Baltimore Orioles: Does the season slip away if Adam Jones is hurt long term?
Adam Jones was injured in the Baltimore Orioles’ 14-4 loss in the Bronx to New York last night. If he ends up hitting the DL are the Orioles done/
The Baltimore Orioles didn’t just lose to New York last night in grandiose fashion, they might have lost Adam Jones for a span of time. While the Orioles don’t officially have a captain per se, Jones fills that role in every sense of the term – call it in a de facto manner. He came out of Thursday’s game in Washington with leg cramps, and then exited last night with a hamstring strain after trying to leg out an infield hit in the first inning.
More on Jones in a moment, but that acted as a harbinger of sorts for the O’s with regard to the game in the Bronx. Yovani Gallardo never got anything going on the mound, which made for a quick exit. Gallardo’s line: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R (7 earned), 1 BB, 0 K. Gallardo left too many pitches in the middle of the plate, and New York took advantage.
The Orioles did have an early 1-0 lead after Manny Machado‘s solo homer in the first inning. But in the bottom of the first Teixeira gave NY a 2-1 lead with a two-run shot, and they never looked back. In the second inning they put six runs on the board, chasing Gallardo in the process. And it came on a barrage of hits. All in all, New York managed to have nine consecutive batters reach base. From the Orioles’ perspective, that’s never good.
That second inning ended the competitive portion of the game. Machado would smack a second home run (of the two-run variety) in the sixth, and the Birds would put one more run on the board in the ninth thanks to Schoop’s RBI-single. However if you’re into teaching good baseball fundamentals, I hope you sent your kids to bed early last night!
And these games will happen over the course of the season. The Orioles have had them occur in their favor and against them. However they do need to realize that they’re now in a dog fight not only for the AL East title, but for a play off spot in general. They’re currently in the second wild car spot, however Detroit is only one game behind. Furthermore, New York is quickly moving up in the standings. It would be quite a coup de grace for this Oriole team to be overtaken by their AL East rivals and to watch them go to the postseason after they basically threw in the towel and “sold” at the deadline.
But if Adam Jones is out for any considerable amount of time, that’s going to make the road all the more difficult. This is an Oriole team that’s already without the likes of Rickard, Tillman, and O’Day. Losing the heart and soul of the franchise would just make the road all the more tough. It’s unclear how long Jones will be out, however the prevailing sentiment right now is that he shouldn’t have to go to the DL.
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After the game Jones felt that he had let the team down, however I would disagree (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports);
"It sucks. I feel like I let my team down. Put Nolan in a peculiar situation. Just put people in situations that they’re not familiar with. Let’s try and get this correct and make that big push. At this point and time in the season, missing more than a few games would hurt this team."
I get what Jones is trying to say in that he knows he’s a team leader and that he needs to be on the field. However first off his hamstring supposedly felt fine before the game – so there’s no reason he shouldn’t have played. He seemed to aggravate trying to leg out an infield hit. So…would Orioles fans prefer he not hustle? Taking accountability is in my view Jones’ most admirable quality, and one that to be quite frank I try to emulate in my own life. But injuries like these happen – nothing he could have done to prevent it.
But the Birds have always been a next man up type of team under Showalter. So that means that someone has to step up big starting today. And as we’ve heard from the skipper many times, other teams (such as Toronto, Boston, Detroit, and yes New York) aren’t going to feel badly for the injury problems you have. They’re just going to be glad you have them.
Next: Baltimore Orioles fans: Max Scherzer says be quiet if you come out at all
The series continues this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Dylan Bundy will be on the mound for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Chad Green. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.