There’s an old saying in sports that “Good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose.” Recently, the Baltimore Orioles have found ways to lose. Even on nights when the starter gives the team a quality outing, the bats are silenced and it all goes to for nothing. On nights like Tuesday, when the offense busts out with a four-run inning, the starter struggles the next two innings, and gives up five runs with two homeruns in one of those innings.

That’s what happens with teams who are going through what the O’s are going through right now. The team is a season high (or low) five games under .500 and there doesn’t seem to be a real light at the end of the tunnel. While Delmon Young is hitting well, he’s not really being joined by anyone else in the middle of the order. We’ve seen signs from Chris Davis but Adam Jones cannot buy a clutch hit lately.

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Ubaldo Jimenez has been solid but due to a lack of run support, his quality starts are being wasted. If this team can find a way to lose, they will find it. Fortunately, the American League East is not very good right now and no one has run away from anyone. You cannot count on that happening all year. In 2014, no one ran away with the division until the second half. That team was the Orioles. This year, the likely candidate looks to be the New York Yankees, but again, things can change quickly.

The trouble is, as I look at what the team has done through the first two months or so, I can’t find a potential spark. I’ve wrecked my brain trying to remember whether or not I saw that potential last season but I honestly don’t remember. I do remember seeing a guy like Nelson Cruz in the middle of the order. I don’t see a guy who replaces him this season.

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True, the Birds hit a ton of homers in 2013, but that was because Davis had a career year while J.J. Hardy was hitting 25, Matt Wieters was hitting 22, and Jones was hitting 33 round trippers. Manny Machado also had 51 doubles that year while Nate McLouth chipped in with 31. In fact, the team had seven players with at least 24 doubles that season. Where’s that productivity coming from now? That’s the frustrating thing about what you’re watching. This team was an offensive juggernaut for nearly three seasons and now they can’t sustain rallies.

Maybe Wieters will give them a shot in the arm, but that’s kind of a reach right now. Can you count on Jonathan Schoop coming back anytime soon? Will Hardy ever return to the 20+ homerun form of two years ago? It’s fair to really question if Hardy will return healthy at this point.

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Yes, thankfully the division is in slow motion right now. Let’s hope the O’s pick up the pace before someone gets ahead and presses cruise control.