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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles pitchers have stepped up

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The Orioles have gotten two straight masterful outings from starting pitchers. It’s a pretty refreshing change of pace.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
John Means did real good things against the Red Sox.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

How about those Orioles pitchers, huh? And this time, I actually mean that in a positive way.

Breakout rookie John Means was dominant against the Red Sox last night, throwing seven sensational innings and allowing only one run and three hits. His killer changeup was working to perfection, keeping the Sox on their heels all evening. Tyler Young recapped the masterful performance and the Orioles’ feel-good 4-1 win.

Means’ seven innings tied for the second-longest outing by an O’s starter this year. The longest came just one game earlier, when Dylan Bundy blanked the Rays over 7.1 excellent frames on Saturday. That marks back-to-back stellar showings from the Birds’ oft-struggling rotation.

If Bundy’s latest outing sparks a renaissance for him, and Means continues to be for real, and David Hess takes a step forward, and Andrew Cashner keeps being competent, and Dan Straily returns to his career norms...well, that’s a lot of ifs. Not everything will play out that way. But the O’s at least have the makings of a non-terrible rotation. And that’s before considering Alex Cobb, who figures to return at some point, hopefully healthy and effective.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself, though. For now, Hess will aim to keep the party going as he starts against the Red Sox tonight.

Links

Villar’s slam supports Means in Orioles’ 4-1 win (with quotes) - School of Roch
Brandon Hyde, John Means, and Jonathan Villar weigh in on the Orioles’ victory. When Hyde’s post-game quotes include the words “impressive,” “awesome,” “cool,” and “fantastic,” you know the O’s have had a good night.

How have Mike Elias’ acquisitions fared for the Orioles so far? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The first batch of Elias-acquired players has debuted for the Orioles this season, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. In this article, a dashing sportswriter analyzes each one.

Shawn Armstrong is settling in with his new team - Steve Melewski
Shawn Armstrong is the latest pitcher the Orioles are throwing against the wall to see if he sticks. Here’s his assessment of himself.

Bleier set to start Class A rehab assignment - Orioles.com
Richard Bleier could be back soon, y’all! The 2017-18 version of Bleier would be a welcome addition to an O’s bullpen that has been...not great.

Orioles Pitching Prospect Bruce Zimmermann Bright Spot For Struggling Baysox - PressBoxOnline
He’s not a heralded prospect, but it’d be nice to see the Baltimore-born Zimmermann make it to the bigs with the Orioles someday. And check out that mustache!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who spent parts of five years as a player with the Orioles in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Williams died in 2011 at age 82. It’s also the birthday of 1994-96 outfielder Mark Smith and 2000-03 catcher Brook Fordyce, both of whom turn 49 today.

On this day in 2000, the Orioles pulled off a rare ninth-inning comeback against Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera at Yankee Stadium. Trailing 6-4, the Orioles strung together four singles, including a go-ahead two-run knock by Albert Belle with two outs, to secure a 7-6 victory. It was one of only nine blown saves in 88 attempts in Rivera’s career against the Orioles.