Two tough losses produce some alarming stats for the Orioles

Two games. Two blown leads. Two missed chances. Two games the Orioles could have gained on Tampa Bay the last two nights. Two games that could have moved the Orioles into the lead in the chase for the second AL wild card spot.

So frustrating for the team and its fans. The O's just can't get on a roll. Will all the missed chances, blown leads, blown saves and lack of hits with runners in scoring position finally do this team in?

This seems to be the pennant race that they just never fall out of. They are 1 1/2 games back of Tampa Bay now with 17 games to play. The Rays keep losing and it is keeping the Orioles in it.

Sure, the Orioles won that series against the Chicago White Sox, but before that they lost two of three to Boston, New York and Cleveland and now they have lost two of three to New York again.

How is this team still in the race?

Making the last two nights even more frustrating for the fans is that the games felt like many we've seen over about the past 15 years against the Yankees. The O's lead in the middle of the game, but lose it late as another Yankees middle-of-the-order hitter comes up with a huge hit.

Kevin Gausman and Francisco Rodriguez could not hold them down Tuesday and Tommy Hunter could not last night.

In the eighth and ninth innings the last two nights, Yankees hitters have gone 8-for-21 against the O's 'pen with three doubles, a triple, two homers and six RBIs. Robinson Cano and Alfonso Soriano hit huge, late-game homers.

Some fans questioned whether Gausman threw too many fastballs in the eighth inning Tuesday and Hunter gave up a homer on a changeup last night, which is, at best, his third-best pitch.

Alex Rodriguez continues to play while appealing his suspension - his right under the CBA - and keeps getting big hits driving Orioles fans nuts. Yes, he has the legal right to play, but something just doesn't seem right about a player so many fans are convinced cheated now leading the Yankees to big wins.

Meanwhile, what is happening with the O's offense? The O's have now scored four runs or less in eight of the last nine games and they've scored just 60 runs their last 16 games.

Here are some September batting averages:
.150 - Michael Morse
.213 - Manny Machado
.216 - Nick Markakis
.225 - Chris Davis
.238 - Adam Jones
.250 - Matt Wieters

They are still in it. They're trying to win it. But some of these numbers are not adding up right now.

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