One week later and they haven’t shown much of a pulse to prove that declaration premature. Over the past week, they’ve dropped four of six games against the Royals, Angels and Indians and they continue to fall further and further from contention as we head into the home stretch of the season. With 41 games remaining, the Red Sox sit 8.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot in the American League, 19.5 back of the Yankees in the AL East.
Barring a stunning turnaround in the final month of the season, they won’t even have a chance to repeat as World Series champions. One year removed from the most impressive season in franchise history and with a ton of carryover from that championship roster, this has been as frustrating a Red Sox season as there’s been in recent memory.
Then: August 13, 2018: 85-35, 1st in AL East, 9.5 game lead | Now: August 13, 2019: 62-59, 3rd in AL East, 19.5 games back
Better than Baltimore!
But, hey, it’s important to remember that things could always be worse. Perspective is key. Sure, the Red Sox have been infuriatingly inconsistent and unfathomable underachievers this year, but at least they’re not the Orioles?
The O’s and the Tigers have been two most miserable teams this season, barely fielding MLB-caliber teams. Baltimore has actually been marginally better than Detroit — their 39-80 record narrowly edges the Tigers’ 35-80 mark. For better or for worse (mostly for worse) Baltimore has been an entertaining team, but their greatest service is providing enough material for most other fan bases to feel good about the state of their team.
As such, with the Red Sox in dire trouble, let’s turn to the Orioles for some comedic relief. In order to feel better about a lost season in Boston, here are most notable lowlights from the 2019 Baltimore Orioles, who will be visiting Fenway this upcoming weekend.
- Chris Davis goes 0-for-54: It didn’t take long for things to get rather embarrassing in Baltimore. Chris Davis, who entered the season on the fourth year of a seven-year deal worth $161 million, started the season by setting a new major league record with a hitless streak that spanned 54 official at-bats. It was a brutal stretch, but Davis finally managed to get the monkey off his back with a base hit against…the Boston Red Sox. OK, this exercise is off to a rough start.
- This atrocious display of fielding: There have been many times this season that the Orioles have failed to look like a team worthy of Major League Baseball, but this might be their most embarrassing display of all. It came back in May during a game against the Indians.
With the bases loaded and one out, Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis grounded to second for what likely should have been a routine double-play to end the inning. At the very least, it should have resulted in one out — whether it be at second base, first base or home plate. But wait right there! For some reason, Hanser Alberto decided to field the grounder and attempt to run down Francisco Lindor between first and second, only to throw to first base before tagging Lindor. It was too late to record the out at first, and first baseman Chris Davis doubled-down on the stupid by also attempting to run down Lindor before ditching that plan to throw home, where the throw was too late…again! It was a whole concoction of idiocy, and it resulted in exactly zero outs.
- Chris Davis goes after manager: Speaking of Davis, remember last week when he tried to fight manager Brandon Hyde in the dugout during a game at Camden Yards? That was great. Turns out he failed to pick up any hits during that incident as well.
- DJ Stewart suffers concussion after misplay: Earlier this month, Orioles outfielder DJ Stewart misplayed a fly ball to an astounding degree. He attempted to make a sliding catch but horribly mistimed the head-first slide, and he was left in a vulnerable position as the ball plummeted to earth and ricocheted off the side of his head. While certainly a humorous blooper to watch, Stewart unfortunately suffered a concussion as a result of the play, which means we now have to feel a little guilty over laughing at this.
- Seven position players toe the rubber: The Orioles have been so bad this year that they’ve called on seven different position players to take the mound over the course of this season, mainly late in blowouts. To put things in perspective, the club had only used nine position players on the mound since moving to Baltimore in 1954. To be fair, though, position players pitching is one of the more entertaining spectacles in baseball, and the Orioles made a little bit of history this year when they got the first position player save in MLB history. That honor went to Stevie Wilkerson, who has made four appearances this season, as he shut down the Angels in the bottom of the 16th inning in a game in late July.
- A 23-2 loss: In a season full of lows, the Orioles lowest low came this past weekend when they suffered a 23-2 loss at the hands of the Astros. Houston set franchise records in runs and extra base hits (13) and tied the franchise mark for hits in a game (25). They also blasted six home runs off Baltimore. It was a bloodbath. The Red Sox haven’t even lost by double-digits once this season, baby.
- All those home runs: As of Tuesday, the Orioles have given up 248 home runs this season. That number sets a new American League record and it only took 119 games to get there. Baltimore is just 20 HRs shy of tying the MLB record for most dingers given up in a season (268, set by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds) and the Orioles still have 43 games left to play. History, here we come!
If you’re not a fan of completely ignoring the Red Sox current troubles. here are some wonderful notes for you.
- Price, Chavis head to IL: David Price was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a “triangular fibrocartilage complex cyst” in his left wrist. Not really even sure what that means, but he’ll reportedly be shelved until late August at the very least. Chris Sale bounced back with a gem against the Angels over the weekend (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) but you have to wonder if the Sox might consider shutting both he and Price down for good if things don’t get any less ugly soon. Michael Chavis also hit the 10-day IL with a sprained AC joint and he’s projected to miss three or four weeks.
- Cashner goes to bullpen: Alex Cora announced this week that Andrew Cashner was being moved to the bullpen, which makes a lot of sense considering Cashner has been one the worst starters in the AL since arriving in Boston via trade with the Orioles. In six starts with the Sox, Cashner has pitched just over 30 innings and has an ERA of 8.01. That comes after he posted a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA over 17 starts with Baltimore. At least he’s fitting right in!
The Red Sox will finish up a three-game set in Cleveland before coming back home to Fenway to meet — who else? — the Orioles. After three games against Baltimore, they’ll have an off-day Monday before hosting the Phillies for two games.