Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, left, tries to catch the ball as Texas Rangers’ Will Venable (30) is hit during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. Venable was called out on the play for getting hit by a batted ball. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
The Baltimore Orioles’ chances of making the MLB playoffs remain slim to none after losing five of six games from Aug. 24-29. As of Aug. 30, the Orioles are 10 games behind in the lead for the American League East division, and 4.5 games behind for the final wild card seed.
Most pundits following the O’s expected the team to take a hit in standings following the past week. Baltimore had to take on two of the better teams in the American League, including the Kansas City Royals who are currently the top club of the AL.
The Orioles will catch a short break at the start of September with a two-game series against the Tampa Rays. Tampa has been just as inconsistent as Baltimore in performance this season and both clubs share the same record at the close of August. But the competition stiffens immediately after the series with Tampa as the Orioles will have to face the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Royals again, in that order, from Sept. 4-13. Toronto and New York are in a tight race for the AL East division crown so neither team will be willing to give up any losses to the desperate Orioles.
With those odds and approximately 30 games left in the regular season, Baltimore will need a miracle to happen if it wishes to make the postseason come October. Its shaky expecting Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez to instantly become ace pitchers, something they’ve played nothing like all season long (all three starters combined for a 27-28 win-loss record as of Aug. 30).
The batting lineup will also have to crank up the production with more timely hits and runs, something no one on the team outside of maybe Chris Davis and Manny Machado has been able to do this year.
Anything is possible with a month of baseball left so fans shouldn’t write off the O’s just yet. But the clock is ticking fast! If Baltimore is going to make magic happen, they better start now