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.”

Continue reading “Game 129 // First Inning, Baltimore // The Orioles Are Dead”

Game 123 // Fourteenth Inning, New York // You’ll Always Have This, O’s Fans

TOP OF THE FOURTEENTH: ORIOLES 7 (3) – 3 YANKEES

 

Week one of the 2018 baseball season, done. Back to a world where standings matter, where the contenders emerge.

Where 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. Continue reading “Game 123 // Fourteenth Inning, New York // You’ll Always Have This, O’s Fans”

Game 89 // Eleventh Inning, Toronto // Showalter, Britton, Ubaldo, Walkoff

BOTTOM OF THE ELEVENTH: BLUE JAYS 5 (2) – 2 ORIOLES

 

It’s the eleventh inning of the A.L. Wild Card game. Ubaldo Jimenez steps onto the mound with the 162-game weight of a quavering Orioles season on his back.

“Once upon a time,” says Eddie Johnson, “this guy was unhittable.”

Once upon a time. The long-ago start to a fairy tale ending not so well at all. Continue reading “Game 89 // Eleventh Inning, Toronto // Showalter, Britton, Ubaldo, Walkoff”

Hyun-soo Baltimore Sketch Homer Blue Jays

Game 86 // Ninth Inning, Toronto // Hyun Soo Kim Can

TOP OF THE NINTH: ORIOLES 3 (1) – 2 BLUE JAYS

 

O’s against Osuna, in the top of the ninth. J.J. Hardy at the bat. The standings close, Baltimore back two games in the Wild Card hunt—Tigers and Mariners looking to sneak up for Continue reading “Game 86 // Ninth Inning, Toronto // Hyun Soo Kim Can”

Game 56 // Fifth Inning, Baltimore // A Tale of Two Reviews

TOP OF THE FIFTH: ORIOLES 3 – 2 PADRES

 

The umpires assemble. The headsets wrap around the heads. And the previous play, for as many times as necessary, repeats on a loop at the MLB replay center in New York, debates pinging back and forth through the line, all camera angles stitch together the evidence—with players waiting, managers waiting, fans waiting, for the chance at a revision of luck, a change of fortune, a foul ball turned fair. Continue reading “Game 56 // Fifth Inning, Baltimore // A Tale of Two Reviews”

Game 33 // Seventh Inning, Baltimore // Triple Schoop

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH: ORIOLES 7 (2) – 5 TIGERS

 

It’s rally time at Camden Yards, with the Orioles down three and the crowd chanting the “Seven Nation Army” bass-line refrain: “Ohhhh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhh, ohhhhh…”  They roar out in repeated rounds, batter after batter, until the Tigers give in—hypnotized into a five-run seventh inning. Continue reading “Game 33 // Seventh Inning, Baltimore // Triple Schoop”