The Orioles are mired in one of the worst stretches in MLB history.
Nobody said rebuilding was going to be easy.
With a 7-2 loss to the Rays Aug. 19, the Orioles have lost 15 consecutive games — the second-longest losing streak in franchise history behind a 21-game streak from April 4-28, 1988. They were outscored 138-42 during the current skid and are the first team since 1900 to lose 15 straight games by multiple runs, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The Orioles also own the worst record in the majors at 38-82 and have clinched a fifth straight losing season.
The Orioles were swept for the fourth straight series, and they’ve been swept in a series of three games (or longer) a major-league-leading 14 times this season.
Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
“It’s not easy right now,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re not in many games and that’s hard. The one thing I was proud of the last couple years was in a lot of our losses, we made it close.”
“Just right now we’re not even in the game,” he added.
The Orioles were expected to struggle this season, but perhaps not this badly.
The team continues to evaluate players as they pursue their ultimate goal of becoming a perennial playoff contender.
There have been some bright spots.
Cedric Mullins is near the top of the American League in hitting. Rookie Ryan Mountcastle (11 games) and Jorge Mateo (10 games) extended their hitting streaks in the series finale against the Rays. Trey Mancini has been a leader in the clubhouse.
“It’s a matter of us trying not to focus on the negative and always pull positives and take it to the next day,” Mullins said. “It’s a long season. We’ve had some tough stretches and we’ve had some pretty good ones, too. It’s now trying to find that good stretch again and hold it as long as possible.”
The minor league system is now ranked second among all MLB clubs, according to Baseball America.
Hyde doesn’t want to lose sight of the big picture amid the current, historic struggles.
“All these guys have something to play for and they’ve been reminded of that and we’ve talked about it,” Hyde said. “For a variety of reasons — financial, roster, just to get an invite next year, stick on a 40-man throughout the winter. There’s a lot of reasons to — they have a lot to play for these last 40 games. I think our players are very aware of that. I don’t sense any quit.
“I don’t think you’re going to see any quit here in the last month-plus. Just because there are so many guys in there, everybody in there has something to play for toward the end of the year.”
Orioles starting pitchers have not pitched past the fifth inning in 10 consecutive games. The starters are also 0-12, allowing 63 earned runs during their past 61.2 innings.
“It’s hard,” starting pitcher Spenser Watkins said. “There’s no reason to beat around the bush. You guys know that, too. It’s hard. No one wants to lose. I don’t think anybody here wants to lose. It’s just a matter of leaning on our core group of veterans that have been through this and know how to get out of this type of stuff.”
The team has some young arms in the minors who could be late-season call-ups.
Perhaps some of these players will help provide reinforcements.
“We’re just going through a really rough time in this rebuild right now,” Hyde said. “We’re playing against teams that are postseason [contenders] and we’re a long way away and they’re playing to win and we’re trying to just do the best we can and stay positive with it.”
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