Baltimore Orioles need to take Rocky’s advice: I didn’t hear no bell!
With last night’s loss to Boston, the Baltimore Orioles fell out of the second wild card spot. But their attitude has to be that the race is far from over.
The Baltimore Orioles need to go back and watch the Rocky series before tonight’s game against Arizona. In part one Rocky’s trainer (Mickey) would say I didn’t hear no bell! when the going would get tough for Rocky in a match. Meaning of course that the match isn’t over until the bell sounds.
That line became a motif throughout the series for never giving up when the going got tough. In the Orioles’ case, the going just got very tough given the fact that with last night’s loss to Boston, Detroit has now moved into the final wild card spot. But the fact remains, the season is far from over.
Chris Tillman struggled in this start, calling into question once again how healthy he is. TIllman’s line: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K. Tillman gave up an RBI-single to Hanley Ramirez in the first, an RBI-single to Sandy Leon in the second. He also walked David Ortiz later in that second inning to run the score to 3-0 before being lifted.
That second RBI-single by Leon was the key play which kind of sums up the Orioles’ luck of late. The Birds played Leon in accordance with his spray chart defensively, and being a catcher it stood to reason that he would remain true to that spray chart. And mind you, that’s the right thing to do. So what does Leon do? Instead of hitting the ball on the ground he smacks a line drive over the infield into right field. So once agian, conventional wisdom failed the O’s.
The one bright spot for this team this week has been Trey Mancini, who of course homered for the first time on Tuesday. And he repeated that feat last night, smacking a three-run homer in the last of the third, which tied the game. However Boston would get an RBI-single from Andrew Benintendi in the fifth, and a solo homer from Hanley Ramirez in the seventh to cap off their 5-3 victory.
Again, conventional wisdom said that the Orioles wouldn’t have been swept in four games this series. The law of averages would argue that they’d get at least one game. If they had, they’d still be in the wild card spot. But conventional wisdom seems to not appreciate when the Orioles invoke it. The law of averages seemingly wants nothing to do with the O’s for whatever reason.
The silver lining is that they have a team with nothing to play for in Arizona coming to town this weekend. I suspect that if they’re able to take two-of-three at least, they’ll be back in the wild card lead. At least that’s what conventional wisdom says. Then again, if they take two-of-three Detroit might just sweep Kansas City – actually putting the Birds further behind.
The series with Arizona begins this evening at Camden Yards. Yovani Gallardo will get the start, and he’ll be opposed by Shelby Miller. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
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There are some who will read this column and probably say save your time, the season is over. You may well be right. The Orioles were unable to atone for themselves at all against Boston this week. Next week’s final series’ against Toronto and New York on the road will be incredibly tough.
However here’s an absolute fact for you: if the Orioles take the attitude that the season is over, then it will be. They may as well just forfeit the rest of the games and go home. And that’s true of every team, no matter where they are in the standings. And if you know anything about this group of players, it’s that they’re all high character guys. They aren’t going to mail in the rest of the season.
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That’s not to say that they’re definitely going to claw back into the race, but they aren’t just going to give up. There are still games to be played that mean something. You’re welcome to say the season’s over, but remind yourself that if the team takes that same attitude it truly is over. Maybe that’s a lot of psychology to throw at folks, but it’s the simple truth And why is it fair to say that it’s not over and that they have a shot at this point, you ask? Because I DIDN’T HEAR NO BELL!