NEW YORK — Across from a jovial home clubhouse that resembled 1 OAK — complete with a fog machine, strobe lights and blasting music — the downtrodden visitors prepared to get out of dodge.
The contending New York Yankees are chasing their 28th World Series title, while the rebuilding Baltimore Orioles — 41.5 games back of the Bronx Bombers in the AL East standings — are likely already preparing for the 2020 MLB Draft.
Still, the vast disparity between the two teams didn’t make the Orioles feel any better about losing their 16th straight game to the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon in The Bronx.
“Well, it doesn’t feel great,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said following his team’s 6-5 defeat against New York. “It’s well-reported. I liked how we fought today. I thought we competed. I love the way we came back again. We’re just a little short at times. But it’s not a good feeling walking out of here losing that many in a row.”
The Orioles (39-82) finished 2-17 against the Yankees this season — including an 0-10 record at Camden Yards. The Bombers hit .303/.386/.632 off Baltimore pitching while blasting an MLB-record 61 homers — 13 by Gleyber Torres — during the season-series, and scoring 151 runs (second-most in the divisional era).
“I think it’s a little flukey, a little crazy to win that many games against a team, especially when I think we dropped a couple in the first series against them,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said (and that’s putting it nicely).
“You look over there, and I know they’re going through a tough time obviously. But they have a lot of good players — especially if you make mistakes to them — they’re a team that can swing and hit the ball out of the ballpark too. So to have that kind of run, things have to line up a little bit for you. But it’s also a credit to our guys and the quality of team that we are.”
Last season, the Orioles came in expecting to compete. Instead, they lost 115 games, which led to trades and firings. Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Zack Britton and Jonathan Schoop are all wearing different uniforms. Hyde and GM Mike Elias replaced Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette.
Last week, MLB.com ranked Baltimore’s farm system 13th in the majors. They have four top-100 prospects — including catcher Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft. The road back to contention could prove long and arduous.
On Wednesday, the Orioles gave it everything they had. Starter Dylan Bundy battled for 5.2 innings. Designated hitter Renato Nunez, one of a few bright spots on the roster, recorded five hits.
But despite getting to Luis Cessa late, Baltimore simply couldn’t do enough early against Yankees starter J.A. Happ, who allowed nine baserunners but only two runs in five innings.
“We learned that we have to do everything right to win those games,” Orioles centerfielder Stevie Wilkerson said. “They’re a really good team with a really good lineup.”
Unfortunately, Baltimore did nearly everything wrong against New York — and the scoreboard showed as much.
“We don’t have to play them anymore, so I guess that’s a good thing,” Bundy said.