Wasn’t last week fun? The O’s took two out of three from Kansas City (screw those guys, I’m still upset about 2014) and three out of four from Tampa Bay (screw those guys, they’re the best chance we have of getting out of the cellar). All in all, a nice little bit of of Orioles Baseball.
Did you watch it? Did you go to the games? Did you listen in the car? If so, hold on to those memories, because the Orioles have remembered that they’re the 2018 Orioles, and this season is a wasteland of sadness.
Mother’s Day Massacre
This time, in the right direction. Sunday’s series finale against the Rays was a nice reminder that, even if the O’s aren’t going anywhere, we can still have a little fun along the way. It all started with Dylan Bundy turning in his first not-terrible performance in a while. His seven scoreless innings were a great relief after he was removed from his previous start without having recorded an out.
But the real story was the offense, led by Joey Rickard, who hit two home runs and drove in five runs and hit two home runs – all against the team that drafted him and failed to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The O’s totaled 19 hits and four home runs, putting a pounding on the Rays, and giving the moms out there something to enjoy.
Manny’s Trade Value
Eventually, the Orioles are going to have to admit that they can’t keep Manny Machado. They already blew their chance to either sign him or get maximum value for him in a trade. At this point, our best hope is that they inadvertently bungle the transaction in a different and less tragic way than they had planned on bungling it.
Machado leads the league in home runs. In fact, he has more dongs (14) than the O’s have wins (13). Between his offensive production and his smooth play at shortstop, at least Manny is holding up his part of the bargain: his trade value will certainly never be higher.
The Crushing Blow of Reality
After a delightful window into what it would be like to root for a team that is not horrible, the Orioles brought us back to reality. After losing a game 4-1 to the Phillies in a rain-shortened “series” (just a single game), the Birds failed to put up a fight in the opener in Boston. The loss, in which a Maddux was narrowly avoided, included Kevin Gausman throwing 36 pitches in the first inning, and allowing five steals. His last pitch took a three-run deficit, and turned it into a commanding six-run lead for the Red Sox.
Did you think that the O’s were going to turn a corner? Did you think that they had hit rock bottom, and that some sort of regression to the mean was coming? Well they haven’t. And it’s not. The Orioles are now 13-30. At this point, we can legitimately wonder if the ballclub will get to 40 (and , frankly, 50) losses before it reaches 20 wins. Here’s the reality: this team is awful, and weeks like the one we just experienced should be enjoyed for what they are: a brief respite.
Caleb Joseph’s Demotion
Caleb Joseph’s being sent to the minors is disappointing on a number of levels. First, Joseph seems like a genuinely good dude, an is very easy to root for. I’m sure he’s just as well loved in the clubhouse as he is in the stands. So it’s a bummer that he’s being sent to AAA.
What’s even more depressing about the unceremonious demotion of our opening day starting catcher is that it will do precious little to change the Orioles’ fortunes. The replacement (level player) is Andrew Susac, and that’s not going to move the needle.
That baby is still hungry.