Baltimore Orioles arrive at the end of the line

Kevin Gausman did everything he could to hopefully extend the summer one more day for the Baltimore Orioles. At the very least to send the Birds and the fans into the off season on the heels of a win. But it wasn’t meant to be. Gausman’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K.

As I said, Gausman did everything that he could in this game. This was the line and the effort that I suspect the Orioles wanted to see out of Gausman on Opening Day back in April as opposed to yesterday in a meaningless game on the final day of the season. Nevertheless, he finished his season on a personal high note. And that might pay dividends going into next year.

Perhaps the most noteworthy part of Gausman’s start is that he didn’t suffer from the epidemic of going through the order once and falling apart. He was able to disguise his pitches and kept Tampa hitters off kilter for the most part. Casali’s solo homer in the fifth inning was the only run he surrendered.

And the fact is that when the bats are silent, that one run is all that’s necessary. Another hot topic this off season will be how it’s possible that great big league hitters can all go cold at the same time. And it happened at several points along the way this year. And it’s as much of a reason as to why the Orioles are now cleaning out their lockers as opposed to preparing for the post season as anything else.

After Gausman departed, Tampa really got to work. Longoria smacked an RBI-double in the eighth, followed by an RBI-single by Morrison. Later in the inning Ploufe walked with the bases loaded, followed by another bases loaded walk – this one to Casali. At the end of the day when the smoke cleared Tampa led 6-0.

And that was the final. Not just the final for the game, but the final impression of the 2017 Orioles. Kind of ironic that the big strength of this team was supposed to be the bullpen, but yet in their penultimate game they got a strong outing from a starter and the bullpen couldn’t get the job done. There’s a lot that derailed this team in 2017, not all of which was in their control. And as time goes on we’ll go over all of it until we find ourselves back in Sarasota for spring training.

And that’s all she wrote! Some seasons are good, and some lackluster such as this one. But one way or the other we made it through 162 games and we’ve now come to the end of the line. But stay with me here at THE ORANGE CRUSH, as we’ll have daily coverage of the Orioles throughout the off season.

And thanks goes out to you the fans for reading. Whether you cheered or boo’d the team, the passion of the Orioles fans is second to none. You care about your team, and you want them to succeed. As for me, I always take a few days to “digest’ the season before writing a formal season recap. But you can expect that this week.

Normally I close my game recaps by setting up the next day’s game. But this was the end of line, so there is no next day’s game. My next game recap will be in February after Opening Day of spring training. So in lieu of the pitching match up, I’ll just say that pitchers and catchers report in less than six months. And hope springs eternal!

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