It is becoming increasingly impossible to figure out the Baltimore Orioles.

New York Yankees’ Starlin Castro, right, steals second base in front of a throw to Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy during the third inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

A team that was once the front-runners to win the American East with a comfortable lead over the division at All-Star break has become a team barely holding onto the final wildcard seed in the hunt for the playoffs. With a 70-59 record, Baltimore would squeeze into the playoffs if the season ended today. But the Detroit Tigers are right on their backs with a 69-60 record and the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners are not too far behind, both sitting at 68-61.

The Orioles appeared back on track, winning three straight games against the Washington Nationals Aug. 22-24. Washington (75-54) is a very good team so to beat them was very impressive. But then Baltimore turned around and lost two straight games to a bad team like the New York Yankees (67-61) Aug. 26-27. As soon as they got themselves out of a hole, they dug another. Incredible.

Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones watches his hit for a double off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, considered a saving grace for the Orioles’ inconsistent starting pitcher rotation, was no good in Baltimore’s 13-5 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. Bundy surrendered seven hits and five earned runs in only four innings pitched. Yovani Gallardo was down right awful in his start against the Yankees on Friday, giving up six hits and eight runs in less than two full innings pitched in a 14-4 loss.

The Orioles’ batters weren’t at their best during the last two losses to New York, but even if they were, would it have made much of a difference? Hard to win games when you’re giving up 13 or 14 runs in a game.

Losing to a team like the Yankees during the final stretch of a season is nothing but bad news, especially when you’re in a tight race for the playoffs. It’s one thing to lose to good teams, but there’s no explaining getting blown out by teams that are seven games behind for the lead in the division.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor