Orioles equal franchise record with 107th loss - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles equal franchise record with 107th loss

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—Oriole fans who lived through the 0-21 start and 107 losses in 1988 were probably certain they’d never see anything that bad from this franchise again.

Thirty years later, the Orioles lost for the 107th time with 12 games still to play in this dreadful season.

Their 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night was remarkable only because manager Buck Showalter resorted to using an “opener,” a reliever who wasn’t going to pitch more than two or three innings.

Evan Phillips, who wasn’t even in the first few rounds of additions from the minor leagues this month, was chosen to start and allowed three runs in the second inning.

Sean Gilmartin, who has two major league starts to his credit, pitched a creditable 4 2/3 innings, but the Orioles’ offense produced just three singles, none after Jonathan Villar’s leadoff hit in the fourth. They were shut out for the 15th time this season.

The game was played in two hours, 16 minutes, the shortest Orioles nine-inning game since July 29, 2015. It was witnessed by an announced crowd of 8,198, the second smallest in Oriole Park history. The tiny gathering had to wait out a 30-minute rain delay at the start, and they saw another sad demonstration.

“It’s frustrating to say the least,” first baseman Chris Davis said. “Once we hit 100, it was kind of like… I don’t know, I honestly didn’t have any words for it. It was embarrassing. It was frustrating.

“It’s one of those things you never want to be associated with, but at the same time, you’ve got to learn how to turn the page and start somewhere. Why not start now? I’m not sure where we’re headed, but at some point, you’ve just got to change it up I guess.”

Davis, who is one of just six Orioles who have been active all season, sees some positive signs.

“I think you’re starting to see the team jell a little bit,” Davis said. “It’s tough. It’s tough when you have somewhat a different lineup every night. But we understand that some of these guys need to get looks and this might be the only chance they have to really get a look in big league ballgames. I think the clubhouse chemistry has always been really good. It’s always been good. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little down right now because of the loss and the way things are going.”

Showalter, who said he doesn’t look at the standings and has only a general idea of the statistical specifics of this horror show,  just plows ahead.

“I’ve got too many things, and people depending on me to do certain things between now and the end of the season,” Showalter said. “I think because it’s unpleasant to wrap around, probably I’m as guilty as anybody of staying tunnel vision every day. about what we’re trying to do what’s best.”

Phillips as opener

Showalter and pitching coach Roger McDowell tipped off Phillips Sunday that he might be starting. Phillips had started just once in his professional career, at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2017.

“It wasn’t so strange,” Phillips said. “I am familiar with starting in the past …”Preparation for the game, not a lot really changes. Just the timeline changes a little bit. And then I’d probably say the weirdest thing is going out for the anthem on the field but outside of that it’s all the same thing.”

Showalter felt fortunate to get through the game using just Phillips, Gilmartin and Cody Carroll. The Orioles still need a starter for Wednesday and might add John Means and Dillon Tate, who both threw side sessions in Sarasota, Fla., Monday.

“I’d like to go into it and win a game, but if you had told me going into it that we were going to be able to get those types of contributions from those three guys, you would have been OK with that,” Showalter said.

Sisco ailing

Showalter said that catcher Chance Sisco was in concussion protocol and still experiencing the after-effects of a lacerated chin. He didn’t offer a guess on when Sisco might be cleared to play.

Steve Wilkerson, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury, could play Tuesday or Wednesday.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. cedar

    September 18, 2018 at 4:59 am

    It hasn’t been about wins and losses for some time now. I’m not watching the standings, but instead watching the young players who are trying to make the 2019 roster. But it’s still painful to watch the team struggle as a whole.

    • Jbigle1

      September 18, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Evan Phillips has served up nothing but batting practice in the majors to date. His AAA numbers are solid so maybe there’s a chance here. Hopefully he’s not a 4A pitcher. Although he was pretty bad in the Braves org last year. Hopefuly we can get a few of these guys to stick.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 18, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Cedar, many games have been painful to watch.

  2. Ekim

    September 18, 2018 at 7:11 am

    You reap what you sow…

  3. Jbigle1

    September 18, 2018 at 7:35 am

    The only pitcher I’ve seen this year who impressed me out of our lot of minor league callups is Paul fry. The rest have been thoroughly unimpressive. Tanner Scott to a point has been impressive but he has to reign in his control if he’s ever to become an upper echelon reliever. I figure Scott, Bleier, Fry and Givens are locks for the pen. Castro too as the long man. Leaves probably 2 or 3 slots open to begin the season. I haven’t seen anything from the rest of them to have earned that. Gilmartin has been extremely fortunate. If you look at his peripherals, regresssion is coming. With 3 lefties already locked in with fry, Bleier, and Scott I can’t imagine we need to keep a fourth. That definitely works against him and Donnie hart. If Bleier has been healthy this year, I’d imagine he would’ve been sent to a contender. So maybe that’ll happen at some point in 2019.

    That probably leaves Carroll, Mike Wright Evan Phillips, Ryan meisinger, and maybe jimmy yacobonis if we give up the SP experiment to duke it out for the last couple slots. Hopefully we find something here, but it looks like another long year of the Norfolk shuttle.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 18, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Good summation here, but don’t forget Branden Kline and others who may be signed as free agents, bigle.

      • Jbigle1

        September 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm

        I figured we wouldn’t be a big player in the FA market but I suppose we could sign a few reclamation projects. I did forget Kline.

  4. deqalt

    September 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    What is most difficult to what at this point is the lack of much success from any of the “new” players. Mullins has done well, but everyone else has been bad. aka I don’t think this franchise has hit bottom yet. The Astros are the model of losing for a few years and then a dramatic turn around. The problem is this team has not drafted a George Springer, Jose Altuve, or Carlos Correra to look to the future. There are zero potential stars in any level. Obviously there a few potential pitchers, but lets be honest developing pitching not a strength. There have been plenty of single A pitchers over the years that were looked as the future and just never became much.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 18, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Deqalt, most of these guys are not the guys. They’re the guys to get you to the real guys, hopefully.

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