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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are still seeking their first sweep

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The west coast trip has been fun so far. Maybe the Orioles can finally pull off a sweep in the last series before headed home.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels
Giving up walkoff homers probably doesn’t help the trade value.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Would anyone out there have guessed that seven games into the Orioles Pacific time zone road trip, that they would have four wins already? It’s fun when the Orioles win. Sometimes over the last couple of years of miserable baseball, it’s easy to lose sight of that. Tanking for draft picks might be fun down the road, but winning is always fun right now.

Though the Orioles did win three out of four against the Los Angeles Angels, they are still searching for their first sweep of the season. Sunday afternoon’s 5-4 loss featured possible trade piece Dylan Bundy giving up four runs in five innings, and possible trade piece Mychal Givens giving up the walkoff dinger in the ninth while pitching for the third time in four days. Check out Alex Church’s recap of the not-so-lovely totals.

The Orioles are still above .500 over their last 25 games even after the Sunday setback. They’ve pulled off a stretch of 13-12 in that time, which would have been hard to predict a month ago. It’s even more improbable if you think about the continuing instability in the starting rotation.

Baseball is fun because even with a bad team, you never know what’s going to happen. If you didn’t hear it over the weekend, these O’s set a good record in Saturday’s win over the Angels by picking up two or more home runs for the tenth straight game. That’s a new MLB record. However this season ends up for the O’s, they’ll always have that to hang their hats on.

That 25 game not-bad streak has pulled the Orioles up out of the cellar of MLB for now. The 35-70 Orioles are now slotted into the #2 pick next year, three games better than the Tigers. They’re four games back of both the Royals and Blue Jays, so they’re going to have to sustain this performance to fall lower in the 2020 draft. At this pace, the O’s would finish with a record of 54-108 - seven games better than last season.

There is still the bad kind of record the O’s are on pace for, though. The home runs allowed record will probably still fall to the 2019 Orioles. They gave up three more homers in Sunday’s loss and have now allowed an even 200 homers for the season. There are 57 games to play and the O’s are 58 homers short of tying the record. They could still avoid the record by allowing one home run per game.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 191 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

With ball and cap en route to Cooperstown, Stevie Wilkerson soaks up post-save stardom (Baltimore Sun)
Having sent items from his record save on Thursday night to Cooperstown, Wilkerson has proposed the new nickname of “Stevie Coop” instead of “Dr. Poo Poo.” I reject his suggestion.

In Aberdeen debut, Adley Rutschman gets another taste of of being the face of the Orioles rebuild (Baltimore Baseball)
Rutschman went hitless in his first Aberdeen game Saturday. On Sunday, he got his first two hits there, and also threw out two runners who tried to steal on him.

Wondering about Monday’s starter (School of Roch)
As of this writing, the Orioles still have no starting pitcher named for tonight. Time will tell how weird it gets.

John Means’ MRI shows no structural damage (Orioles.com)
Means is back on the injured list. Manager Brandon Hyde said nothing more than “normal wear and tear” was on the MRI. Hopefully that will result in Means being back and in good form shortly.

After move to bullpen, Dillon Tate’s call-up to Orioles comes in ballpark he grew up visiting (Baltimore Sun)
Tate’s first days in MLB weren’t far from home, though the games didn’t work out where he has gotten to pitch yet. We’ll see if he’s part of a roster move to add a starter for tonight.

Keith Law scouts low-minors prospects, including Grayson Rodriguez (ESPN)
ESPN’s Law recently dropped in on Rodriguez pitching for the Shorebirds and liked what he saw, though he’s still got concerns about Rodriguez’s delivery.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1988, the Orioles traded Mike Boddicker to the Red Sox. Boddicker had pitched complete games in both the ALCS and World Series in 1983. In the deal, the O’s received Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling. Anderson had a 14-year career with the O’s. We won’t mention another trade involving Schilling.

In 2010, the Orioles announced that Buck Showalter would become the new manager for the club on August 3. The 2018 Orioles sunk Showalter’s winning record with the O’s. He finished with a 669-684 record here.

Of all the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one was born on this day.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: observer of early America Alexis de Tocqueville (1805), actor David Warner (1941), documentary maker Ken Burns (1953), Rush vocalist Geddy Lee (1953), E Street Band singer Patti Scialfa (1954), and country artist Martina McBride (1966).

On this day in history...

In 1148, the Second Crusade’s Siege of Damascus was defeated after five days. This led fairly shortly to the end of that Crusade, which, though it didn’t achieve any goals in the east, did succeed in taking Lisbon, Portugal from the Moors.

In 1836, Paris’s famed Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated. The Arc figured prominently in yesterday’s closing stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France. The race was won by the youngest rider in the peloton, Egan Bernal, who is also the first Latin American winner of the race, and the youngest winner since World War II.

In 1967, during the Vietnam War, the carrier USS Forrestal caught fire off the coast of North Vietnam, killing 134 sailors. This is the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II. The Forrestal remained in service until 1993 and was scrapped in 2015.

In 1976, the “Son of Sam” killer committed the first of his six murders in New York City.

In 1981, an estimated 700 million people across the world tuned in to watch the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer. The ceremony took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 29 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Padres. Plus you never know when another Mike Elias trade will strike. The trade deadline is now just two days away. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!