It’s pretty ridiculous, really.
These Orioles can only hit the home run ball. And it’s going to be their undoing. We all know it. Ultimately, anyway.
They were 1-for-9 Wednesday with runners in scoring position, with what seemed like 37 strikeouts in those nine at-bats.
They were done, history. They were again losing to the rival Toronto Blue Jays, who were about to hammer another nail in the Orioles’ playoff coffin.
There was no way this team, which completely forgot how to score about the time they started getting decent pitching, was headed to the postseason, right?
And then Mark Trumbo hit a solo homer in the eighth to close within one, 2-1.
And then Jonathan Schoop, in a terrible slump, singles in the ninth. And pinch-runner Michael Bourn steals second, to get the tying run 180 feet from home with pinch-hitter Hyun Soo Kim, the Orioles’ best contact hitter, up.
A well-placed single and the game is tied.
So what does Kim do? He battles through eight pitches and then homers into the visiting bullpen.
The Orioles take the 3-2 lead in the ninth and then Zach Britton shuts the door again, his 47th save in 47 chances.
Suddenly, the Orioles are now just one game behind the Blue Jays for the AL Wild Card spot again with the final game between the two clubs Thursday.
The Orioles won thanks to just the sixth home run of the season – and the sixth pinch-hit in nine at-bats — by a guy who made the Opening Day roster only because he was contractually obligated. Seriously.
This club is frustrating. This offense is one-dimensional.
This team relies too much on its bullpen and its power.
Yet, once again, this team isn’t dead.
In fact, it may have just experienced its best, and most meaningful, win of the year.