Let’s play a game. No cheating, OK? Here we go:
- Without looking it up, when was the last game the Orioles won?
- What about the last game they won before that?
That’s how this season is going. Not only is it difficult to remember the last game that didn’t end in a loss, they are few and far enough between that they are difficult to remember at all. The Birds are locked in a classic late-season swoon, but they didn’t bother to wait for the late portion of the season.
Gausman threw an absolute gem.
It’s easy to be worried about Kevin Gausman. He has shown that he can go cold for long periods of time, and fail to come through on the promise that’s always been there. But this week, he looked every bit the pitcher the Orioles hoped they were getting when they drafted him fourth overall in 2012. On Monday night against the Indians, Gasuman went eight innings, giving up just a two-run home run. Of course it was enough to beat a punchless Orioles lineup, but Gasuman was nasty. He had an immaculate inning. He retired the last 10 batters (and the last 21 of 23). His outing ended on a strikeout!
It was a wasted effort of course, but in a season where so little is going right, it was a pleasant surprise to see the O’s lose despite such a strong start from Gausman. The real test will be whether Gausman’s next start is solid, or whether his performance will yo-yo like his entrance to the majors.
Jace Peterson is about to be the next beloved mediocre Oriole.
The Orioles didn’t have that many infielders, and then Tim Beckham got injured. So when Dan Duquette went to the scrap heap, Jace Peterson was the first one off the pile. Naturally, Peterson has impressed in the short time he has been with the Orioles, but one has to wonder if that has more to do with his abilities, or the suck that is taking place around him.
Hey, remember that time Jace Peterson drove in two runs in his first Orioles at-bat (in a game they ultimately lost, so his individual effort was meaningless? Remember that time Jace Peterson punished the Rays for their overshift, with a stolen base (in a game they ultimately lost, so his individual effort was meaningless)?
How is this season going? Jace Peterson is one of the few good things I can find to talk about. Is Jace Peterson the new Ryan Flaherty, or is it too soon?
When I watch these games, I’m struck by thoughts like
- I’ll bet you that Manny Machado sits through these excruciating games thinking “I have got to get the hell out of here.”
- When he returns from injury, closer Zach Britton will have less to do than he did during the 2016 Wild Card game.
- The Orioles can’t afford to dismiss Chris Tillman from the rotation because they have nothing of value behind him. Complete depth failure to match a performance failure.
- Most teams are making an effort when they tank – the Orioles seem to be able to slip into it naturally.
I hate the losing, but it’s bad. I was ready for the Orioles to not make the playoffs. I wasn’t ready for the Orioles to be one of the worst teams in baseball.
It’s getting harder to make excuses for Alex Cobb in 2018.
I hate it when people write off Alex Cobb for being Ubaldo Jimenez 2.0, but it is also becoming increasingly difficult to forgive what we’ve seen thus far. He’s given up 10 hits in each of his three starts, and has gone fewer than four innings per start, giving up 17 earned runs along the way.
But… at least he’s not… uh… bludgeoning baby seals?
The Orange Glasses contingent will remind you that it rained during his last start (you know, when he gave up all those runs?), but the excuses are starting to wear thin.
Ugh. The season is so young, and yet so very over.