This Is (Probably) Not Fine, Birdland

I'll keep this one short-ish and possibly pretty rant-y.

Since last week's possible panic post, the Orioles have played .500 ball, going 4-4 through last night's 5-1 loss to the Indians. That's not all that bad. It's not that great, but it's not all that bad, either. That is, until you realize that two of those losses came against teams that were are under .500 themselves, a 5-2 loss to the White Sox and an 11-2 loss to the Cardinals. On top of that, in each of the eight games played since my last Birdland post, the O's have given up at least five runs. Those eight games play into the Orioles' brush with destiny mediocrity, as they've given up at least five runs in 18 straight games.

Eighteen straight games that have had the opposing team put at least five on the board--sometimes in one or two innings. Eighteen. That's two off the Major League record of 20, set by the 1924 Phillies. If you couple that with:

  1. a team ERA that's one of the worst in baseball and...
  2. an offense that sputters at the worst times've got the makings of a complete and unmitigated clusterfuck. This is becoming a clusterfuck.

There's no nice way to put this. This is not fine. This is not okay. I'm not calling for everyone's head (not yet, anyway), but something needs to be done.

Yeah, injuries and cold streaks have been the MO of the team for a good chunk of this year. This is baseball. Shit happens. Aaron Judge may hit 60 home runs and the Orioles may finally have those projections of them kind of sucking come true. Streaks happen in the game.

What shouldn't happen is your entire team seemingly imploding, all at once, over the course of a month or so.

I mean, I love the Orioles and have rode out with them during some of the darkest times in franchise history. I believe in Buck and Birdland and every other Orioles catchphrase rolled out over the past few years. I think Duquette has been masterful with his pickings--a good portion of the time.

Even with all that, there's obviously something that needs to be done with a team that's core is slated to leave via free agency in the next few years (Manny Machado being traded is starting to look tasty even to me). Something needs to be done about Chris Tillman having his worst season at MLB level (in a contract year, no less). Something needs to be done about the bullpen deciding to do their best Daniel Cabrera-mixed-with-Steve Trachsel-mixed-with-Brian Matusz impressions. Something needs to be done to limit these injuries, as well. I don't know what, but there's got to be something.

Again, injuries and streaks happen. This is true in baseball as it is in life. But, come the hell on, Orioles. This is getting ridiculous; even the minor league teams have had their struggles, so farm hand help may be few and far in between. Again, I'm not a professional sports pundit or an expert at baseball. However, even I can see that something has to happen to right the Orioles' ship before they're completely lost (as a reminder: somehow, the Orioles are still in the hunt for the AL East and/or a Wild Card spot). Nevertheless...this is not fine.

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