clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Orioles are in trouble, but 2016 isn’t over yet

New, comment

Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball recognizes that the Orioles just got swept out of a playoff spot, the last WBC qualifier began, and Steve Clevenger should log off.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's OK, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

The Orioles are not in a great place as of Friday morning. The Red Sox, who they began the week just three games back of in the American League East, just finished sweeping Baltimore and pushing them seven games out of the division lead. Not only that, but this final defeat also knocked the O’s out of the wild card spot they had managed to cling to. The Orioles had a 5.5 game lead in the East on June 29. They have spent 111 days in first place. Now, they’re seven out, half-a-game behind the Tigers for a wild card, and with a problematic schedule left in front of them.

Baltimore isn’t finished, though: their chase of the AL East crown is done for unless the Red Sox collapse in a historic fashion and the Blue Jays fail to gain enough ground to do something about it, but the wild card is right there for the taking even if they don’t have it at this moment. The O’s get three games against the 64-88 Diamondbacks next, and they need to win that series and maybe all three contests, as then they face the Blue Jays and Yankees for three games a piece to finish their season. If they can avoid losing any more ground by the time they face Toronto, Baltimore could easily have won their way comfortably back into a playoff spot by this time next week, since the Jays are one of the teams they're chasing.

If they manage to win that series against the Blue Jays, too, then Toronto will likely find themselves still fighting for a wild card spot over the season’s final weekend, and doing so against the first-place Sox. Boston might be concerned with getting their starters some rest, but they’re still a dangerous opponent. The point is that things aren’t over yet for the Orioles. If their slide continues against the D-Backs, though, then maybe the AL East won’t have three playoff teams after all.