This (May Not) Be Fine, Birdland

The Orioles have lost 22 of their last 31 games, some of those after being completely shellacked. This is after starting the season 22-10. The offense has struggled, but the defense and pitching have been atrocious. Sure, Manny's struggled at the plate and the team's lost Zach Britton and Chris Tillman (to name a couple of guys) for extended periods of time. However, even with that in mind, the team is plummeting fast and we seem to be in "This is Fine" mode throughout Birdland.

Yes, Buck Showalter continues to trot out J.J. Hardy and folks like Mark Trumbo (who may or may not be worth his contract value this year). At least, however, there are substitutes there for Trumbo when/if Buck decides to say enough is enough. A good-enough replacement hasn't popped up yet for J.J. Hardy, therefore we're kind of stuck. Plus, both guys give that Oriole Way type of leadership more often than not.

So, at the same time as the fires start to rage, it kind of is a game of "well, what can you do?" Most of this very team has been solid the past few years. Yeah, there weren't many defensive moves made. But, the 2017 Orioles didn't really seem ready to implode in the manner it has over the past thirty or so games. No one could've predicted that the injury bug would decide to chomp on sweet, succulent Oriole meat like it has. No one could've predicted that Kevin Gausman would be doing his best [insert wonky Orioles pitcher here] impersonation. Hell, no one could've predicted that Aaron Judge would become the best offensive player in baseball this season (thus far) and the Orioles would have to try and outhomer a home run-hitting machine. You could've predicted that the defense would/could be subpar at points, but the rest of the team has been solid enough in recent memory to compensate for that.

Except over the past month-plus of games.

I don't want to go into full-on panic mode. I really don't. I have faith in my team, because I want to believe the dark ages of the 2000s are over. However, Birdland, if things continue down this path with no signs of change, it'll be time to say...

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