The Baltimore Orioles continue to miss opportunities to gain ground in the race to make the American League playoffs.
Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones, right, slides in for a double as Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella takes a late throw during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
It remains a long shot for Baltimore to win the AL East; they trail the division-leading New York Yankees by five games as of Aug. 9, a huge gap for a Baltimore club that hasn’t been able to put together a string of consecutive victories since a six-game winning streak back in June.
The Orioles’ best chance at reaching the postseason would be via a Wild Card berth. But Baltimore has struggled to keep up in that race, too. They trail the Los Angeles Angels by two games for the final spot, even after shutting out the Angels, 5-0, on Aug. 8.
Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez had perhaps his best performance of the season in that shutout, allowing just two hits while lasting eight full innings. Baltimore
Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado hits a solo home run as Los Angeles Angels catcher Carlos Perez watches during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
will need more performances like that from Jimenez, who has been the Orioles’ most consistent pitcher this season. Jimenez fell into a bit of a funk over the last few weeks of play, so it was refreshing to see him back in a groove.
He and the rest of the Orioles starting rotation will be relied upon more, especially now that the bullpen is one man lighter following the release of right-hander Bud Norris, who struggled all season. Norris went 2-9 in 11 starts before he was demoted to the bullpen, where his problems continued. Norris was a quality contributor to the Orioles’ division title last year, but he wasn’t the same player this season.
But then, no one on Baltimore’s roster seems to be playing with the same efficiency this season, which is reflected in the team’s standing. There’s still approximately 50 games left for the Orioles to turn things around. They just have to stop blowing every chance they get before those opportunities run out.