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Friday Bird Droppings: Where nothing is going right for the Orioles

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The Orioles got swept at home by the Yankees and have 15 wins in their first 50 games. Just 112 more to go!

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Chris Davis speaks for all of us.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Aren’t you so glad the Orioles got to come home for the last four games? Their disastrous series against the Yankees included a game in which they blew a ninth-inning lead, a game in which they gave up 11 runs, a game in which they gave up five homers, and then — in the piece de resistance yesterday afternoon — an unsightly defeat in which they erased a four-run deficit in the eighth inning and then walked home the losing run in the ninth anyway. I recapped the final debacle in a series full of them, which completed the Yankees’ sweep.

The Orioles have reached the 50-game mark with a 15-35 record. They’re on pace to win 48 games, just one more than last season’s catastrophe. Sometimes it feels like they’ll never win again.

Perhaps what the O’s need is a new atmosphere, and I mean that literally. They’re heading to the thin air of Denver for a three-game interleague series against the Rockies this weekend. If it seems like it’s been a while since the Orioles visited Coors Field, it has. Fifteen years, in fact! The Birds have had four series against the Rockies in Baltimore since then, but 2004 was their only trip to Colorado. The O’s lost two of three, but staved off a sweep in the final game when Brian Roberts hit a two-out, ninth-inning grand slam to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

Is there any Orioles Magic in store this time around? Or will the series play out as pretty much the entire 2019 season has so far?


Orioles lose sixth straight to Yankees; Givens’ rough outing; Bundy’s strong start -
Brandon Hyde, Mychal Givens, and Dylan Bundy weigh in on the Orioles’ defeat. You can’t beat Givens’ response when asked what went wrong: “We got the loss. That’s what went wrong.”

Hyde on pitching: “As of right now, this is what we have” (O's lose 6-5) - School of Roch
You’ll seldom find a more half-hearted endorsement than that quote.

Orioles Exploring Market For Rotation Depth - MLB Trade Rumors
Steve Adams speculates on some available pitchers who might interest the Orioles, including James Shields and Ervin Santana. Get excited!

Ranking the Orioles’ 100 gopher balls by how much they hurt -
Kudos to Eddie Matz for having the patience to rank 100 home runs, but I have to quibble with some of his rankings. The Gleyber Torres HR off Mike Wright in the home opener, which he ranks No. 40, would be my top one. The O's had a packed house, a late-inning lead, a chance to get the home season started off right, and then — poof, it was gone.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your lone O’s birthday buddy is the late Willy Miranda, who was acquired from the Yankees in a record 17-player trade in 1954 and served as the Birds’ shortstop for five years. Miranda, who died in 1996, would have been 93 today.

On this day in 1962, O’s manager Billy Hitchcock accused Tigers starter Jim Bunning of doctoring baseballs with his belt buckle. According to Ted Patterson’s Day by Day in Orioles History, “After the game, at least 11 balls were returned to Hitchcock from fans who had caught them in the stands and all were cut in the same manner.” The umps, though, denied Hitchcock’s request to check Bunning’s belt buckle, and the Orioles lost, 5-4.

Race for the HRs allowed record (through 50 games)

Team HRs allowed 162-game pace Final season total
Team HRs allowed 162-game pace Final season total
2019 Orioles 107 347 ??
2016 Reds 80 259 258
2017 Orioles 64 207 242

With two more homers allowed yesterday, the O’s are on track to obliterate both the MLB record (held by the 2016 Reds) and franchise record (held by the 2017 Orioles). The 2016 Reds didn’t allow a home run in their 50th game, just the 11th game in which they hadn’t. (For comparison’s sake, the 2019 O’s pitching staff has only eight homerless games.) By contrast, the 2017 Orioles coughed up four homers in Game No. 50. It was against, yes, the Yankees. Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday hit two apiece at Camden Yards that night.