Orioles mathematically eliminated from postseason in blowout loss to Cleveland - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Paul Folkemer

Orioles mathematically eliminated from postseason in blowout loss to Cleveland

For all the glass-half-full Orioles’ fans hoping for a 2018 miracle, it’s time to give up the dream.

The Orioles made official on Sunday what has been unofficially clear for months: they won’t be contending for the postseason this year.

Try to contain your surprise.

With the Orioles’ ugly 8-0 loss in the series finale in Cleveland on Sunday, they’ve been mathematically eliminated. The defeat dropped them to 37-87, so even if the Orioles went on a 38-game winning streak to close their season schedule, they’d top out at 75 victories.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have already exceeded that win mark. In the AL West, at least two of three contenders — the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners — are certain to finish with at least 76 wins based on their remaining head-to-head schedules. As a result, both wild-card spots are mathematically out of the Orioles’ reach.

The occasion, of course, was a mere formality for the Orioles, who continue to hold the worst record in the major leagues.

Sunday’s loss was a fitting example of how awful the club has been in nearly every facet of the game this year. The Orioles’ pitching staff was torched for eight runs, seven of them surrendered by starter Yefry Ramirez, who allowed 13 baserunners (including five walks and a hit batsman) and recorded only nine outs.

Ramirez has a 6.49 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) this season, and has yet to pitch more than five innings in any of them. Even for a club that’s fully committed to a rebuild, the Orioles might not want to keep Ramirez in the rotation for much longer, especially when there are other candidates (including John Means, Josh Rogers and Luis Ortiz) putting up strong cases at Triple-A Norfolk.

Even a quality outing might not have been enough Sunday, because the Orioles were shut out for the 11th time this season, failing to capitalize on early scoring opportunities after putting the leadoff man aboard in each of the first four innings. The Orioles also continued their season-long defensive struggles, committing two errors (one apiece by Craig Gentry and Jonathan Villar). Even the Orioles’ baserunning failed them — Villar was picked off first in the first inning to snuff a potential rally.


Adding injury to insult, designated hitter Mark Trumbo — the Orioles’ leader in OPS (on-base plus slugging) and co-leader in home runs — left the game early with inflammation in his right knee, which has bothered him sporadically this season. Trumbo is likely headed for the disabled list. Not only does that further thin out the Orioles’ lineup, but any hope of completing an August waiver trade involving Trumbo (which was already a long shot) has evaporated.

That’s not to say the Orioles’ weekend in Cleveland was a total loss. Alex Cobb delivered one of the club’s most memorable pitching performances of the season with his complete-game victory Saturday, going the distance for the first time since 2013. Cobb continued a second-half resurgence in which he has posted a 2.14 ERA in his last seven outings, throwing six quality starts in that span.

Several Orioles’ youngsters stepped up, too. Center fielder Cedric Mullins adapted well to the leadoff spot, reaching base five times in the final two games of the series to boost his on-base percentage to .457.

Rookie right-hander David Hess delivered his first quality start since June 7 with a strong, six-inning, two-run performance in Friday’s opener. In the bullpen, Ryan Meisinger, Tanner Scott, Cody Carroll and Paul Fry — all of them 25 or younger — combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings on Sunday.

Those kinds of positive performances from their young players are what the Orioles need to see during the final month and a half of this lost season. The club is in evaluation mode, sifting through its stockpile of youngsters to determine which ones could play a role on the next successful Orioles’ team.

The future, the Orioles hope, is bright — because the present is anything but.

And now, even the math can’t save them.



  1. Orial

    August 20, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Ramirez is definitely not exactly grasping the proverbial Golden Opportunity. Record is insignificant now. Going against the grain–all about individual opportunities(who ever thought that would be said). Curious as to what’s your take on Villar. Defensively,striking out,is he a long term keeper?

    • Paul Folkemer

      August 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I’ve been impressed with Villar so far. He’s a good fit offensively. He and Mullins are bringing some speed into a lineup that doesn’t have much of it otherwise. And Villar has looked pretty solid defensively, yesterday’s error notwithstanding.

      He’s a FA after the 2020 season, so I’m not sure he’ll still be here for the next winning Orioles team, but if he keeps playing well the O’s could explore flipping him in a trade in the next year or two.

      • boss61

        August 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        The whole concept of flipping middling performing guys when they have value, because they will not still be here when the club again contends, is something that really needs to be considered for almost everyone. Bundy, Mancini and Joseph come immediately to mind.

        • Jbigle1

          August 20, 2018 at 10:23 pm

          Joseph is a zero value player. That’d just be a dump off. I have a hard time dealing Mancini and bundy when their values are this low also. It doesn’t hurt to see if they can rebound. The market for Mancini types isn’t very strong and especially not when he’s playing the way he is. No competitive team is playing him in left field.

  2. TD Tom

    August 20, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I must say the timeliness and knowing the 8-0 loss to Cleveland eliminated the Orioles, completely, is great. If Baltimore would’ve won Sunday then: either a SEA win or both an OAK win & LAA win would of sufficed. The networks on TV and other outlets haven’t acknowledged it yet… Super… this is the only page with an article about it.

  3. deqalt

    August 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    I think we need to be cautious about Villar. Beckham looked all world last year.

    • Jbigle1

      August 20, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      99% of Guys who K 30% of the time are going to be very volatile. There’s just no way around it. Villar is just holding a spot for the next 2B. He certainly won’t be around when the orioles play competitive ball.

  4. 54orioles

    August 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    So what, the O’s were eliminated when O’s management let Manny call the shots on where he would play. That is when TEAM CONCEPT was mathematically eliminated. In some ways we out Manny a big thank you. Once he was placed in charged it force the O’s to begin the purge.

  5. Ekim

    August 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    So now that we’re “officially” eliminated, why is Douch ett, pulling more rejects from the waiver wire rather than give some of the kids a look? This whole Oriole concept (waiver… rule 5) is a disaster! By drafting this guy, Andreoli, who’s played in a total of 5 major league games after being drafted in 2011, is a slap in the face to guys who’ve been in the O’s system. The organization is a joke. Like I’ve written in prior posts, I was there for the “Amazins” (Mets) in the beginning who were the laughingstock of baseball but no one expected them to do anything and they didn’t disappoint. But what the O’s put on the field and charge money for is a crime. What they should do for the rest of the season is to refund the money to the season ticket holders and let anyone who wants to watch low A type baseball in for free.

    • Jbigle1

      August 20, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Andreoli is a high OBP guy. Orioles need more of that and less of strikeout city players that you find up and down the lineup. We’ve given Joey Rickard plenty of time to play. Mullins is up. Hays and Santander haven’t earned a call up. I’m sure we’ll see Stewart in September. We aren’t stacked w talent in AAA begging for a call up. Gotta take a chance on a guy like Andreoli. He’s likely a zero too but it doesn’t hurt anything to try. We already know what jace Peterson and Joey rickard bring

      • Borg

        August 21, 2018 at 6:23 am

        It’s possible Andreoli is just a AAAA filler-type to round out the Tides roster. I don’t see a player who is already 28 and hasn’t cracked the majors (to me 5 ABs doesn’t count) as anyone to be seen as part of a rebuild. I also question what the point of trading Schoop for Villar was–if Villar is gone after 2020 and won’t be part of the rebuild, Schoop went for less than he should have, unless the other players in that deal pan out.
        I still can’t figure out why Showalter is left in charge of all of this auditioning unless he is going to be the next manager. If he is, then sign him now so people on the club know where they stand. If he isn’t, then they are auditioning for the wrong guy. I don’t understand playing Joseph over Winns-just the other day Showalter said Winns was going to play more so he could “keep him in the flow” and then he turns around and starts Joseph 3 of the last 4 games. Add that to the fact that Showalter has no clue how to develop pitchers (up and down to the minors after every bad performance) or anyone else for that matter and he doesn’t look like the guy for a rebuild. I think he is the guy to take over a veteran club who isn’t making the next step and can change that so they are playoff contenders at least, but for developing players he’s not the one they need.

  6. Jbigle1

    August 20, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Yefry isn’t going to cut it. Hess and Ramirez aren’t ML starters. It’d be nice to see Rogers and Ortiz get a few starts before the year runs out and see what we may have there. What’s your take on Schoop? If the brewers actually non tender him this offseason do you think a reunion is possible? I wouldn’t mind seeing him hit again and grabbing another couple prospects from another team.

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