Look, I don’t want to say the Orioles are on a roll, but a win on Thursday night tied the Orioles for their longest win streak of the season. You watch out, league: this team has reached double digits in wins, and Rick Dempsey said he thinks they have a chance to surprise people.
Things are not as depressing as they have been most of the season. We might as well ride this emotional high for as long as it lasts.
The offense is clicking.
It was easy to dismiss the Orioles’ offensive outpouring to bring a 15-1 game back to a not-quite-as-embarrassing 15-7 drubbing. Meaningless runs in junk time are not impressive. However, the team scored six runs in a game they were out of from before they recorded an out, and backed up that performance by scoring 16 runs over the next two games. After wining the second game in the Kansas City series 5-3, the O’s poured it on after falling behind in the series’ rubber game, 6-4.
The Orioles are still hopelessly out of contention, so I’m not ready to give them any credit they don’t earn. There’s nothing to say that they won’t revert to their offensively impotent selves. But for one series against the Royals, bats were finding balls, and balls were finding gaps. Or seats. I’ll take it.
The beginning of the end, for Tillman.
A lot of people are asking themselves if Thursday’s miserable start is the end of the 2018 Tillman Experience. This is a Good ThingTM.
Tillman went 1.1 innings in Thursday’s game, giving up six runs, but… man, I don’t know how that can’t be the last straw. The Orioles signed him after no other club showed interest in giving him a minor league deal, and Tillman has spent every start since reminding Orioles fans just how prudent 29 other teams are.
With as many chances as the club gave starters like Wade Miley and Ubaldo Jimenez, it’s hard to imagine the Orioles cutting Tillman, but what else can they do? Losing every fifth day is not an option.
What happened to Dylan Bundy?
Look, I understand the concept of regressing to the mean, but this is just regressing to be mean. Dylan Bundy looked like an ace in his first five starts, he has gone nine (total) innings in his last three starts – including Tuesday’s start, in which he failed to record an out.
Bundy has now been hard to watch three times in a row, and I’m starting to worry that this is just the new normal for him. Everyone says he’s not hurt – everything is fine. But to be honest, I’d prefer there be an issue to whatever it is that he is now. I’m not sure my heart can take “he had a good couple of starts, but he just sucks.”
Sure, the Orioles won two in a row against Kansas City, winning their third series of the season, but this is small consolation, since that winning “streak” broke up a stretch of seven consecutive losses (including series sweeps in Los Angeles and Oakland.
The Orioles have sustained two five-game losing streaks, a six-game losing streak, and a seven-game losing streak. They are making a compelling case for being the worst team in the league. Losing is one thing. Doing nothing but losing? That’s a whole different issue.