The Orioles should have won three of the four games in Anaheim, but they don't know how to win. Jim Palmer told me that a month or so ago, pointing out their penchant for stalling after an early scoring rally as proof of a lack of "killer instinct." Never has that been more true than the last five days, during which they have lost three games in which they held a four-run lead at some point.
I don't have the numbers at my fingertips, but I'm guessing the percentage of games major league teams win when they take a four-run lead is pretty high. The Orioles have held a four-run lead in four of their last five games and won just one of them.
Obviously, that's because they have some real pitching issues, one of which is an uncanny ability to give runs right back after the offense explodes. In each of the past two games, the Orioles took a four-run lead in the top of an inning only to allow three in the bottom of the same inning. That meshes not-so-nicely with the nasty habit of scoring a handful of runs early and then letting the pedal off the metal.
Now that I'm through with today's rant, I have a confession to make. When the Orioles got ahead 4-0 today, I headed out to the cinema.
Why? Because I've already seen this movie too many times.