Baltimore Orioles fall out of playoff contention

In my season preview I predicted that the Baltimore Orioles would at the very least be in playoff contention until the end of the season. At the end of the day, I was technically right – however with last night’s 9-6 loss, the Orioles were officially eliminated from the playoff picture. With one week to go in the season, the O’s are now playing for pride.

Jeremy Hellickson was tagged with the loss, however he pitched a quality start and put the O’s in a position to win. Hellickson’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K. I mentioned this yesterday, however Hellickson seemed to fit the mold of making it through the order once, and then having some trouble. There’s something that Oriole pitchers are doing which is easily picked up by other teams, as once they’ve gone through the order once they seem to figure them out.

The Birds got on the board first as Schoop scored after Adam Jones‘ single. Both runners were allowed to advance after a two-base error. And that lead stood up for a couple of innings until the third, when another Oriole bugaboo popped up. The Birds have seemingly let their guard down all year it seems when they seem on the verge of getting out of an inning or an at-bat. With two outs in the third, Hellickson allowed a base hit. And then another…

…and then he allowed Duda to have a fairly epic at-bat, working the count full, and he then smacked a three-run homer. And that’s what Tampa’s done to teams’ pitching for years. They wear out your pitching and eventually they give in and throw a pitch that Tampa wants. And that’s how they win.

Tampa would put up two further runs in the seventh, and four in the ninth. They just don’t quit, until that third out in the inning is made. And yes, that’s to their credit. However from the Orioles’ perspective it has to be frustrating to play against.

But the O’s did show some fight in the last of the ninth. Welington Castillo‘s RBI-double cut the lead to 9-2. Austin Hays added a two-RBI double, and Manny Machado an RBI-single – as did Chris Davis. At the end of the day however, while the Birds had the tying run on base in the ninth, it goes as a loss. And one that guaranteed that the Orioles’ season would end next Sunday at that.

The Orioles will attempt to split the series with Tampa, in the final game at Camden Yards this year. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Chris Archer. Game time is set for just after 1:30.

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