The Orioles have lost six of eight games and given up 20 runs the last two nights against the Angels. For some that stray toward the negative, they may feel the other shoe is finally dropping and that the Orioles are falling.
It was about a month ago that the Orioles lost nine of 11, when these questions and concerns surfaced for the first time this year. The Orioles went through that stretch at the end of May and dropped to six games over .500.
A month later, another losing run has dropped them to eight games over .500. Can they pull out of this losing stretch as they did the first time?
To borrow a phrase from the 1989 Orioles, "Why not?"
After facing the red-hot Angels, maybe the schedule will finally play in the Orioles' favor over the next week. First, they host Cleveland for a four-game series beginning tonight. The Indians are 37-37, but over their last 30 games, they are 11-19. Cleveland just got swept by the Yankees and has scored just 11 runs during a five-game losing skid.
Next, the Orioles face the Seattle Mariners to start a West Coast trip. The Mariners are 32-45 and are just 5-12 over the last 17 games.
So the Orioles go from playing the team with the best record in the majors since late April to playing two clubs that are a combined 5-17 over the last 22 games.
In the unforgiving AL East, the Orioles need to take advantage of the next week, win two series and take momentum back to Los Angeles for a rematch with the Angels heading into the All-Star break.
The Orioles are still in second place in the division and are still in position to hold one of the AL's two wild card spots. Can they regroup between now and the All-Star break and remain there?