How could there not be some tension in any big league team’s clubhouse after a stretch of six straight losses that has featured three straight blown saves by All-Star closer Jim Johnson?
But if the Orioles are feeling any extra pressure right now, they are not showing it and they are certainly talking like that is not the case.
Adam Jones addressed that topic this afternoon.
“People are going to point fingers, but we win and lose as a team,” Jones said when asked specifically about Johnson. “There are parts of the game where we could have scored an extra run or moved a guy over. You can’t just blame it on one guy at the end. We win and lose as a team. Now we are in a little skid, but this clubhouse is the same way it’s been the last year and a half.
“We’ve got a game tonight and it’s not going to be easy. The Yankees are never easy, but it’s a challenge we want. We’ll go out tonight and put forth our best effort.”
Jones developed some soreness in his right leg last night and Buck Showalter has him at DH today. Jones said there is no issue there.
“I’m good, I’ve just been running a lot. Need to make sure my legs stay in shape,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jason Hammel, who gets the start tomorrow, said the O’s clubhouse remains pretty loose despite the losing streak.
“Guys are over playing ping pong still, we’re shooting some stick. You know, it is what it is,” Hammel said. “This is a long season and during a 162-game season, there will be times you look like you won’t win another game. We’re just in a valley right now and we’ll get over it.”
The Orioles players clearly support any struggling teammate, especially a team leader like Johnson. Do the players say anything in a case like this or is that support unspoken but you know it’s there?
“It is an unspoken thing, but you can give him a little tap,” Hammel said. “Any kind of reinforcement from a teammate always helps. Sometimes just to know they’ve got your back is all you need to hear. It’s not like this is all Jim’s fault, it’s not. Everybody has had good and bad times this year.”