At the season's 81-game point, O's are on pace to obliterate franchise's loss record - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

At the season’s 81-game point, O’s are on pace to obliterate franchise’s loss record

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles have made it halfway through this season – 81 games are over – and they are a woeful 23-58.

How bad is that? Well, I’ll do the math for you.

They are on pace to finish 2018 at 46-116.

If the Orioles replicate this first half – and who wouldn’t want that to happen? – they would shatter the modern franchise’s loss total of 107 set in 1988, the year they began 0-21.

They currently have a worse record through 81 games than that 1988 squad (24-57) or the abysmal 2010 club that was 23-58 through 81.

At a 116-loss pace, the Orioles could compile the most defeats since the 2003 Detroit Tigers squad that lost 119.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

Consider that they currently have lost six in a row, the fifth time they’ve dropped at least that many consecutively this year. The Orioles have lost 16 of their last 17 at Camden Yards.

Take out Father’s Day and Mother’s Day and the Orioles haven’t won at home since David Hess’ debut in the first game of a doubleheader May 12.

Hess has pitched in eight MLB games since that quality start against the Tampa Bay Rays and, after Friday’s 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels – an outing in which Hess surrendered six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings – you have to wonder how many more starting opportunities Hess (2-5, 5.94 ERA) is going to get.

“He’s really got to command the fastball,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “If it doesn’t work out there, there’s potential for another role. But we’re looking for starters and he’s showed he can do it.”

Hess struggling is the least of this team’s problems, of course. The offense Friday scored one run on seven hits against unheralded right-hander Felix Pena and three Angels relievers.

Jonathan Schoop is now hitting .197 on the season and Chris Davis, after four hitless at-bats, is back down to .152. The Orioles had to turn to two pitchers making their big-league debuts on Friday night to get 10 outs against Mike Trout and company.

Right-hander Ryan Meisinger – who is from Calvert County and, on Friday, became the 24th native Marylander to play for the Orioles – and lefty Paul Fry did fine, allowing one run in a combined 3 1/3 innings.

There should be more of that in the second half – young, inexperienced players getting playing time. It’s something Showalter noted as a positive after another dreadful loss.

“Well, we’re gonna have some opportunities for some people that didn’t get (them),” Showalter said. “I just think people have a track record … – and I know that everybody might get tired of hearing that; sometimes you don’t play to your track record the whole season, individuals. So that’s realistic — but usually history tells you people seek it a little bit more over the long haul. I’m ready for that. I think we all are.”

The alternative is to take aim at the franchise record for losses and the top pick in the 2019 draft, which the Orioles currently have in their grasp.

Showalter refuses to wave the white flag, though. He can’t. There’s half a season left to play.

But the first half results breed little optimism for the next 81 games. At least for everyone else not in that clubhouse.

“As tough or as bad as things have been for 81 games, they can be just as good the other way around. I was talking to Jon (Schoop) about that today,” Showalter said. “You got 81 games that you struggle and now you can have 81 games that you go the other way. … There’s some really good people in that locker room and I’d really like to see them get a return for what (they’ve put into it). But you can’t will it. You can’t just hope.”

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Bman123

    June 30, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Enough evidence is in, let the fire sale begin! Machado, Jones, Brach, Britton, Valencia, Trumbo, Cobb, Cashner, etc. sell them all off except Schoop, Mancini, Bundy, Gausman, Sisco. Let’s go, already lost O’Day.

    • Baltimos687

      June 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Are we not trading Schoop because he sucks? That’s the only reason I can see. Don’t act like Mr. .197 is a building block.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      I’d make Mr. 197 and extension offer right now.

  2. deqalt

    June 30, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Dan, I know it’s early but seems realistic now. Any chance we can get a list of maybe what will be available with that top draft pick? ISsthere a superstar in the making in that 2019 draft class?

    • bigdaddydk

      June 30, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Bobby Witt, Jr. is a high ceiling SS, as is Logan Davidson. Bleacher Report currently predicts the O’s selecting Davidson, albeit way too early to be considered a lock, but I like Witt as a potential 5-tool player as his speed, power, and arm are all plus grades. Thing is, he’s a HS player while Davidson is in college. Davidson may be MLB ready sooner, but I think Witt has more potential in the long term.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Another name to watch around the top is Oregon State U catcher Adley Rutschman. But like you guys said. So early.

      • Jbigle1

        July 3, 2018 at 9:12 am

        Dear Lord, no. I really hope we don’t consider catcher.

  3. boss61

    June 30, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Good morning Dan. I’m wondering if you liked Gracie Shram, last night’s musical performer?

    Good morning everyone. I have now seen all three “pop-tarts” – what I call the young women who have performed music between the end of Friday night games and the fireworks shows. We’ve become more entertained by them than by the play on the field.

    The first one of this series – on June 1 – set the bar high. We think Elle Winter will soon be a big pop star. She sounds like Katy Parry. The 2nd one did country (she was ok, but more of a powerful voice for rock and roll in the Joan Jett / Pat Benetar mode), and last night was indie folk. Gracie Shram was mediocre at best on the Anthem, butchered This Land is Your Land but had a nice comeback with her own music – and she is a fine guitarist and wins the too-cute-for-words award too (picture Marcia Brady as a petite brunette).

    Now wasn’t that more fun than anything baseball?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Hey Boss. I loved Schram’s anthem. Thought it was way better than the other two. Was downstairs working after the game so missed her concert. But I think she is great. Funny how we can have different opinions on this. What makes us all unique I guess.

      • boss61

        June 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm

        It really is a fascinating study. in how our opinions can differ like that. I’d buy stock in Elle Winter!…

  4. Ekim

    June 30, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I follow each of the O’s minor league teams all the way down to Aberdeen, each and every day. Of all the players on all of those teams I’m not sure you could fill a roster of potential true major league talent. The cupboard is basically bare. In the quote from Showalter above, “You can’t just hope.” he hits the nail on the head… there is no hope for now… or the future… with what we have throughout the whole organization. Douchette’s philosophy of taking on other team’s rejects just does not work! The farm system does not work! NOTHING works with the O’s from Angelos on down. Money talks… just look at the Yankees and Red Sox… and the O’s don’t have it… or when they’ve “flashed” it, it was wasted. Davis, O’Day, Trumbo, Cashner, Cobb, etc. I could go on (and on) but I’ll close with one last thing… Just like with each of his other jobs, Showalter’s “schtick” doesn’t work after a while (Arizona, New York) and it’s time for a change and when he goes, take Coolbaugh & McDowell.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      My one complaint here is that they do spend money. Top half — 14th or 15th — in MLB. So I hate that argument. The not spending it wisely makes more sense. I’m with ya there.

  5. Orial

    June 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

    As much as this pains me to say– Schoop,Mancini stand atop all with the demise of this offense. We all kinda figured Davis was not gonna offer much(though maybe not this bad)but Schoop,Mancini? Wow. They were the young torchbearers going forward. Not much more to add but the pressure in that front office–it must be intense(I hope).

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Schoop has bee particularly befuddling.

    • Ekim

      July 1, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Dan… why not start with the hitting coach?

  6. 54orioles

    June 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

    As the losses continue the fans in the stands become fewer and fewer to the point that no player shows any concern about their performance I have followed the Os since 1954 and still do but it gets tougher everyday when the hope has dwindled to this point. We are left with The worst of the all other teams. We are left with the worst hitter of all hitters. We are left with the no hope of things getting better because we have the worst of the worst minor league teams. The few players we have worth trading are having terrible years, are on the DL, just off the DL, overpaid, or have no interest in staying in Baltimore.

    GO O’s

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Gosh 54. That’s not a happy post. I think you’re painting it a little bleaker than it is. But it ain’t pretty. I’m with ya there.

  7. PA Bird Lover

    June 30, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Yes, a bad first half it’s been. The sad fact is, why? Regardless how their averages and era have fallen to and the sloppy D, when you put the 25 names on paper, you wonder how this could be possible. It’s been a phenomenal first half, unfortunately though, the wrong way.

    • 54orioles

      June 30, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Basically the team as last year without Jimenez and a switch with Manny and Beckmann. Oh yeah, and the lack of motivation and teamwork. Bring back Jimenez and switch Manny and Beckman. That should do it.!

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      They spent $70+ million on pitching. The rotation is better. Everything else is much worse.

  8. HBGOSFan

    June 30, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Dan, do you think there is a breaking point with the Angelos family in regards to the front office and Buck future status?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      I’d imagine. But we haven’t seen it yet. And the Angelos Family, typically, doesn’t like to fire management within the season.

  9. Dblack2508

    June 30, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I am quoting Bill Parcells. “You are what your record says you are”. Obviously a sell off would help get the major league pipeline a lot, however unless the front office changes their overall all philosophy, then the problem will always remain.

  10. Baltimos687

    June 30, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I’ve turned down free O’s tickets and I’m not going the rest of the year. I won’t support this BS. Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter, Brady all need to go. Obviously they don’t shoulder all the blame, it’s Angelos, but that’s how the game works. Every single player outside of Bundy, Sisco and Mancini should be on the trading block. I even have my doubt this dysfunctional disaster can trade Manny. I’ve never been so ashamed of an organization. If I didn’t grow up a die hard fan, I would completely quit on them. They aren’t worth it.

    • boss61

      June 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

      It’s still baseball , which is by far the greatest spectator sport. We still have the best venue for it in the country. You can still see great plays, interesting strategies, opposing stars and guys who may turn out to be prospects. I’ve been a season plan holder since ’84 and I will renew. My approach to ticket utilization has changed as follows:

      1. I swap in all of my April and September games. I won’t risk cold weather.
      2. I’d rather attend fewer games in better seats and juggle mine around to achieve that (the base is a 13-game plan in the Terrace Box, times 4).
      3. I sell or give them away generously. My family might use half the number of tickets, if that.
      4. If the O’s are behind my more than two runs per inning left (i.e., down by more than 6 at the end of 6), we “declare vistory” and head home unless there is a special promotion like fireworks .

      With tempered expectations, it’s still a nice time.

    • 54orioles

      June 30, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      I like point 4. I use a similar one….. if the opposing team scores four runs, is. Pretty sure the Os are cooked.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 30, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      I’m with you all. And specifically with it’s still baseball. And I do love the sport.

      • boss61

        June 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm

        This, about you Dan, is what builds and keeps your following here. Kudos for what you do!

  11. Mau

    June 30, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    There is hope. That’s all there is in Baltimore. I’m glad I have the memory of a top-notch Oriole organization.

  12. Jacobs1928

    July 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Dan…some time ago I logged in and suggested that, in order for the O’s to win major changes were needed..get rid of Duquette, Showalter, Jones, Davis, trumbo
    Etc, Now, I am sorry it didn’t happen…to have the existing team in charge to make
    The deals on the pending trades really bothers me because of what they have done
    In bringing the “losers” to the team in recent years. There is not 1 recent acqusion
    That Stands out nor are the $$&payments to Davis and recent acquired pitchers
    Indications of smart management.
    I think the O’s have a very weak management system..scouts..coach’s, managers..
    Throughout the whole organization…what they get for the trades may help but in my
    Opinion the 0’s are a total long term non winning organization.Jake CHC ‘46

  13. SIXDAYWAR

    July 7, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I like round numbers…60 losses then 40 games under….its a mountain to climb but this one should be easy

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