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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are giving us plenty to talk about

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The Orioles have won three in a row. Brandon Hyde pulled David Hess from a no-hitter. Things in Birdland are much more interesting than we expected!

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
David Hess pitched quite well indeed.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

What an Orioles season this has been so far, huh?

I must say, I really didn’t expect the O’s to be so interesting already. The general consensus was that 2019 was basically going to be a placeholder season, with the club destined to rack up another 100+ loss season with a threadbare roster. The Orioles’ decision to send several of their more promising prospects to the minors to start the year seemed to confirm the belief that the club was just killing time until better days could arrive.

And the season may well play out that way. It’s only been four games. But what a four games they’ve been. After their nondescript Opening Day loss, the Orioles have showed surprising life, squeaking out three consecutive nail-biter wins against AL East foes on the road, all of which have ended with an O’s reliever striking out a batter who represented the winning run. Alex Church recapped their latest heart-stopper, a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

The story line that everyone is still talking about, of course, is Brandon Hyde’s decision to pull David Hess with one out in the seventh while Hess was throwing a no-hitter.

Hess, at the time, had allowed just one baserunner — a fourth-inning walk — and had racked up a career-high eight strikeouts. His pitch count was 82. The Orioles held a 6-0 lead. Hyde’s decision faced plenty of criticism in the moment, especially when he replaced Hess with the Orioles’ worst reliever, Pedro Araujo, who promptly allowed a walk and a two-run homer. The Blue Jays ultimately scored five runs off the O’s bullpen and left the tying run at third base in the ninth.

Hyde said he wanted to protect Hess’s arm after he had thrown 42 pitches in relief four days earlier. Hess likely wouldn’t have been able to stay in for the entire game anyway. Either way, it was a heck of a decision for a rookie manager to face.

What say you, Camden Chatters?

Poll

Would you have pulled Hess when Brandon Hyde did?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes! There’s no need to take any chances with his arm.
    (833 votes)
  • 39%
    No! The guy had a no-hitter going, let him keep pitching.
    (551 votes)
1384 votes total Vote Now

Links

Orioles’ David Hess pulled in seventh inning with no-hit bid intact in 6-5 win over Blue Jays - Baltimore Sun
Brandon Hyde explains the reasoning behind his move, and David Hess reacts like a true professional.

Orioles’ revamped roster is a sign of many more changes to come - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you hadn’t noticed, the Orioles’ opening roster this year looks way different from last year. Let’s see what this handsome writer has to say about that!

For Orioles’ John Means, a lot of work went into the changeup that tore through the Yankees - Baltimore Sun
Analytics are already paying huge dividends for John Means, who has improved his changeup with the help of new minor league pitching coordinator Chris Holt. Means was so nasty on Sunday that he sent Giancarlo Stanton to the injured list after an awkward swing.

The 30: In the first power rankings of the MLB season, the Phillies are on top of the world – The Athletic
The Orioles’ hot start hasn’t helped them move out of last place in Jonah Keri’s team rankings. Next you’re going to tell me that it’s a small sample size or something.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, three of whom are no longer with us: lefty Art Ceccarelli (b. 1930, d. 2012); righty Gordon Jones (b. 1930, d. 1994); and infielder Bobby Avila (b. 1924, d. 2004). Your one living O’s birthday buddy is 1996-97 outfielder Pete Incaviglia, who turns 55 today.

On this day in 1976, the Orioles acquired future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson from the A’s in a blockbuster trade. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for Jackson in Baltimore. He started the season late because of a contract holdout, and he was unpopular in the clubhouse once he joined the team. Jackson bolted in free agency after the season and joined the Yankees, where he had his most memorable years.

And on this day in 2001, the Orioles beat the Red Sox in a walkoff on Opening Day, with Brady Anderson singling home the winning run in the 11th.