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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles lost a game

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In other news: Hays looks good, Newman makes history and the O’s are bonding.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

You can’t win ‘em all. The Orioles are living proof of that. After going a week without losing, the O’s dropped a game to the Nationals on Tuesday by a score of 5-3. Even crazier, Max Scherzer started, and the O’s actually knocked him around a bit (3.1 innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, five strikeouts).

It’s times like this that we can cling back to the “spring games don’t matter” retort and act as if the Orioles would have beaten the defending World Series champs with their three-time Cy Young ace on the mound had this been a game of actual value. Instead, they took it easy on them and held back their A-team.

Back in reality, we can take nuggets from these exhibition games. Chris Davis continued to look good, going 1-for-1 with a walk against Scherzer. Jose Iglesias had a nice day with three singles. Both Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander added a double a piece. On the pitching side of things, Ty Blach was the only pitcher saddled with runs (2.1 innings, five hits, five runs, three walks, one strikeout).

Just over three weeks until Opening Day!

Links & Notes

Slow day on offense as Orioles lose to Nationals - Steve Melewski
The Orioles lost a game for the first time since February 25. These games don’t count, but it’s still nice to see the team be competitive. After all, the Orioles are projected to improve on their 2019 win total and, in general, are trending upwards.

Harvey happy with debut appearance and role - School of Roch
Hunter Harvey is in position to have a breakout season. He is a full-time reliever. He appears to be healthy. And, considering the Orioles current situation, will be in a relatively low-pressure situation during his rookie season.

Newman becomes first woman to call O’s game - Orioles.com
The Orioles have overhauled their broadcast team heading into the 2020 season, and that includes the addition of Melanie Newman. Newman will call O’s games on both radio and TV throughout the season, becoming the first woman to do so in club history. That’s pretty awesome!

Young O’s feel like they’re ‘kind of growing up together’ through rebuild - NBC Sports
Baseball, when compared to sports like football or basketball, is fairly individualistic. But chemistry almost certainly plays some sort of role in a team’s overall performance. Hopefully this bonding that the young players feel now comes in handy a couple of years from now when they are ready to compete for a playoff spot.

Austin Hays showing off his skills in center field for Orioles - Baltimore Baseball
This Orioles team has a few things to be excited about in 2020. Hays in center field every day is one. Harvey coming out of the bullpen is another. Ryan Mountcastle will be hitting dongs in the big leagues soon enough. Jose Iglesias will dazzle us with some leather. In general, it should be the teams most fun season in a couple of years, even if that doesn’t equate to many wins.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Four former Orioles have birthdays today. Current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Richard Rodriguez turns 30 today. He spent five games with the O’s in 2017. Nerio Rodriguez, an Orioles hurler from 1996 through 1998, is 49. Jack Fisher, who pitched for the Birds from 1959 through 1962, turns 81. And it is a posthumous birthday for Bob Johnson (b. 1936, d. 2019), a utility-man who spent parts of five seasons with the Orioles from 1963 through 1967.

1907 - The Baltimore baseball club is awarded $52,000 from the Brooklyn Dodgers. Brooklyn had agreed to pay $40,000 for Baltimore when they left the NL in 1900, but never ended up paying it.