Is there anything left to say about this Orioles team that hasn’t already been repeated a hundred times? This weekend marked the end of the O’s 2017 season and it seems like no one could wait for it to be over.
However, the way the Orioles played this weekend shows that they were just as ready to hit the offseason as the fans were. The offense just looked tired at many points and the pitching was as inconsistent as ever. All of this lead to the Orioles being outscored 17-3 in the three game sweep.
The series started with a Rays shutout victory. Tampa Bay jumped on Wade Miley early and scored four runs before forcing him out of the game. Chris Tillman relieved Miley out of the pen but didn’t fare any better. The former O’s starter gave up three runs of his own to round out the 7-0 win.
Miley has finished his 2017 season with some of his worst starts of the year. The 30-year-old pitcher has been served a loss in all five of his starts this month while picking up a 9.74 ERA. This finish is going to weigh even heavier on Miley as he prepares to enter free agency this offseason.
On Saturday the Orioles gave reliever, Miguel Castro the opportunity to start. Some have called for Castro to be stretched out into a starting role but his effectiveness as a reliever has taken a dive recently. Working with a short leash, Castro looked solid early on but ultimately failed to make it out of the fourth inning.
Castro allowed a pair of base runners at the beginning of the fourth that would end up biting him when Brad Miller brought them home on a three run homer. Tampa Bay’s lead increased to 4-0 in the seventh thanks to a Wilson Ramos sacrifice fly. This insurance run would end up being very important as the Orioles mounted a comeback in the final two innings.
Pedro Alvarez came through in the eighth and cut the Rays lead in half with a two RBI single. With a chance to keep the rally going, Chris Davis grounded into an inning ending double play. Despite this, the O’s were able to rebound and start the ninth inning off by putting runners on the corners.
Seth Smith came in to pinch hit but ended up striking out while Anthony Santander traded the second out of the inning for a run with a sacrifice fly. The comeback effort would end here as Jonathan Schoop lined out in the next at bat.
Sunday’s series finale featured two very solid starts. Kevin Gausman and Blake Snell both pitched seven innings and combined to strikeout 28. Snell was able to edge out Gausman for the better start since he didn’t give up any runs and racked up 13 strikeouts. However, Gausman was very solid in his own regard, giving up just one run and striking out nine.
This all changed when the starters exited the game. The Orioles remained scoreless but the Rays were able to pounce on Brad Brach and run away with the game. Brach only managed to record one out in the bottom of the eighth before giving up five runs. Mike Wright came in to stop the bleeding but the damage had already been done and the O’s ended up losing 6-0.
It’s almost crazy to see how poorly the O’s finished their season. At the beginning of the month, they found themselves at the forefront of a heavily contested wildcard race but it was a steep drop off from there. After losing 16 of their last 20, Baltimore has finished the season as the worst team in the AL East and one of the bottom four in the American League.
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