Baltimore Orioles: Can teams get stale?
The lone bright spot for the Baltimore Orioles yesterday in the Bronx was the fact that Austin Hays launched his first big league homer. There isn’t much else to say. Jeremy Hellickson was ineffective at best, setting the tone for another blowout New York win. Hellickson’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 3 K.
Hellickson in essence made it through the order once unscathed, but after that he wasn’t fooling anyone. With two outs in the third, he walked two batters, bringing Gregorius to the plate. And he launched a three-run homer. New York never looked back for the most part.
The good news for the Orioles (if there is any) is that they made the New York bullpen work in the ninth inning. Often times that bodes well moving into the next day’s game, especially when it’s an early afternoon game like today. However in September that isn’t as much of a truth, as teams’ rosters have expanded to 40 men.
Hays’ homer came following a Hardy walk, and it cut the New York lead to 9-2. Beckham would later score on a balk with the bases loaded, running the final to 9-3. This was the Birds’ third straight loss in the Bronx.
At the beginning of the season I was telling people that the Orioles were a veteran team, and that they would get it together. This as opposed to New York, who was a young team. My point was that a team who’s been there before in terms of a pennant chase is generally going to not be blinded by the bright lights in a sense. I still believe that, for the record – in general.
Obviously what we’ve seen is the exact opposite happening. The Orioles seemed to wear down as time went on, and teams such as New York got stronger. My personal opinion is that I’d take a veteran team over a group of young guys any day. I like players who are battle-tested and who have been there before. But is that not fashionable any longer?
I’m not suggesting that the Orioles aren’t trying to win games, and I’m not suggesting that they were the ones blinded by the bright lights of a pennant race. But sometimes teams wear down. And the fact that Trey Mancini‘s had such a good season AND the fact that younger players such as Austin Hays performed well in last night’s game (at the end) is probably evidence of that. Mancini’s the one Orioles regular who doesn’t seem to have worn down.
Meanwhile, you have a group of young upstarts in places such as New York who have been together all year. And they’re galvanized at this point in the season. It happens.