It’s too early to declare the Orioles’ season, which I wrote about awhile back, as heading down the tubes. But it is definitely not looking as good as it once did. They’ve lost six straight. They’ve fallen out of first. Nick Markakis is hurt. The AL East is becoming even more of a gigantic no-holds-barred brawl than it was.
So what happened?
What happened was that the pitching- especially the starting pitching has been having a tough week. They have been routinely falling behind early. They fell 5-0 on Friday night, for example, giving up all of those runs in the first inning. They were falling behind to the Blue Jays early in games. In other words, the Orioles are getting dragged into the same kind of shooting-gallery, pray-we-can-outhit-them-because-our-pitching-cannot-stop-them kinds of games they’ve been getting stuck in the last decade and a half or so. Spoiler alert: They usually can’t.
The Orioles are by no means out of it yet. They are only one game back. A win today would get them tied for first again. Two wins over the weekend would get them to first outright. All of the AL East teams have flaws, and the Orioles still have a very good bullpen, something that is essential in this day and age. They also have Adam Jones, who can, on some days, win a game by himself.
The question is: Can they pull themselves off the mat, or will, like so many season before, the Orioles squander a good start and fall back into the basement?
Only time will tell.