Losing Games Just Isn't What the Orioles Do - NBC New York

Losing Games Just Isn't What the Orioles Do

Another extra inning win draws Baltimore even in the AL East



    Losing Games Just Isn't What the Orioles Do
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    Working overtime is no problem for the Orioles.

    There are moments when even the most agnostic among us have to see the hands of something bigger than humanity pulling the strings on our existence. 

    One of those moments came in Seattle on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. That's when the Orioles rallied back from a 2-0 deficit in the ninth inning to tie a game with the Mariners and then played nine more innings before Taylor Teagarden singled in a run to send the Orioles to a 4-2 victory that drew them even in the AL East once more. 

    It's the 14th straight extra inning victory for the Orioles this season, a run that is incomprehensible until you realize that just about everything about Baltimore's continued presence at the top of the division doesn't make sense. They are 20 games over .500 even though they've been outscored by 12 runs over the course of the season, leaving them 12 games better than their projected record. 

    The reason they have outperformed expectations comes down to the fact that they just don't lose one-run games, whether they require the standard number of innings or an expanded set, and there comes a point where you just have to wonder what kind of supernatural forces are acting in their favor. Is this a real world version of "Damn Yankees"?

    It might just be the case. While the Orioles were extending their stirring run of extra inning success, the Yankees were getting rained out at the Stadium so that they could play a doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. 

    Expanded rosters in September make navigating a double-dip a little bit easier, but it still isn't anything that you'd like to have on your plate when winning every game is crucial. The Yankees' key relievers don't need any extra work, their old roster doesn't need to play two games in one day and, more than anything else, the Yankees don't need another reminder that every intangible gut feeling in the world points to the Orioles being some kind of team of destiny this season.

    It's particularly strange to find out that the Orioles are the metaphysical choice, because it seemed like the Yankees had laid claim to that this season. The Red Sox implosion and the Rays' spottiness took away their top two rivals of recent vintage and seemed to open up the doors to the division title that has fallen back into serious dispute.  

    Maybe that changes in the first game on Wednesday when Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees. Maybe this is all setting up for a grand story of how the veteran lefty saves the season with his return from retirement and an ankle injury by winning games down the stretch and keeping the flames from totally engulfing his team. 

    It's a lot to ask of one man, especially when he isn't playing everyday, but we're grasping to see where the Yankees change the script that's playing out every night. The Orioles just won't lose and there's no sign that the Yankees have found the formula to live such a charmed life. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.