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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are holding on to a playoff spot

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The Orioles lost the weekend’s series, though won the season series, against the Nationals. It’s back to the AL this week.

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

Hello, friends.

The new day dawns with the Orioles in third place in the American League East. Their 12-9 record leaves them three games behind the division-leading Yankees. The O’s sit in the #7 seed in the AL at the moment, since they’ve got the best record outside of the division leaders (seeds 1-3) and runners-up (seeds 4-6), which would qualify them for a best-of-three against the Yankees.

There’s a long way to get there. The O’s have 39 games left to play and with all the uncertainty in the world it’s no guarantee the season will even finish. The other thing, obviously, is that they would have to keep playing well, or at least well enough to stay in the race.

Yesterday’s 6-5 loss is not going to be the kind of thing that gets them there. Moral victories of scoring five runs off of Max Scherzer don’t count for anything, even if it is fun that the O’s continued their pattern of doing very well against high-priced starting pitchers. Check out Harrison’s recap of the loss for the not-so-lovely totals.

The next seven games the Orioles will play are against the Blue Jays and Red Sox, who happen to be the two teams below them in the division. If, hypothetically, the Orioles are a team that is going to keep being a pleasant surprise, these are games where they should get some wins. If they’re not, then they won’t get the wins.

The Blue Jays series starts at Camden Yards at 7:35 tonight. The O’s will face Hyun-jin Ryu in the opener.

Around the blogO’sphere

Means makes short return start in Orioles loss (School of Roch)
It’s going to be a process to get John Means back up to full strength. That process might involve some more of Jorge Lopez piggy-backing in Means starts.

O’s honor Negro Leagues 100th anniversary (Orioles.com)
The O’s celebrated a milestone anniversary yesterday. I learned something. Maybe you will too.

Improved bullpen helping upstart Orioles find themselves in contention at season’s one-third point (Baltimore Sun)
I don’t expect this to continue, but it’s fun as long as it stays true. Travis Lakins took the loss yesterday, but it was a Rio Ruiz error that did him in.

Sunday Notes: “Diamond” Jim Gentile’s fight over Dr. Strangelove’s bat (Fangraphs)
Jim Gentile was not on the Orioles at this point, though that makes it no less of a good story.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1989, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 1,208th consecutive game. With this number, he passed Steve Garvey for third place on the streak list. It was a good game for Cal and the O’s, as Cal went 3-5 and the O’s beat the Jays, 11-6.

In 1999, Jesse Orosco pitched for the Orioles, the 1,072nd appearance of his career. This set a new MLB record, with Orosco passing Dennis Eckersley.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2008-09 pitcher Chris Waters, 1961-74 slugger Boog Powell, and 1967 seven-game pitcher John Buzhardt.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: frontier folk hero Davy Crockett (1786), “Deep Throat” Mark Felt (1913), novelist V.S. Naipaul (1932), actor Robert De Niro (1943), and actor Donnie Wahlberg (1969).

On this day in history...

In 1424, during the Hundred Years War, the Duke of Bedford led an English force to victory over the French despite being outnumbered close to two to one.

In 1585, during the Eighty Years War, the Spanish captured Antwerp after a siege. Protestants were ordered to leave the city; half of the 100,000 occupants left.

In 1943, during World War II, General Patton and Field Marshal Montgomery arrived at Messina, Italy, as the Allies completed their conquest of Sicily.

In 1945, George Orwell’s Animal Farm was first published.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 17. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!