When it comes to the close games, the O's have lacked that 2012 magic

For the Orioles, what a difference a year makes in one-run games. From an amazing 29-9 mark last season to 14-22 this year.

Last season, from June 1 through the end of the regular season, the Orioles went 21-4 in one-run games. That is a remarkably low total of four one-run losses in four months.

In comparison, the Orioles lost four one-run games on their last road trip of eight games. They have now lost six consecutive one-run decisions and are 1-8 in their last nine one-run games.

That is not good enough and last night shows it all can't be blamed on the bullpen. It is hard to leave 15 men on base, but the O's did that Monday night. They needed just one or two clutch hits, but they never came.

There are still 38 games to make a run to the playoffs. When the team has a tough loss like last night, we get to see and read a lot of negative, sometimes depressing, comments here. Some of you have packed it in on the 2013 season.

Despite inconsistent starting pitching, several late-inning bullpen meltdowns, a mediocre record against mediocre teams and games like last night with constant struggles with runners in scoring position, the Orioles are 10 games over .500.

They are still within striking distance and have plenty of games remaining against AL East teams and teams they are chasing for playoff spots.

The one-run record is clear evidence, though, that the magical 2012 season was a one year only deal. That team played excellent baseball down the stretch to gain a playoff berth.

This team has that same chance with 38 games to go.

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