Maybe we've all gotten spoiled by the terrific relief that has been provided by the Orioles bullpen this year, but the past few days have been – to say the least – unsettling.
The Orioles won two of the past three games, but the bullpen has faltered in all three, and two of the top relievers in the league struggled in the last two games.
It’s probably fair to throw out Sunday’s game, since it took a three-run meltdown in a tuneup appearance by Ubaldo Jimenez to make things interesting, but Brad Brach had a rare rocky outing that day, too.
Monday’s loss to the Twins featured an exciting three-run comeback by the O’s, which was immediately followed by a defensive breakdown behind starter Kevin Gausman and two quick run-scoring hits off highly reliable left-hander Andrew Miller.
Tuesday night, it was Darren O’Day who gave up a walk, a hit batsman and a grand slam to turn a 5-0 game into a dramatic one-run victory that also required a nice double play by Jonathan Scoop with the tying run about to cross the plate in the ninth inning.
Who knows what it all means. It could be an aberration, like the three-game sweep by the Cubs that was quickly buried under a pile of victories against the Rays and Twins. It could also be a sign of fatigue, though the Orioles have had sufficient depth this season to avoid burning up their middle guys.
Whatever the reason, the Orioles don’t seem to be fazed by anything these days, so there is no sense getting too worked up about it. At least not yet.