Why are the O's struggling in close games?
NEW YORK – On Thursday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter insisted his team wasn’t out of the race for the playoffs. On Friday, it was Adam Jones’ turn.
“What’s the point of us playing if we think we’re out?” Jones said.
Jones used the acquisition of Michael Morse as a gauge.
“It means we’re not out of it. That’s what it means. It means, look, forget all this, we’re factors. We can close this gap. We can win. We can win this year, and I like that instead of them saying, ‘give us a couple of years.’
“No, this is the year. You’ve got to win this year. If you don’t, you can do it next year. It’s showing us players our front office is behind us. Behind closed doors, they’re behind us, and they want us to win, and they’re trying to formulate a team to win and make a move,” Jones said.
Jones, who has been with the Orioles since 2008 remembers some losing seasons when there weren’t moves.
“I’ve been there when we were big time sellers, not even sellers because nobody wanted nobody from here. Now, we’ve got the opportunity to be buyers. It’s not like we’re going out and increasing the payroll by $25, $30 million. We’re going out and getting guys that are very good pieces to teams, guys that can really help. I think Morse will come in and he’ll be very impactful,” Jones said.
Entering Friday night’s game, the Orioles were 3 ½ games out of the Wild Card. Jones said that the team just needs to play consistently to be a contender in the final month.
“We’ve been doing everything. It’s just a matter of doing it as one group. We’ve had stretches where we’ve thrown the ball well. We ain’t hit. We’ve had stretches where we’ve hit and haven’t pitched real well. The constant is we’ve been playing defense. We show and we’ve been accountable for that. The thing is, we’ve got to get in sync,” Jones said.
“We get a stretch where we reel off six, seven quality starts, we can reel off six, seven wins. We put ourselves right at, right where we want to be, so ain’t nobody in here quitting. If they are, I’m pretty sure I’ll get in there face soon to let them know, like I said, that’s why I like this team the way it’s been built. You’ve got a bunch of buys that want to win and doesn’t care how it happens. They just want to high-five at the end of the game.”
NOTES: Jason Hammel will pitch for Aberdeen on Tuesday, Showalter said. He’ll throw about five innings, 60-65 pitches and should rejoin the Orioles next weekend.
Hammel will throw a bullpen session in Frederick on Saturday.