yankees’ fate.
There is still something to play for in Baltimore!