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Friday Bird Droppings: Where everything is coming up Orioles

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The O’s not only swept the Phillies, but humiliated them in the process, bashing another 11 runs without walking a batter in the finale. Folks, this is fun.

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Hey, anyone remember this analysis from one of ESPN’s MLB previews?

The Orioles might not win 10 games. Beyond the general talentlessness, beyond the extreme difficulty the rejiggered geographical schedule presents, there’s just the simple matter of incentives. There are going to be about 26 teams still in the pennant race in the final 10 games of the season, which means the Orioles are going to face motivated opponents all the way to the end. ... They’re really in danger of starting the season 1-12 and, whether officially or just psychologically, packing it in.

Nailed it. The Orioles picked up their 10th win last night, 17 games into the season.

I don’t mean to pick on ESPN here. They may have been on the most pessimistic side of the spectrum, but pretty much every national publication was in agreement that 2020 was going to be a rough season for the Orioles. Heck, most O’s fans expected the same. I pegged the Orioles for an 18-42 record in Camden Chat writers’ preseason predictions. I would gladly turn out to be hilariously, stupidly wrong.

If the Orioles keep playing at this rate, I’ll turn out to be hilariously, stupidly wrong a lot earlier than I expected. Last night, they completed a three-game sweep in Philadelphia with a laugher of a victory after two consecutive tense, one-run wins. The Birds knocked ex-Oriole Jake Arrieta off the mound in the fifth inning, while former Phils farmhand Thomas Eshelman — who never got a call-up to Philly before his 2019 trade to the O’s — worked five solid innings for the win.

The Orioles’ offense turned on Beast Mode once again, bashing double-digit runs for the third time and 10 or more hits for the ninth time, forcing the Phillies to use infielder Neil Walker as a pitcher in the ninth inning (and he turned out to be their most effective one). And Orioles pitchers didn’t walk a batter, the fourth time that’s happened in 17 games this year. Last year, it happened only four times in 162 games.

Tyler Young recapped last night’s O’s win in all its glory. It’s the Orioles’ fifth consecutive win in games that have been completed, but of course there’s still that annoying suspended game from Sunday that’s mucking up the streak. That contest will be completed tonight at Camden Yards, and if the O’s can hang on and win, their win streak will officially sit at six.

For now, the Orioles have the fifth-best record in the American League, so they’d be in the playoffs if the season ended today (although they’d only be the seventh seed, because of the annoying rule that the second-place teams in each division are guaranteed the No. 4-6 seeds, regardless of record).

Can the O’s keep it up? I have no idea. They’ll face a tough challenge this weekend, with the Nationals slated to throw Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Max Scherzer at them. But for now, let’s enjoy this ride for however long it lasts.

Links

Orioles complete sweep with 11-4 win over Phillies (updated) - School of Roch
Brandon Hyde is happy with his team’s performance but wants to stay focused and hungry instead of getting too excited. That’s probably for the best. It’d be a little off-putting if he were like, “WOOOOOOO!!! We’re gonna be world champions, baby! Take that to the bank!!”

This O’s trio continues to do it all amid streak - Orioles.com
It speaks well about the Orioles’ offense that I had no idea which trio Joe Trezza was referring to in the headline. In this case, it’s Santander, Ruiz, and Sisco, but it could just as easily have been Alberto, Severino, and Iglesias, or Renato Nunez, or Dwight Smith Jr., or...

How soon is too soon for the Orioles to think about the trade deadline? | NBC Sports Washington
Eh, I’d say...now. Now is too soon.

Orioles reliever Mychal Givens could provide significant help to the Phillies’ bullpen - Philadelphia Inquirer
Well, scratch my last comment. Maybe it’s not too soon to think trades, especially if the Phils are angling for Mychal Givens, as this Philadelphia writer suggests they should be.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three O’s birthday buddies, but you probably haven’t heard of any of them, as they combined for only 14 games with the Birds, all in 1992-93. They are righty Mike Cook (57), outfielder Mark Leonard (56), and pinch-runner Tommy Shields (56).

August 14 has been a big day in history for Orioles grand slams. On this date in 1976, the Orioles hit grand slams in both ends of a doubleheader — Lee May in the first game, Reggie Jackson in the second — to sweep the White Sox. And on this day in 1998, in a 15-3 drubbing of Cleveland, the Orioles’ Chris Hoiles became the first catcher ever to hit two grand slams in one game. He clubbed his first salami off Charles Nagy in the third, then tagged Ron Villone in the eighth. Hoiles’ eight RBIs that game were a career high.

On this date in 2015, the Orioles beat the Athletics on Manny Machado’s walkoff two-run homer in the 13th inning. That was the year after Manny became Oakland’s arch-nemesis for throwing his bat at the A’s in a 2014 game, so I’m sure that walkoff held some extra significance for him.

And on this day in 2009, Camden Chat favorite Felix Pie hit for the cycle, becoming just the fourth player in Orioles history to do so (a list that now stands at five after Jonathan Villar did it last year). My lasting memory of that night is no-fun Angels manager Mike Scioscia getting horribly offended by Pie celebrating his feat, forcing Felix to apologize as if he’d done something wrong. Go home, Mike Scioscia, ya big grump. The O’s won the game, 16-6, with all nine hitters collecting at least one hit and run scored, and eight of the nine notching an RBI.