The third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Athletics was a nightmare for the Orioles. The A’s put 11 consecutive runners on base and hung up a 10-spot in the frame against starter Andrew Cashner and reliever Cody Carroll. Here’s how it went down:
- Nick Martini single
- Jonathan Lucroy single
- Ramon Laureano walk
- Matt Chapman two-run double (2-0)
- Jed Lowrie RBI single (3-0)
- Khris Davis RBI single (4-0)
- Matt Olson three-run home run (7-0)
- Stephen Piscotty single [Andrew Cashner is then replaced by Cody Carroll]
- Marcus Semien walk
- Nick Martini single
- Jonathan Lucroy two-run single (9-0)
- Ramon Laureano pop out
- Matt Chapman RBI single (10-0)
- Jed Lowrie fly out
- Khris Davis strike out
For those counting at home, that inning featured eight singles, two walks, a double, and a homer.
The Orioles were already the laughingstock at the league, entering Wednesday’s action with a 41-103 record. With another loss tonight, they would be on pace to finish the season 46-116. 116 losses would rank as the fourth-most in the modern era (1900 to present). The 1962 Mets went 40-120, the 2003 Tigers went 43-119, and the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics went 36-117. A .284 winning percentage, which is what a 46-116 record comes out to, would rank as the 15th-worst in the modern era.
The O’s also entered Wednesday with a -242 run differential, which is obviously up to -252 after that disastrous third inning. That already ranks as the 11th-worst run differential in the era of the 162-game season. If we say the O’s lose 10-0 tonight [Update: they did], they would be on pace for a -282 run differential, which would be the sixth-worst in the 162-game season era. The record in a 162-game season is -337 by the ’03 Tigers.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.