What a strange week it was for Birdland. Entered the week on a high, Tillman was lights out to finish off the Tigers, to build a 2 game lead and tie the Jays for the top wild card spot. The O’s were 2 games back of the Red Sox and headed to Fenway. Then the roller coaster that began the week before came through the start and took off faster than last time. We all know what happened, Wade Miley making us wish we had Wade Wilson, Bundy struggling through some command issues but getting the run support Gausman never has. Then we were treated to the duelling pitchers that were Gausman and Porcello, with Porcello making the only big mistake by serving one up to Trumbo. For Gausman it was without a doubt his best outing of the season.
They rode high, 2-3 from the Sox in Fenway?! Headed home to face Tampa for 4? Could you have dreamed up a better scenario? Oh we Gallardo, Jiménez, and Miley starting? Well, who would’ve thought that Miley would have the best start of the series? The emotions we’re all over the place; up, down, and confused by not really knowing how to react to Wade Miley going 4 scoreless innings and being saddened by him leaving the game.
It was shocking, and having lost 2 of the first 3 I was concerned about what it would look like as Boston came to town on Monday. But let’s look back a little bit, Tampa just took 3 of 4 in Toronto. Toronto is not an easy place to win, it’s a loud stadium and the Jays are undeniably a good team. Tampa also has been noted are ‘free swingers’, much like the Orioles, living and dying off the long ball. The worrying part for the Orioles came when they couldn’t cash in Thursday night. Twice they had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, and 1st and 3rd with one out down 1 in the bottom of the 9th. No runs. The frustration level was at the max.
A series split, combined with an implosion by the Blue Jays, and Yankees, and the Orioles are sitting in a good spot.
Starting with the Tigers series (which seems like so long ago), the common notion has been that every series was a “must win”. Well a win there, a series win in Boston, and a split with the Rays have the Orioles 3 back in the division. It may require a monumental feat to win the division. A series win this week still only gets the Orioles within 1. The Red Sox have been hot there’s no denying it (11-5 in September), they head to Tampa, and Yankee Stadium, before finishing off with the Blue Jays after the 4 game set here, there might not be anything the Orioles can do.
The roller coaster is sure to continue this week with Boston and then Arizona at OPACY.