The O’s are 61-53. They’re just a half game behind Tampa Bay and Oakland for a wild-card spot with 48 games remaining.
Yet just like they’ve done so many times in the past, they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. The Royals have the third-worst record in the American League and none of their starters have an ERA below 4.3.
The O’s, meanwhile, entered Thursday’s series opener on a tear. They’d won five straight games and eight of their past 10.
So how do the Royals beat the O’s in two of the series’ first three games by a combined 11 runs? It makes little sense.
Then again, it rarely does with this team. Every time the O’s seem on the verge of something special, they deliver a dud at home against a struggling club. It’s like clockwork.
Just look at the Texas series in early May. When the Rangers arrived in Baltimore, they were out of sorts. They had lost four of five games and hardly resembled the organization that reached the World Series last October.
They went 3-1 against an O’s squad that had won 11 of its previous 13.
Two weeks later, the O’s were at it again. They dropped a three-game series to the Royals, who had lost six of their previous eight.
Cleveland had dropped five consecutive games when it notched a series when in Charm City in late June, and Tampa Bay alleviated some post-All Star break pains with a Baltimore visit a month later. The O’s were on a five-game winning streak at the time.
So as Buck Showalter’s team prepares to wrap up its four-game series against the Royals on Sunday, it should learn from its mistakes. It should realize that playoff teams don’t lose games they should win.