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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles will try again to win a series

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The Orioles last won a series April 22-24. With a win tonight, they can break this streak.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
David Hess is not pitching tonight. He pitched last night. I just felt this concerned look.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Today is June 13. The Orioles last won a series when they played the White Sox on April 22-24. They have not won consecutive games since they beat the Rays on May 4 and then the Red Sox on May 6. Since the Orioles lost to the Blue Jays last night, they can’t do anything about that second streak tonight, but they do, with a win, have a chance to snap the winless series streak.

Anyone who has been watching the last three seasons of Orioles baseball is no stranger to stupid losses that involve a lot of bad pitching. That’s what we saw yet again on Wednesday night, with David Hess struggling, and then Miguel Castro, and then Evan Phillips. The Orioles offense had their share of chances and capitalized on some, but they couldn’t overcome the pitching staff giving up eight runs. Check out Stacey’s recap of the latest loss.

The Orioles are now 21-46 in the 2019 season. Through 67 games last season, they were 19-48. Better, but not by much. The O’s are now on pace to win 51 games for the year, if you round to the nearest whole number. Again, better than last season, if not by much. They remain tied with the Royals for the #1 pick in the 2020 draft, holding the tiebreaker by virtue of their worse record last season.

I don’t actually want the Orioles to be bad enough to earn back-to-back #1 picks. It’s always better when they win than when they lose. It’s just, if I have to watch a team that is this bad, I feel like I might as well at least be able to watch them secure in the knowledge that their badness will have the maximum contribution to a future of sustainable good Orioles baseball. They should probably be able to do this if they select well with the #2 or #3 picks or whatever, but you know. Number one is number one.

There was a small moral victory in Wednesday’s game. Orioles pitchers gave up only a single home run. It was a grand slam, which definitely sucks and is why they lost, but still only one home run. That brings their tally for the season up to 129 home runs allowed in 67 games, or 312 home runs over a full season.

That’s still well over the 258 home runs surrendered by the 2016 Reds, but the Orioles will not break the record if they give up only one home run per game from here on out. This might be the biggest rooting interest for the remainder of the season: Giving up no home runs or only one homer per game.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 145 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to add his statue to Camden Yards, or retire his jersey number.

Around the blogO’sphere

Chris Davis sits for fourth time since return from IL as Orioles ‘try to put him in position to succeed’ (Baltimore Sun)
We’ve heard this story already this season. It did work the last time in that he had three or four good weeks at one point... but here we are again.

Orioles could be ready to expand bench (School of Roch)
This is about making room for Mark Trumbo by possibly removing a reliever from the roster. Another way to expand the bench would be to shuffle off the Davis dead weight.

Inside the Orioles batting practice meeting that sparked their run of well-pitched games (Baltimore Sun)
Said run of well-pitched games unfortunately came to an end last night. Interesting story nonetheless - those watching the MASN broadcast during the Texas series did see this meeting taking place.

Armstrong leads bullpen resurgence; Blue Jays pull for Raptors (Baltimore Baseball)
The bullpen resurgence also came to an end last night. Shawn Armstrong still has a low ERA, though.

Sisco on his return, plus a Sedlock update (Steve Melewski)
Turns out that Cody Sedlock hasn’t pitched since May 25 due to “elbow discomfort.” Not great! He is back to throwing again, though, and will return to the rotation after the Carolina League All-Star Game. Presumably he won’t pitch in the game, although he did make the team thanks to his 1.44 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over his eight starts.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1999, the Orioles blew out the Braves, 22-1, which at that time was a franchise record for runs scored - though the record lasted just a year and three months before being broken again. Future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken tied an AL record with his 6-6 game at the plate, and future Hall of Famer Mike Mussina got the win after giving up a run in seven innings.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2011-13 reliever Pedro Strop, 1991 backup catcher Ernie Whitt, and the late Tom Gastall of the 1955-56 Orioles. Gastall died during the 1956 season when a plane he was flying solo crashed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Holy Roman Emperors Charles the Bald (823) and Charles the Fat (839), 19th century general Winfield Scott (1786), poet William Butler Yeats (1865), game theory mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. (1928), actress Ally Sheedy (1962), actor Chris Evans (1981), and actresses etc. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (1986).

Scholars say that Yeats’s most well-known poem, The Second Coming, foretold the 2019 Orioles pitching staff with its closing words:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches toward Baltimore to be bad?

I may have changed a few words.

On this day in history...

In 1777, Gilbert du Motier, better known to American history as (the Marquis of) Lafayette, landed in South Carolina to help train the Continental Army.

In 1805, Meriwether Lewis and several others, ahead of Clark and the rest of the expedition, first caught sight of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. You can still go to Great Falls, Montana to this day, though due to damming over the years, only one of the five waterfalls sighted by Lewis in 1805 still flows.

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Miranda v. Arizona, which made the requirement that police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall, then the Solicitor General, to the Supreme Court. Marshall, once confirmed, became the first black justice on the court.

In 1971, the New York Times started to publish the Pentagon Papers, which outlined a variety of events leading up to and during the Vietnam War about which the various people in charge had been lying to the public.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 13 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Blue Jays. Have a safe Thursday.