xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Has blown lead in Boston lingered?

You be the judge.

On Monday, the Orioles led the Boston Red Sox, 6-0, after the top of the sixth inning at Fenway Park. A victory would have gotten them back to the .500 mark for the first time since May 1, secured a winning road trip, and been their sixth win in a seven-game stretch.

Advertisement

Instead, the Red Sox came back to win the game 8-7 on Adrian Gonzalez's two-run double off Orioles closer Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning. That defeat spearheaded the Orioles' current four-game losing streak, while Boston is currently riding a seven-game winning streak.

Since taking the 6-0 lead that night, the Orioles have been outscored by their opposition, 42-9. I ask again, has that loss lingered?

Advertisement

"As far as lingering and things like that, I guess it's probably 'yes' somewhat, but you can't stay with it too long," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "I've seen veteran players like the Yankees have, stuff like that affects them. Guys aren't robots. They have emotions and feelings, too. They've got a lot of want-to and that's what's really frustrating for a guy like Jason Berken, who's almost wanting it too much. I think [Michael Gonzalez's] going through that some, too. It's tough as a relief pitcher when you're not pitching multiple innings. You have a bad start as a starter and you go back out there in five days and hang six or seven zeros up there, you've got an opportunity. But as a relief pitcher you're trying to get back three or four bad outings, tough outings, with one outing and it doesn't work that way."

It is important to point out that both first baseman Derrek Lee and second baseman Brian Roberts were injured in that game Monday and both haven't played since. So the game certainly took a physical tool even before you get to the mental ramifications of blowing a 6-0 lead to a divisional foe.

"I don't know if it was the Boston game," said Orioles starter Jake Arrieta who took responsibility for last night's embarrassing 17-5 loss to the Washington Nationals. "Just things, collectively, aren't going very well."

Berken, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after giving up six earned runs last night, doesn't see it as one specific date or issue that has triggered the Orioles' recent poor play.

"I think it's a combination of having to put everything together," he said. "We've pitched well at times, we've hit well. You just have to go out there and just be more consistent, I guess, and things will turn around."

Aside from the humiliation of a couple of blowouts, including that game last night, I'd say the Orioles' two worst losses were this past Monday in Boston; and the 6-5, 10-inning defeat to the New York Yankees on April 14 at Yankee Stadium. In that game, the Orioles led 5-0 in the fifth before the Yankees tied the game in the ninth on Jorge Posada's first-pitch, lead-off homer off Gregg, and then won it an inning later on Nick Swisher's sacrifice fly off Gonzalez.

That was the fourth defeat in the Orioles' season-long eight-game losing skid. Coincidence? I think not.

Teams with little to no experience winning, like the Orioles, tend to let a bad loss or two spiral into something far worse.

Don't get me wrong: Bad pitching and bad hitting have plenty to do with it as well, but I've seen way too many tailspins by the Orioles over the years after a particularly jarring loss to conclude that this latest stretch wasn't at least influenced by that brutal loss in Boston.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement