Game 129 // First Inning, Baltimore // The Orioles Are Dead

FIRST INNING: ROYALS 10 (0) – 0 ORIOLES

 

You’re at home. You’re 8-26 on the year. You have no hope.

But you’re facing the Royals. They’re just a hair better than you. It’s the first inning and something about every game is a new day.

And then, Jorge Soler comes up, takes a hack at a fastball over the plate, and Gary Thorne announces the beginning of the end of the Baltimore Orioles 2018 season.

“High in the air, that is deep center field, and goodbye home run.”

 2-0.

 

 

Mike Moustakas comes up.

Gary Thorne:

“Oh my gosh. In the air to right field, way back—and goodbye home run.”

3-0.

Salvador Perez at the plate.

“And that one in the air to center field, Adam Jones going back, warning track, and goodbye home run. Three in a row!”

4-0.

 

 

Back to back to back—and O’s pitching coach Roger McDowell heads out to the mound before Perez has even rounded third base. But, Bundy stays in.

He walks Lucas Duda. He walks Whit Merrifield.

Alex Gordon steps up, and again, Gary Thorne:

“That’ll be hit in the air to right field, that is going to leave the ballpark… goodbye home run.”

And before Gordon crosses the plate, Buck Showalter is out to the mound, Dylan Bundy out of the game.

No outs. 7-0.

 

 

And then, Escobar singles. Jay singles. Soler singles. Moustakas singles.

9-0.

Perez hits a sac fly. Soler scores.

10-0.

 

 

About a month ago I know I said something risky. Something meant to inspire, to turn all struggle around, tethered as tightly as it was to the impossible. What I’d said was this:

“The Orioles, in some sort of universe where five-month-long spans of luck exist, just might be able to stick around for an AL East race.”

Now they’re 8-27. Hardly a soul at the ballpark anymore. Those years of recovery, of good spirits, when they played at .500 or above from 2012-16? Gone and not coming back.

And for the hold-outs who see this last month as ‘slump’ and not ‘death rattle’… you might just want to look into some other hobbies this summer. Get a fishing rod, get a boat, head down to the Chesapeake. Become a Nationals fan. Give up on sports altogether. Go read books, lift weights, study for a test. Just don’t, I warn you know, come back to this team.

The Orioles are officially pronounced dead. May 8, 2018.

 

 

I was talking to a friend’s neighbor the other day, who described how their little league game that day had turned out: “We mercy’d ‘em!!”

“How big a lead do you need for the mercy rule?”

“10 runs—we mercy’d ‘em!”

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Commissioner Manfred, we need to put this team out of its misery. Call the whole thing off. The mercy rule, but for every remaining game of the year.

For, you know, things ain’t what they used to be, no.

“Where did,” every O’s fan hums to themselves, tears in their eyes, “all the blue skies go?”

 

 

 

 

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