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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are .500 since June 28

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The Orioles haven’t been bad lately, but they’re about to play the Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
Anthony Santander waves to his newest fans.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The Orioles stretch of non-horrible baseball has now lasted for about a month and a week. As weird as that is to say after some of the real clunkers the team had earlier in the year, including losing streaks of seven and ten games, and more four-game losing streaks than you can shake a stick at, the O’s are 15-15 over their last 30 games.

They are not cured of the things that made them the worst team for most of the season, but they have been fun lately. Their 6-5 win on Sunday was one more example, with the positively delightful subplot of 4,500 or so British kids who were a part of an international Scouts event sitting out in left field and cheering wildly any time Anthony Santander, yesterday’s Orioles left fielder, did anything. Pictured above was one of the moments Santander acknowledged the cheers.

Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of the win that sealed a series split, and don’t forget to vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.

Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy these modestly fun times while they’ve lasted, because tougher teams await, starting tonight as the Yankees come in to Camden Yards. The next 13 Orioles games include seven against the Yankees and three each against the Astros and Red Sox. It’ll be quite a surprise indeed if this stretch of .500 baseball continues on through the next couple of weeks.

Things have gone so well lately that the Orioles are creeping up on another team’s record. While the O’s have won six of their last ten, the Royals have lost nine of ten, and the O’s are now just a game behind the Royals in the standings. The #3 pick in the 2020 draft is in play. A similarly dismal stretch by the Tigers, who now hold the #1 pick, has got the O’s four games behind the Tigers in the race to be the worst.

Because it’s still 2019 even when the team is playing better, the Orioles are still well on their way to setting the record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. The O’s are also currently riding a streak of nine straight games where they have given up multiple home runs. That’s tied for an MLB record. You may recall that the O’s recently set a record with ten straight multi-homer games. It’d be fitting for this team to hold both of these things.

Yesterday’s win was the 38th of the year for the Orioles. They are now 38-73. When they won their 38th game last year, their record was 38-94. After all of this winning, the O’s are on pace to win 55 games on the season. It’s still bad, obviously, but eight wins better than last year would be a nice improvement. We’ll see how they look after another couple of weeks.

There have been 198 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

John Means will return to face Yankees Wednesday (Orioles.com)
Another near-minimum injured list stay for John Means. Hopefully he’s better in a couple more days.

What’s next for the Orioles roster? (School of Roch)
The Orioles optioned Dillon Tate after Sunday’s game. They’ve been playing with a short bench, so that move makes sense, but there’s still going to be a bullpen game tonight. Who’s excited?

Mychal Givens ‘ might be’ a different pitcher before ninth inning as dominant performances return (Baltimore Sun)
It does seem to me to be a little premature to make this proclamation when the “return” is two appearances before the ninth inning.

Orioles birthdays and anniversaries

Today in 1990, Jim Palmer was scheduled to be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with Joe Morgan, though rain in Cooperstown forced the postponement of the ceremonies to the next day.

A pair of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2001 reliever and current O’s bullpen coach John Wasdin, and the late Nelson Briles of the 1977-78 O’s.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Declaration of Independence signer from South Carolina Thomas Lynch Jr. (1749), writer Guy de Maupassant (1850), first man on the moon Neil Armstrong (1930), basketballer Patrick Ewing (1962), and movie-making man James Gunn (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1305, Scottish independence leader William Wallace was captured near Glasgow. The English had him sent to London, where he was eventually tried for treason, hanged, then drawn and quartered.

In 1620, the Mayflower made its first attempt to sail to North America, though it had to later stop in Dartmouth because of another ship, Speedwell, having a leak.

In 1864, Rear Admiral David Farragut led the Union Navy into the Battle of Mobile Bay. Naval lore tells that Farragut, who had lashed himself to his mast, encountered a ship that paused out of fear of mines, then known as torpedoes. According to the lore, he yelled, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” In reality, he probably said something else, but his ships raced through the minefield nonetheless.

In 1926, Harry Houdini escaped from an underwater tank in which he had been sealed for 91 minutes. This is regarded as his greatest escape.

In 1962, South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was thrown in jail, from which he was not released until 1990.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 5 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Yankees. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!