The Orioles entered July with a 47-31 record and a 5½ game lead in the AL East, which meant one thing to long-suffering fans: The collapse was coming. The O’s opened July in familiar fashion, with a four-game losing streak going into Tuesday night’s game against the Dodgers.
Since 1998, which marked the last time the O’s posted a record five games over .500 for July, they were .500 or worse 12 times. Over that 17-year span, they’re a combined 51 games under .500 for that month. Baltimore baseball fans, like Buffalo fans, are conditioned to brace for the worst.
The O’s posted a 19-9 record this year in June and hit 56 homers, the most in big-league history for that month. What did it mean? Not much. The next two months will be a race between the O’s pitching falling apart and their big bats falling short.
Don’t be surprised if the Orioles fall to third in the division before August. After the All-Star break, they play seven straight games on the road, including three against the Rays, before a three-game set at home against a Cleveland team that had won 24 of 32 before Tuesday.