News Archives: August 2001

August 14
Six weeks left.

After a week which saw the Orioles win almost as many games (four) as they won in all of July (six), winning consecutive games for the first time since June 27-29, the Orioles have moved way up in the standings, from 27th place to a three way tie for 24th:

  AL EAST         WON  LOST  PCT  GB
  Orioles          49   69  .415  --
  Expos            49   69  .415  --
  Tigers           48   68  .414  --
  Reds             48   69  .414   .5
  Royals           48   70  .407   1
  Pirates          45   72  .388   3.5
  Devil Rays       42   77  .347   7.5  

Scarily enough, though, the Orioles have played the easy part of their schedule. Of their 44 remaining games, 15 are against sub-.500 teams (3 vs. KC, 3 vs. Tampa, 9 vs. Toronto), and 29 against playoff contenders (11 vs. Boston, and 6 each vs. New York, Oakland, and Seattle.) Not that this really matters for anything, but it would be nice not to finish as the worst team in baseball.

August 6
Jays sweep Os; Gibbons may be seriously hurt?

On Sunday, the Orioles scored twice as many runs against the Blue Jays as they had the previous two days combined. Unfortunately, some quick math will tell you that it still wasn't a very impressive showing. Okay, in case Syd Thrift is reading, we'll help you out: that's four runs. Four runs might be a remarkable accomplishment for the Orioles, but it's not something to be proud of. Baltimore actually managed 11 hits -- but 8 of them were singles, and none were home runs. (Contrast that with Toronto's nine hits -- only four singles, and 3 home runs.) Starter Josh Towers dug the Orioles a hole they couldn't get out of. A normal team could have; Towers only allowed 5 runs. But the Orioles fell short, and lost 5-4, resulting in a three game sweep by the Blue Jays.

Four in a row and 25 of their last 31. That's the current losing streak. The last time that they won as many as two in a row was June 28-29.

Standings     W    L     GB

Baltimore    45   67    ---

Kansas City  44   67      1/2

Pittsburgh   43   67    1

Tampa Bay    37   74    7 1/2

And the Orioles did nothing at the trading deadline, as we explore in our Bricks From The Warehouse entry, Is that all there is? So it doesn't look like things are going to get better anytime soon.

August 5
Orioles don't hit, lose yet again; also may lose Gibbons

For many years, the Orioles' glory years of roughly 1960-1984, the Orioles were a strong offensive and defensive team. When they fell apart in the mid-late 1980s, they had strong offenses but their pitching stunk. It was frustrating to see bunches of runs wasted by pitchers who couldn't throw strikes or keep the ball in the park. But now, it's just as frustrating to see the opposite. The Orioles have been getting great pitching, but it has been wasted by a completely inept offense. Still, there's a difference between inept and nonexistent -- and the Orioles have been moving more and more towards that last characterization in the past month. Oh, don't mistake us, they don't always get great pitching. There's always Jose Mercedes. But even when they do, they tend to squander it. Take Saturday's game. (Please.) On Saturday, Sidney Ponson pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk. Unfortunately, for the second day in a row, the Orioles' "offense" managed just four hits and one run. Yes, one run is less than two runs, so the Orioles lost. The game started on a good note, as Brady Anderson tripled and Melvin Mora sacrifice-flied him in. And then the Orioles got two more hits (but no runs). But that was it. Just one more hit all game. And so Toronto won, 2-1.

The losing is beyond ludicruous now. This team was obviously not as good as the team that played near .500 for the first couple of months of the season -- but they're not this bad, either. Nobody is. Now, they've lost 3 in a row and 24 of their last 30. They haven't had so much as a two game winning streak in over a month. Only three teams -- Tampa, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh -- have worse records. They're 22 1/2 games out of first and 21 games under .500. And the Orioles did nothing at the trading deadline, as we explore in our Bricks From The Warehouse entry, Is that all there is? Are you depressed yet? Look on the bright side: at least you still have your health.

© 2001 The Orioles Warehouse
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Last Updated: August 15, 2001