Not much has changed over the last two week for the Baltimore Orioles when it comes to the playoff hunt.
With an 84-71 record as of Sept. 25, Baltimore still clings to the final wild card seed of the American League playoffs. And the Orioles are barely holding this spot with the Detroit Tigers breathing down their necks with an 83-71 record.
Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado follows through on a double against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept.25, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Back-to-back wins over the Arizona Diamondbacks Sept. 23-24 came right on time for Baltimore, who needed both victories to keep ahead of the Tigers. Starting pitcher Wade Miley had one of his best games on the mound in the 6-1 win over Arizona on Saturday. He threw 11 strikeouts and didn’t allow a run until late in the ninth inning. Mark Trumbo also hit his 45th home run in that game. Trumbo also nailed a home run in Friday night’s 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.
But the only reason the Orioles are stuck fighting for a wildcard seed is because of their poor play earlier last week. Baltimore had a chance to gain ground on the Boston Red Sox, which leads the AL East division, when they faced Boston in a four-game series Sept. 19-22, but was swept, losing all four games. The four losses gave Boston a seven-game lead over the division, making it virtually impossible for the Orioles to win the division at this point.
Now Baltimore must focus on simply maintaining a wildcard seed. They face the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series from Sept. 27-29. Toronto currently holds the first wildcard seed with a 85-69 record. If the Oriole can have success in this series, they can show the Blue Jays they’ll be ready for them once the wildcard round begins.