2017 Baltimore Orioles
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2017 Baltimore Orioles / Franchise: Baltimore Orioles / BR Team Page
Managed by Buck Showalter
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2017 Baltimore Orioles got off to a strong start, going 15-8 in April to end the month tied for first with the New York Yankees in the AL East. The month was marked by the beginning of a feud with the Boston Red Sox. The whole ruckus started on April 21st, when Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia was spiked on a hard slide by Manny Machado and had to miss a few games. On April 23rd, Boston P Matt Barnes was ejected for throwing a pitch behind Machado and was handed a four-game suspension. When the teams met again at Fenway Park a week later, more incidents followed: on May 1st, CF Adam Jones denounced racial slurs directed at him by spectators, prompting the Red Sox to apologize and take action by banning one of the offending patrons. But bad blood flowed again the next day when Chris Sale threw a fastball at Machado, eliciting only a warning. Major League Baseball warned both teams to be on their best behavior before the game of May 3rd, but in the 2nd inning, Kevin Gausman hit Xander Bogaerts with a pitch and was tossed, even if the pitch was a curveball. Umpire Sam Holbrook explained that "there needs to be an end to this stuff". For good measure, Jones was tossed out as well, in the 5th, but for arguing balls and strikes.
Things did not go as well in May, as Baltimore suffered a seven-game losing streak from May 21-28, coming on the heels of a 1-6 run from May 12-18. They were now barely two games above .500 and had fallen 4 1/2 games back of the Yankees. The loss of closer Zach Britton who had gone on the disabled list on May 6th with a forearm strain and had not recorded a save since mid-April, was a big factor, as was the lack of reliable starting pitching apart from Dylan Bundy. Pitching woes continued in June when they went 19 consecutive games during which their pitchers allowed 5 or more runs, one short of the record of 20 set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.
The Orioles were still in the hunt for a postseason spot when September began, as they were two games above .500 and still in sight of a wild card spot. However, they lost 10 of 12 games starting on September 7th to end the slight hopes they still had. It was still a lack of starting pitching that was the team's main Achilles' heel.
Awards and Honors