Entering Monday night's series opener against the Twins, the Orioles are a season-high 30 games below .500. Buck Showalter's squad has to go 16-22 from here on out to avoid hitting the century mark in the loss column.
Thirty. That number has a lot of significance today. Four years ago, on August 22, 2007 -- the same day the team announced that manager Dave Trembley would return for the 2008 season -- the Orioles endured one of the lowest points in franchise history when the Rangers scored 30 runs on them at Camden Yards.
In scoring those 30 runs on 29 hits, the Rangers became the first MLB team in 110 years to score 30 runs in a game. It was also an American League record. To make things worse, the Orioles, who led the last-place Rangers, 3-0, before giving up 30 unanswered runs, lost the second half of the doubleheader later that day.
That August 22 was rough, for sure, but four years later, are these Orioles better off than that bunch?
The 2007 Orioles were 58-67 when their lopsided double-header mercifully ended. Meanwhile, the 2011 Orioles are 47-77. A season that started with so much promise went down the tubes in June.
The barrage of setbacks has been staggering. Despite starting the season 6-1, the Orioles have the worst record in the American League. Their young pitching staff came apart at the seams in a hurry, and a few of the team’s prized young arms have been checked out by doctors. Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee were busts. And second baseman Brian Roberts suffered another concussion that puts his future in doubt.
My colleague Peter Schmuck confessed over the weekend that this might be the most painful season he has covered in his two-plus decades here. “I now believe there is an Orioles curse,” he wrote.
When the 2007 Orioles laid their heads on their pillows at the end of August 22 -- with visions of Rangers batters running through their heads -- they could chalk it up as a historically bad day of baseball.
But when today's Orioles wake up tomorrow, the nightmare that is the 2011 season will continue on.