Orioles relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach put on display how quickly conversations about trade value can turn with divergent outings in either end of the doubleheader split with the Yankees Monday.
Just as it seemed as if one big swing in the eighth inning from beleaguered first baseman Chris Davis had erased the sting of a letdown start from Alex Cobb, closer Zach Britton allowed a rare home run to level the game at seven in the ninth.
Pose the question to anyone in an Orioles uniform, and the pause before he speaks is pregnant. The sigh is audible, the stare far away. The question is almost as loaded as the possible answers — and there's no one answer: How did the Orioles' season fall apart so fast?
With shortstop Manny Machado out Monday with illness and the open acknowledgement that Zach Britton is returning from the DL only to be showcased for trades, the Orioles returned home from a four-game sweep in Toronto making no airs about where they are as a club.
"Obviously, we haven't had the kind of season that we were hoping for, and it's time for us to look at our competitive position and see where we can help our ballclub internally and for the future," Duquette said.
The Orioles' insistence on saving the likes of Mychal Givens, Richard Bleier and Brad Brach for protecting leads in the absence of Zach Britton and Darren O'Day only goes to show how difficult things have been around them.
The Orioles are just finding their footing after an awful start, 88-year-old owner Peter Angelos is battling health problems and it’s fair to wonder who’s running the show. According to sources, John and Louis Angelos are assuming more responsibility.