The Baltimore Orioles lost a close one on Sunday, losing 3-2 to Tampa Bay. Jeremy Hellickson, aka the “Stephen Strasburg of the American League”, threw for six innings and gave up only one run and three hits. The now 3-0 Rays pitcher has only given up 9 hits and 3 runs over his 3-game, 20-innings of MLB work.
Jake Arrieta, whose is now 4-4, gave up just 3 runs in his 6 innings of work. Felix Pie’s sacrifice fly allowed Luke Scott to score the tying run in the second. Jake Fox hit a homerun in the 7th, to pull Baltimore within a run. But it wasn’t enough as Tampa Bay managed to hold off the Birds in the later innings, thanks, in part, to some outstanding pitching by Tampa Bay right-hander Joaquin Benoit.
What fans can take from this game is that the O’s were trying to win. And that was something that fans noticed wasn’t happening prior to Buck Showalter taking over as Manager. Showalter pushes the Orioles to believe that they are never out of any game, as evident by the late-rally wins from last week. But this is the first series loss under the new boss. How will the team react? I’m sure that Showalter will have the team ready to try and win another series.
But, how will the fans react? After dealing with so many losing seasons, the fans shouldn’t give up on this team and say that the Birds are back to their old ways. This appears to be a minor bump in the road. Yes, this is the first 2-game losing streak under Buck. And yes, this is the first series loss under his reign. But, don’t panic! Now, if this the start of a 10-game losing streak, maybe worrying is in order. Until then, let Showalter figure out who he has on his team. Let him figure out who he wants to keep around for next year. Showalter has a history of turning teams around by year #2. And with 77 losses, Year #2 is what we, as Orioles’ fans, are waiting for anyway.