As James noted this week, the Orioles are at a critical, must-win juncture in the 2013 season. We all know that the Orioles still have time to get into the playoffs, or perhaps win the division; however, after their 4-3 loss last night at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays to begin their three-game series on Monday, it could be time to worry.
Since July, the Orioles have been a .500 team or so, and it’s crucial they start to play to their potential. They now enter the gauntlet portion of the schedule, as after the Rays leave town, the Orioles counter against the Athletics, Red Sox, Yankees and Indians before their game on September 5th against the White Sox.
Right now, the Orioles are 5 ½ behind the American League leading Red Sox and trail by 4 in the wild card hunt.
Anything can happen, but if the Orioles are 5 games or more back considering the competition in the league by September 5th, it will be very, very tough for them to advance to October.
It was incredibly frustrating to watch the Orioles at the plate yesterday. Although we all know Baltimore can hit, when you get 15 hits, score only three runs, go 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and strand 15 runners, you’re not going to win.
Furthermore, they had Tampa starter David Price on the ropes – multiple times. He gave up ten hits in five innings of work and the Birds should have done more against him. Aside Baltimore scoring twice against Price, they had issues getting runners across home plate.
That is a problem.
Chris Tillman was mediocre on Monday night for the Orioles on the mound, giving up four runs in six innings; however, the offense didn’t do much to help him out of a hole. He lost for the first time in seven games and is 14-4.
The Orioles are a good ballclub, but they could not do the little things right against a crafty Rays squad.
A ballclub doing the little things right seperates the good from the elite.
Now can the Orioles play like an elite squad?