This week was pivotal for the Orioles…

Are we at the DEFCON 5 stage of the season for the Baltimore Orioles?


However, based on what I have seen and read online, listened to on the radio and TV – maybe.

They went 4-4 on a crucial road trip to San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix. While the trip started off well for the Orioles, it quickly unraveled as closer Jim Johnson blew three straight saves against the Arizona Diamondbacks and they were swept in three games.

As for Jim Johnson, let’s hope he figures it out. Buck Showalter has been loyal to the closer, but with a little more than forty games left in the 2013 campaign, he should start looking at his other options in the bullpen.

Think of it, Jim Johnson has blown nine save this season. If he simply converted four of those nine, the Orioles would have 69 wins on the season.

If he saved six games of the nine, Baltimore would have 71 wins and would be battling for a division title.

With their loss to the Colorado Rockies last night, the Orioles are now four games out of the wild card hunt. They trail the Boston Red Sox by 5 1/2 games in the American League East.

As of this morning, both the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have a comfortable, but by no means an insurmountable lead.

Wei-Yin Chen struggled against the Rockies and the offense could not lift him out of his hole. He once again got hit hard after the mid-point of the game, giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

At this point, the Orioles just need to get it together and keep trucking.

Winning is hard.

Winning from year to year is even harder.

Look at the Washington Nationals.

The Orioles are not even in the same discussion as them right now.

They are 65-56; however, this team is in an interesting position. The Birds are not an elite squad, nor are they terrible – or even mediocre. They are a team with some flaws and somehow the players, staff and manager have to find a way to keep their heads above water in the playoff race.

The Orioles have the talent, but can the players perform with the same consistency game in and game out?

Sometimes, it is the little things that can make or break a season.

If the Orioles somehow miss the playoffs in 2013, look at this week as a pivotal moment.