Baltimore Orioles utility infielder Ryan “Flash” Flaherty, who hasn’t pitched since high school, pitches the 9th in the Orioles painful 12-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday.
I’m sitting here on the porch and the cicadas are so loud in the trees I can barely hear myself type. (That would be a trite way to start except that it’s true.)
Seriously. Listen. I recorded them for you:
Cicadas are living maracas.
13,000 people have watched this YouTube video about how to draw maracas. This is what people do.
Not bragging, but I drew that.
Cicadas look nothing like maracas. They just sound like them. They look like this:
Aww … Cute as kittens!
The cicadas are maraca-ing, so it must be time for the annual, “My team picked a fine time to swan-dive out of the playoffs” discussion.
(If you are trampolining upward toward the post-season – Red Sox fans, Mariners fans, you know who you are – good for you. This is a half-hearted “good for you” but know that deep down I wish you no ill. Little ill. Not much ill. Well, I don’t hate you, but I’m in a pretty bad mood right now.)
Every spring, teams and managers will tell you that the games won or lost in April count the same as, and are as important as, the games won or lost in July … or August … or … you get the gist.
Mathematically, I guess this is true.
Math is not my strong suit. (I’m not even sure I spelled “mathematically” right.)
Hooey. The games in April might weigh the same, but they don’t count the same.
Because look at it this way.
Say you’re the Baltimore Orioles and it’s April and you get swept ugly by the Red Sox at home and then get pounded – mercilessly pounded – by the Astros. You have an entire season – some 140 or more games ahead of you – to make things right. More than 100 chances to fix the unholy, childish mess you made with tinny, disappointing pitchers who can’t find the strike zone and lumberjack-armed batters who can, but often swing through it with gale-force abandon.
I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed. (Oh my god, I sound like my mother.)
Because when you lose those games in August, like the Orioles just did this week, there’s not much time — and not many games — left to fix things.
Last night, in their blowout loss to the Astros (their second blowout loss in two days), the Orioles put their utility infielder Ryan Flaherty in to pitch the ninth inning. He told reporters he hadn’t pitched since high school. “Wasn’t very good in high school. Still not,” Flash said after the game.
This move was simply to rest a bullpen that has been overworked and as shaky as … well, a pair of unhappy maracas.
Aww … Cute as kittens!
Fun Fact: Orioles ace starter Chris Tillman gave up 6 earned runs in two innings last night. That’s a game ERA of 27.00. Flaherty, who hasn’t pitched since high school (and, remember, he wasn’t very good even then), gave up 2 runs in one inning. His ERA is 18.00. See. Numbers can make your head hurt.
The Orioles are 2.5 games out of first in the AL East. They are currently one game up on frisky, surging Seattle for the second wild card spot.
Dear Orioles, you have 40 games to fix this mess.