This had to be one of the ugliest Orioles losses of the year.
They had numerous chances to score more than four runs. They had poor relief pitching. They allowed three unearned runs. They had 18 hits and somehow managed to turn that into four runs.
It was another game where a Mark Reynolds’ mistake was glaring. After the game, Buck Showalter would not pin the loss on Reynolds’ throwing error in the last of the fifth, but that fueled Washington’s four-run inning.
Showalter correctly said the Orioles had plenty of chances to make us forget about Reynolds’ miscue and he was sure right about that. That, in a sense, is another reason this 8-4 loss to the Nats was so ugly.
Reynolds has been a standup guy in his dealings with reporters and you can tell how badly he wants to do well, but he can’t get out of his own way right now. Taking called third strikes in key spots and getting doubled off first base just yesterday, then tonight’s error, which was his 15th of the season.
It was just last Saturday night when he hit two homers and could have been the hero. But Felix Pie couldn’t make that catch in the ninth, Kevin Gregg suffered a blown save and the Orioles lost a one-run lead with two outs against Tampa Bay.
They have not played well since then. I am not suggesting that loss led to these others. But it’s clear that the Orioles’ play has been anything but crisp and inspired for several days now.
For a streaky team that has had plenty of ups and downs in less than half a season, here’s another down cycle.
The good news about Friday’s debacle is two fold. It only counts as one loss and they have to wait just a few hours to erase the memory of a bad night of baseball.
Saturday’s day game awaits.