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Friday September 4, 2009 5:36 pm
September Struggles for the Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles suck at playing baseball in September. The last time they had a winning record during the last month of the season was 2004, when they went an impressive 18-10. Unfortunately for the O’s of yesteryear, not even .643 baseball could get them to a winning season record – or even bring them inside of 20 games of a wild card spot this season. Since 2004, they’ve gone 10-18, 10-18, 10-19, and 5-20 down the final stretch of each year. So far in 2009, they’ve gone 0-2, dropping a pair to the New York Yankees.
One of the most exciting parts of the long baseball season is the September pennant races. Teams battle daily to hold onto slim leads and playoff spots. Unfortunately for the fans in Maryland, those teams rarely have “Baltimore” in their names. The Orioles’ lack of success in the early and middle parts of the last few seasons has repeatedly seen them bowing out early. Their tough competition in baseball’s toughest division hasn’t helped either though, with teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox effectively crushing any dreams of success held by Baltimorians.
Their five wins in September of 2008 included just one multiple-game winning streak. They beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3 before taking an off day to recoup; then they beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0. This was by far the most exciting that the team made it for their fans that month. They promptly followed it up with a 10-game losing streak.
The Orioles haven’t played meaningful September baseball in years. This year has been set up to be no different. Going into the month, they were a miserable 23 games back of the wild card, and just barely ahead of the Kansas City Royals who have the worst record in the American League. The most upsetting part for the O’s this September is that 18 of their final 24 games are against teams either holding or are within reasonable distance of playoff spots, including five against Boston, three against the Yankees, and seven against Tampa Bay. While 5-20 always seems improbable, it’s been proven that if anybody can do it, the Baltimore Orioles can.
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