Momentum can be a cruel son of a bitch, and when things aren’t rolling in your direction, the absurd often finds its way of occurring to further set you back.
For the Orioles these past few days, the moons of the universe have seemingly aligned in a way to cause great havoc on their young season, determined to undo all of their good during the first three weeks.
These Orioles, however, are a fighting bunch, as we’ve been so privileged to see time and time again since the 2012 revival. Therefore it comes as no surprise to see them overcome the most ridiculous, unfair, and at times absurd happenings these past few days, as the team continues to challenge for the division lead, currently owning a healthy 18-10 record.
The four-day trip to Boston was a nightmare, where among other things, the team was forced to overcome racist remarks, projectiles being launched from the stands onto the field, atrocious umpiring decisions, and pitching which, quite frankly, seemed at times only intended to cause physical damage – case in point Chris Sale.
Buck Showalter summed it up perfectly when he said, “We keep trying to do the right thing, and we keep getting screwed.” Fair comments from a very frustrated manager who was being let down by both MLB and the umpires appointed to ensure a fair and equitable contest.
Following the racial vilification and targeted physical abuse at Adam Jones early in the series, Manny Machado was then (in the views of many) deliberately thrown at by the increasingly peculiar and erratic Chris Sale. Not only did Machado have to deal with this, he was also subjected to a continuing chorus of boos channeled his way from the foul-mouthed Red Sox faithful. On Wednesday night, a 77mph curve ball, which clearly slipped from Kevin Gausman’s hand in the second inning, was deemed to be a deliberate attempt to plunk Xander Bogaerts in the hip and with that Gausman was ejected from the game, leaving the Orioles’ already over-worked bullpen in dire straights – so much so Thursday original night’s starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, was required to finish the game. Adam Jones was also tossed that night after voicing his opinion at even more poor umpiring. With the bullpen exhausted and the rotation needing to be changed, the Orioles had to make some unplanned roster moves which ultimately left Tyler Wilson taking the mound on Thursday.
Despite all of the setbacks in Boston though, the team grinded out two wins to split the four-game series. The character this showed was immense.
As if the setbacks in Boston weren’t enough, in the series opener last night against the White Sox, before the first inning had even come to an end, starter Wade Miley’s night had ended. After recording just two outs, Miley was struck by consecutive line drives – one in the arm and one in the thigh – which resulted in him leaving the game far earlier than expected. With the bullpen yet http://acheterdufrance.com/ again set to be challenged, Gabriel Ynoa stepped up and pitched six scoreless innings as the Orioles eventually went on to win 4-2.
Despite all the setbacks of the past five days, the team had won three of five games and maintained their impressive record. Had they instead capitulated, as many other less-hardened teams would have done, they’d have lost significant ground to the division leading Yankees and fallen back into the mix of the chasing pack.
Throughout the gruelling 162 game regular season, a team’s ability to maintain parity – or better – through the most trying of times is crucial. In the case of the Orioles these past five days, not much more could have gone wrong than what has. Having dealt with that impressively, they’re now set up to push the advantage when that momentum finally turns their way.