The Baltimore Orioles have lost 19 games in a row. It is the longest losing streak in Major League Baseball since the 2005 Kansas City Royals. The American League East cellar-dwellers have the unchallenged worst record at 38-86. Two more losses will tie the AL record for futility, set by the franchise back in 1988 when they dropped the first 21 contests of the year. There's real danger of breaking the 23-game losing streak that's served as the sport's standard-bearer for futility since the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies stunk to high heaven.
Just when things couldn't get any worse, Shohei Ohtani will take the mound for the Angels tonight with the big 2-0 feeling inevitable.
And while it goes without saying that failing to win 19 times in a row is never good, perhaps the worst thing about this stretch is how non-competitive the Birds have been. Opponents have outscored them by a margin of 163-55 over the span. Only three teams in the MLB have a run differential worse than that -108 for the entire season. Baltimore's now sits at an unsettling -239.
Everything has been a problem but pitching has been especially ineffective. The O's carry a team ERA of 5.86, which is nearly double that of the Los Angeles Dodgers (3.06). It's almost as if they're playing a different sport. During this current stretch the staff has surrendered at least eight runs 12 times.
Though Baltimore only has to win four more games in a month-plus to avoid a 120-loss campaign, avoiding regular-season infamy isn't much of a consolation prize considering how awful the team has been over the past few years. Sure, they managed to win at a .417 clip during 2020's abbreviated play, but 2019 ended with a 54-108 record. The year before that the Orioles went 47-115.
Add it all up and it's a nearly four-season abomination of 164-344. A .322 winning percentage. Simply brutal. It is borderline cruel to subject fans to this. When a team is this bad for this long, it is far more reflective of the construction than it is the execution. Players should be forgiven for feeling trapped in a Groundhog Day-like existence of helplessness.
Pretty damn bleak, all around.