The Orioles are officially eliminated from the playoff race. They can still finish with a winning record, but they need one more victory.
They’ve failed in their last six attempts, losing tonight to the Blue Jays 3-2 in 10 innings.
One year after finally get back to the postseason, the Orioles will be home in October.
“A time like right now, that’s probably one of those reflective things that I’m not probably real good at right now,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I understand the math of it. I understand you’ve got to ask that question. I probably won’t reflect on it properly right now. You could ask me that tomorrow and I might have a better answer for it. It’s a huge disappointment for us, to say the least.
“It’s a lot of close games. There’s some things we did well and some things we didn’t. There’s a lot of good baseball ahead for this team and this organization. Tonight was a call here and there, a great pitch that the baseball gods didn’t shine on us. They got a couple that found holes and we had some situations where we could have expanded the lead and we didn’t. There were a lot of good things that went on, but it’s tough to dwell on it too much right now because we understand what the finished product was supposed to be, and it wasn’t tonight. And they’ll be playing games when we want to play them.”
The call that went against the Orioles occurred in the 10th when Francisco Rodriguez appeared to pick off Jose Reyes at second. Umpire Gerry Davis ruled that Brian Roberts missed the tag.
“I can’t tell from the dugout,” Showalter said. “I’ve watched two or three replays. Obviously, the ball beat him by a good ways. I’ve seen two or three replays. You know, there’s a lot of other things in the game. I can’t definitively tell from any of them. I’m sure you’ve all looked at the same ones. But Gerry’s a veteran umpire and he’s trying to get it right. It’s unfortunate.”
So was the bloop single by Mark DeRosa off Brian Matusz in the eighth that tied the game.
“I think what hurt us was the grenade again over first base,” Showalter said. “Matusz makes a great pitch. Same thing happened in Tampa. Made some great pitches and they flared them in there. And then Nicky (Markakis) hits a ball right on the button right at where somebody’s standing. This game’s not always fair. Certainly not right now for our guys.”
Chris Tillman was denied his 17th win, but he exceeded 200 innings for the first time in his career.
“Good again,” Showalter said. “I’m very proud of Tillman. He reached 200 innings tonight and that doesn’t go unnoticed. That’s quite a feat in today’s game, especially a young guy like him. We depended so much on him over the year and he very seldom disappoints. I’m real proud of him and what he’s accomplished this season. It’s a great milestone for a young pitcher to be somebody that his teammates can count on to take you deep in a game. He’s been pretty consistent.
“That’s hopefully a good sign of things to come. Tilly’s been solid all year and he’s really graduated to a guy who people can count on. I wish I could come up with a better word than ‘proud’ but that really sums it up. He put a lot into being a guy we can count on.”
Manny Machado watched the game from the dugout and received a loud ovation from fans when his image appeared on the big video screen in center field.
“I talked to him,” Showalter said. “I know he’s a lot more upbeat today than he was last night at this time, and even as the day wore on and we got some of the tests back. It’s still a challenging road ahead of him, but we feel a lot better about him getting back to where we need him to be.
“It’s been a long day for him, a long night, for him and his family. He was going to play baseball for the Orioles again regardless. It’s just a matter of when, and we feel a lot better about him being able to play at the level that he’s done so well. He’s as upbeat as a young man can be considering what was potentially there for him. We’ve got some roads to cross with that yet. I don’t think anybody is assuming that we’re out of the...
“I think he’s going to get another opinion just to be sure before we proceed with the rehab, the appropriate rehab. And we’ve got to make a decision in the next three or four weeks if there needs to be something in there to tighten up or not, but I’ll leave that to the proper people’s hands that do it for a living.”
Machado was seen smiling and joking to teammates, a much different image than the one burned in our minds as he writhed in pain after his left knee buckled at Tropicana Field. It was important for him to get back with his teammates, to be visible in the dugout.
“In all honesty, I think it’s good for the organization and our fans in general,” Showalter said. “I think people the last few years understand we’re trying to get a grip on who we are and Manny’s part of who we are. I think there was a little semi-sigh. But I think they would have felt that about a lot of our guys who had that same problem, because they know we’re counting on everybody. A piece of the chain, so to speak. Manny’s potentially a big piece of that.”