Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. Following Wednesday’s win, the Orioles now trail the division-leading Red Sox by 45.5 games and they trail even the fourth place Blue Jays by 16.5 games. They now have a “tragic number” to be eliminated from the East of three - the combination of O’s losses and Red Sox wins that will mathematically eliminate them from the division.
In their 114th game in 1988, the Orioles were beaten by the Brewers, 8-3. The game featured a pair of future Hall of Famers on each team: Brewers Robin Young and Paul Molitor, and Orioles Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray. It was the fifth game in a five game losing streak.
The loss dropped the 1988 O’s to 37-77, which is now two games better than the 2018 O’s record of 35-79. This year’s O’s are on pace to win 50 games if you round to the nearest whole number, which is four fewer than those woeful O’s of 1988.
As for the quest to avoid the worst record in MLB, or depending on how you prefer to look at it, the quest to get the #1 pick in next June’s draft, the Orioles remain tied with the Royals at 35-79 through Wednesday’s games. The Royals matched the O’s with a win over the Cubs. Kansas City is off tonight, so the O’s will either be a half-game up or a half-game down by day’s end.
If you missed last night’s game, that’s honestly for the better, because it was not a pretty game on the part of the Orioles and they probably shouldn’t have won it. Baseball is weird though, and sometimes weird things happen. Check out Alex Church’s recap of the win for the lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.
The series against the Rays concludes at the standard civilized baseball hour (7:10 in this case) tonight. Maybe the Orioles can manage to commit fewer errors than last night, although with Tim Beckham remaining at shortstop, you never know what you’re going to get.
The thing about the rest of this season is that there might eventually be some hope for improvement in the outfield defense, if the O’s call up Cedric Mullins and possibly others and play them over their current cast of non-outfielders, but there’s not a whole lot that can be done about the shortstop situation. So there will be those nights where the O’s are just giving away runs.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles and Royals have gone from ALCS to historically awful in four years (CBS)
Sadly for all of us, where the Royals ended up three years ago turned out OK. Things aren’t so good now, though. This article is a reminder that as bad as these teams are, they probably still won’t be worse than the 1962 Mets.
Ranking Baseball’s Center Field Shots - 2018 update (Fangraphs)
The Orioles may be in last place playing horrible baseball daily, but by golly, they’re first in something - in this case, having the best center field camera angle in baseball in their home stadium.
Newly acquired Orioles prospect Bruce Zimmermann looking to establish himself with hometown team (Baltimore Sun)
The team traded for a lot of guys last month. None of them would be a better story if they make the O’s eventually than Baltimore-born Bruce Zimmermann, now pitching for Double-A Bowie.
Double-A prospects ready for rebuild pressure (Orioles.com)
Zimmermann appears in this article as well, along with recently acquired Brett Cumberland (a good Maryland name, though he’s not from here,) Rylan Bannon, and erstwhile Oriole Austin Hays.
Showalter on Gentry, Davis on throwing error (School of Roch)
I will not enjoy if I have to spend much time watching Craig Gentry for the rest of the season if the O’s could be giving a chance to a younger outfielder.
Atlanta is betting on Kevin Gausman’s upside (Fangraphs)
Not too many Orioles fans will be shocked if Kevin Gausman ends up transforming in Atlanta in a similar fashion to how Jake Arrieta transformed in Chicago.
Birthdays and anniversaries
Of all of the players to ever play for the Orioles, only one has ever had a birthday today. That is Chuck Essegian, who played in one game for the 1961 O’s. He turns 87 years old today.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: early American humanitarian and present day musical character Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757), Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers (1899), actor and famed mustache Sam Elliott (1944), performing artist Whitney Houston (1963), football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (1967), and actress Anna Kendrick (1985).
On this day in history...
In 48 BC, despite being outnumbered nearly 2-1 and low on provisions, Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in the Battle of Pharsalus, who fled to Egypt and was assassinated. Another important battle in Roman history happened on this day in 378 AD, as the Eastern Emperor Valens was killed in the Battle of Adrianople, along with most of his army, in a conflict with the Visigoths.
In 1173, work began on the bell tower for the Cathedral of Pisa. The structure was not completed for two centuries. They might have wanted to lay a bit better foundation. These days, the thing is more known for its lean.
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau published Walden.
In 1944, Smokey the Bear made his debut in posters released by the United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council.
In 1974, having been implicated in the Watergate scandal and cover-up, causing even politicians of his own party to support his impeachment, President Richard Nixon resigned from office, the first time a US president had ever done so.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 9 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles finish their series against the Rays. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!