The Orioles have been a streaky club for the entire season.
In stretches, that’s played to their benefit as they’ve won at least three games in a row three times this season. The problem is, they’ve lost at least three games in a row four times this season, as the latest stretch likely ended whatever chance of a playoff berth they had.
In a 2-1 extra-inning loss to the Yankees, the Orioles fell to 20-25 and, more importantly, four and a half games behind the Yankees with just 15 games to play.
The odds for a playoff run, which weren’t high to begin the series, have since cratered. Even with a series finale tomorrow to cap the four-game set, the Orioles appear to have blown their best chance at staying competitive for the final two weeks of the season.
"I think I speak for everyone, we’re not happy about losing or anything like that," starter Dean Kremer said. "Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it’ll turn around."
While Friday’s doubleheader was won by way of two blowouts, the Orioles hung close for the entirety of Saturday’s game.
Kremer, making his second start of his career, threw five innings and allowed just four hits and a single run. He walked three and struck out seven on 99 pitches. The problem was, he got no offensive support.
The Orioles had just four hits, two of which came from Ryan Mountcastle, as they couldn’t put runners on base all afternoon.
In extra innings, a wild pitch by Hunter Harvey and a sacrifice fly ended things just as soon as they started, as the Orioles fell even further out of the playoff conversation.
“We’ve just got to be able to score some runs,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We faced two really good starters yesterday. Today, we just chased way too much outside the strike zone. That’s why we’re streaky, is because pitchers are throwing strikes to us, we’re aggressive and we’ll have good nights like we did in Citi Field. Here, we’re leaving the zone too often and placing way too much pressure on our pitching staff.”
Baltimore has one more game against New York on Sunday, but even with a win it might be too late to make anything of the final few weeks of the season.
The Orioles entered the series against the Yankees, the divisional favorites at the start of the season, just a game-and-a-half out of a playoff spot. Since then, they’ve scored just two runs in three games and have almost certainly taken themselves out of a playoff hunt.
“We’ve gone through stretches where we’re really swinging the ball well, really well, and we have moments when we’re not,” Hyde said. “It’s a streaky group. Hopefully we’re going to break out of this and do what we did most of the year, which was put pressure on defense and score runs.”