clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are in the playoff picture

New, 918 comments

It’s August and the Orioles are in the thick of the postseason race! OK, fine, they’ve only played 14 games. But still!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If someone had told you back in January that the Orioles would be in prime position for a postseason berth by August — and then that person disappeared before providing any other context — you’d be pretty happy, right? I know I would have.

Well, guess what? Here we are, on August 11, and if the season ended today, the Orioles would be in the playoffs. Eight AL teams will get in this year — the first- and second-place finishers in each division, plus the next two best teams — and currently, the Orioles are part of that “elite” group with their 7-7 record.

Not too shabby!

If not for the spectacular failure of the Nationals grounds crew on Sunday, the Orioles would have 15 official games in the books, exactly one quarter of their 2020 schedule. And so far there’s been a lot to like. The slapdash starting rotation has been better than expected, with Alex Cobb, Asher Wojciechowski, and Tommy Milone each posting sub-4.00 ERAs in three starts apiece. The core members of the bullpen have been outstanding, with Miguel Castro breaking out for 10 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, Mychal Givens back in his comfortable setup role and unscored upon in four outings, and offseason additions Travis Lakins Sr. and new closer Cole Sulser making big contributions.

And the offense, minus a few no-show performances against the Marlins, has been better than expected even without Trey Mancini. Jose Iglesias, Hanser Alberto, and Pedro Severino are all OPSing .900 or better, while Renato Nunez and Anthony Santander are near the top of the AL leaderboards in home runs and RBIs, respectively.

It’s been fun. But can it last all season? That’s a very different question.

The odds are that the Orioles’ performance will drop off sooner rather than later. But what if it doesn’t? In such a short season, it’s not impossible that the O’s could put up another three-fourths of the season similar to their first quarter. And as our Tyler Young wrote yesterday, with the expanded postseason field this year, the Birds could manage to eke their way in to the tournament just by playing .500 ball.

What say you, Camden Chatters?

Poll

Will the Orioles make the playoffs in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Yes! These guys have some spunk.
    (183 votes)
  • 28%
    No. This isn’t sustainable.
    (119 votes)
  • 27%
    You really think MLB is going to get to the playoffs before the season is canceled? C’mon, man.
    (117 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now

Links

Orioles reset: The Orioles don’t have to pretend they’re competitive anymore. They actually are. - Baltimore Sun

Fourteen games into season, O’s have plenty to feel good about - Steve Melewski
Jon Meoli and Steve Melewski, respectively, write about the encouraging signs from the Orioles so far in 2020. I know having a decent team in such a small sample size doesn’t mean a lot, but hey, it sure beats the alternative.

O’s release Blach, set start time for suspended game (updated) - School of Roch
Ty Blach, we hardly knew ya. ...It is “Ty,” right?

The curious case of promoting — or waiting on — O’s prospect Ryan Mountcastle – The Athletic
Dan Connolly examines some of the reasons we haven’t yet seen Mountcastle get the call. It’s too bad there are no minor league stats to look at this year — I need to know whether I’m supposed to be outraged that he’s not up yet!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four O’s birthday buddies: 2018 outfielder Colby Rasmus (34), 2006-07 lefty Kurt Birkins (40), and a pair of right-handers from the 1990 Birds, John Mitchell (55) and Dorn Taylor (62).

On this day in 1966, left fielder Frank Robinson made a game-saving, home run-robbing catch in the 10th inning at Yankee Stadium, denying what would’ve been a tying blast by Clete Boyer in a 6-5 Orioles win. As the Associated Press described the play, “Robinson turned, raced back and just as the ball was about to go into the stands, leaped with his back to the field, slammed against the stands, and snared the ball with one hand.” It was the second time that year Robinson saved the O’s with a home run robbery at Yankee Stadium, as he previously ended a June 21 game with a spectacular snare in the seats in right.

On this date in 1991, the White Sox’ Wilson Alvarez — who had made only one previous major league appearance, two years earlier with Texas, and didn’t record an out — threw a no-hitter against the Orioles at Memorial Stadium. I attended that game with my parents, though at eight years old, I must admit I didn’t quite understand the significance of what was happening.

And on this day last year, the Orioles walked off the Astros on Rio Ruiz’s three-run homer against Roberto Osuna in the ninth. It was the Birds’ only walkoff win of 2019, as opposed to 10 walkoff losses.