This is how good a season the Orioles are having. On a night when they left 10 runners on base, scored just one run and lost in walk-off fashion, there was little gloom and doom to be found on this blog last night.
Kind of refreshing, isn’t it?
No one second-guessing Buck Showalter’s every move or ripping everyone but the bat boy. No proclaiming this is nothing more than a .500 team. That one was big nightly for a long, long, long time during the 2014 season. No proclaiming the sky is falling.
Guess that is what having a 7 1/2 game lead on second place will do. No need for any panic or even hand-wringing here.
Tonight, the Orioles will try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since they lost to Tampa Bay on June 28-29.
Here is another reason for fans to be so relaxed. The Orioles are 69-51 with 42 games to play. During the 14 straight losing seasons from 1998-2011, the Orioles failed to win 69 games all season five times.
The Orioles were:
* 63-98 in 2001.
* 67-95 in 2002.
* 68-93 in 2008.
* 64-98 in 2009.
* 66-96 in 2010.
Who could forget that 2009 season and finishing 39 games out of first place? All of us could and probably have.
So that loss last night was not even a speed bump on the road. They move on to tonight and try yet again to bounce back.
More notes on the Orioles:
* Darren O’Day’s ERA is now under 1.00 at 0.98 after last night. Over his last 22 games, O’Day has allowed one earned run in 25 1/3 innings with eight walks and 30 strikeouts.
* The Orioles are now 12-5 in extra-innings games.
* Wei-Yin Chen has pitched seven innings or more six times in 23 starts and he has now done so in three of his last four starts. He gave up just one run last night and has an ERA of 2.51 in five starts since the All-Star break.
* Nelson Cruz launched his 31st home run on Aug. 11 and is now two homers shy of his career-high. He hit 33 in 2009. Cruz hit his 30th homer on Aug. 9, becoming the 19th different Oriole with a 30-homer season.
* Orioles minor league hitting coordinator Jeff Manto will be inducted into the International League Hall of Fame on Wednesday night in Buffalo. Manto won the 1994 IL MVP award, splitting the season between Triple-A Norfolk and Rochester after being traded in May.
Minor league notes: Norfolk right-hander Mike Wright had another strong outing as the Tides beat Gwinnett 5-0 last night. Wright allowed just five hits over a career-high 7 1/3 innings. He threw 65 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Over his last five starts, Wright is 3-2 with a 1.40 ERA.
Double-A Bowie beat Trenton 7-4 with drama in the last of the ninth. First, Chris Marrero tied the game with a solo home run and then David Adams won it with a three-run walk-off homer.
John Ruettiger matched his career-high with three RBIs for the second night in a row as Frederick rallied past Lynchburg 8-7. In the two games, Ruettiger is 5-for-9 with a homer and six RBIs.
Lefty Steven Brault pitched six scoreless innings as Single-A Delmarva beat Hickory 5-2. Brault, ranked as the club’s No. 14 prospect by Baseball America, gave up just three hits. Josh Hart hit his first professional homer for the Shorebirds.
Delmarva’s Drew Dosch tied a team record with his eighth-inning double. It was his 150th hit of the year and ties the mark set by his manager, Ryan Minor, when he was a Shorebird in 1997.
Bowie left-hander Tim Berry, the O’s No. 6 prospect per Baseball America, is going to skip a start for the Baysox. He was scheduled to start today. This is about limiting his innings, I’m told, and not - repeat not - about any injury. Berry is 6-7 with a 3.51 ERA over 23 Baysox starts. Since July 1, he has pitched to an ERA of 2.53 over eight starts.