Orioles And Sox Heading In Opposite Directions At End
As they meet for a three-game set at Camden Yards, the Red Sox and Orioles are heading in different directions. The Carmine Hose (winners of 7 of their last 10) sit just one game behind the Birds. And, despite winning their last two series (against Kansas City and the Yankees), the Orioles have been in a disappointing tailspin for a while now. When they were making the playoffs and (last year) winning the division, their signature stat was taking almost every one-run game they played in. So far this year, they are 19-24 in one-run contests. Even the Red Sox are almost .500 on that stat (17-18). Most of the reason for their demise lies in crappy starting pitching (does this ring a bell, Sox fans?). Bud Norris was horrific (and released), Chris Tillman regressed from two solid seasons, and Ubaldo Jimenez (after a strong first half) has turned back into the Ubaldo we have all come to know and love. Plus, the loss of quality players like Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis did not help. Not unlike the Red Sox, O's fans can look to a bright future with at least one young player—third baseman Manny Machado, who has blossomed into a legitimate star. All in all, though, it's been a tough year for The Sons Of Buck Showalter.