Baltimore Orioles: Article Title Needed


As the Baltimore Orioles crawl to the finish line of the 2015 season, it is difficult to comprehend how things could have gotten to this point — a 76-80 record, yes, but to understand how this team could drop the past four games in the fashion that they have. After getting a 3-1 lead on a Flaherty home run Monday night, the offence remained in its recent hitless funk, while the bullpen allowed the Jays to come back for a 4-3 victory.

I toyed with a number of article titles for today. How about, “Orioles Perfect with Runners in Scoring Position.” It’s true; they did. Ryan Flaherty’s three-run homer was the only occasion where there were even runners in scoring position!

Here’s another:  “Flaherty is 100% of Orioles Offence.”  That is true right now.  Or, “Flaherty Prevents Orioles from Setting Franchise Record.”  He did. His home run came just in time to prevent the Orioles from setting a new record for consecutive scoreless innings … a record that has stood since 1957. To give some perspective on that. I am an old man, and I was two years old when that record was set, and Dwight Eisenhower was President!

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Another possible headline:  “Tillman Lowers ERA against Jays by 3.78.”  This is also true. Chris Tillman had his first good game of the year against Toronto, giving up only two earned runs in 7.1 innings. That is a lot better than the 31 runs previously allowed in 18 innings!  So he dropped his ERA from 15.50 to the more respectable 11.72!  Beyond that, he did not get credit for his fifth loss of the year against the Jays. This is progress.

Every direction you look, the numbers are simply ugly. The first five batters in the lineup went a combined 0-for-19 with a walk. Over the four-game losing streak, the Orioles are 16-for-124 for a batting average of .129.  In 36 innings, they not only have three runs scored, but also only have three extra base hits. Their combined RISP over four games is 2-for-10!  Yes, only 10 scoring possibilities in all of that time.

Oh, by the way … Houston won, and that officially eliminates the Orioles. But honestly, to be carrying on any lengthy playoffs conversation over the past several weeks about a team that cannot break above .500 is just silly talk. It would still be great to crawl back to .500, but that does not seem to be the direction of the crawling that is going on now.

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