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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where this week could make or break the Orioles

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The Orioles’ next seven games come against teams they’re chasing in the AL East. They could make some noise, or all but drop out of contention.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It may be strange to think about, but it’s August 25 and the Orioles are still very much alive for a postseason spot.

Granted, the truncated season and the five wild cards per league mean that almost every team is very much alive for a postseason spot. (Except the Red Sox. Heyo!)

But in the Orioles’ case, they’re closer than many expected. With a 14-14 record, they’re just half a game out of the race, trailing the 14-13 Blue Jays for the final wild card berth.

This coming week of games should tell us a lot about whether the Orioles have a chance of making some noise in the playoff chase. Tonight the O’s start a three-game series against the first-place Rays in Tampa. The Rays have been one of the hottest teams in baseball, going 13-3 in their last 16 games. But then again, the Birds swept them in three games the last time the two clubs squared off. Could there be more Orioles Magic in store?

After that, the O’s will jaunt to Toronto Buffalo for four games against their closest competitors, the Blue Jays. In that instance, the Orioles will be hoping to avenge the three-game sweep they suffered from the Jays in Baltimore last week. Winning one or both of these upcoming series will keep the O’s in prime position for one of the last wild card slots, while a losing week could all but bury them.

It’s go time, folks. Let’s do this thing.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in their seven-game trip against the Rays and Jays?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    6-7
    (24 votes)
  • 40%
    4-5
    (188 votes)
  • 50%
    2-3
    (233 votes)
  • 3%
    0-1
    (15 votes)
460 votes total Vote Now

Links

Notes on trade deadline, Davis’ status and new rules (updated) - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko checks in on, among other things, next week’s trade deadline, which could have some Orioles on the move. I get that baseball is a business, but I dunno...if I were a GM, I’d feel weird about forcing a player to uproot and move somewhere new in the middle of a global pandemic. Is it just me?

Yankees Potential Trade Target: Mychal Givens - Pinstripe Alley
Speaking of trades, our fellow SBN blog Pinstripe Alley has its eyes on Mychal Givens to boost the Yankees’ injury-plagued bullpen. Givens’ (until Sunday) 0.00 ERA this season sure doesn’t hurt his trade value, I’d say.

A few random thoughts on the .500 Orioles - Steve Melewski

Five observations about the first half of the Orioles' 2020 season - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Steve Melewski and Rich Dubroff both offer observations about the Orioles as they approach the midpoint of the schedule, and both are bullish on the team’s overall play this season. I think we can all agree with that, unless you’re one of those weirdos who wants the team to lose for better draft pick position.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with current O’s farmhand Chandler Shepherd (28), who appeared in five games last year and was briefly on the Birds’ roster this season but didn’t get into a game. He’s currently at the Bowie alternate site. It’s also the birthday of 2002-03 outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. (46), surly slugger Albert Belle (54), and the late 1962 catcher Darrell Johnson (b. 1928, d. 2004).

On this day in 1968, the Orioles walked off in the 18th inning against Boston in a marathon of a game, a five-hour, 27-minute slog that was won on Brooks Robinson’s RBI single. The Orioles’ No. 2 through 5 hitters had 12 hits in that game between them, while Don Buford and Davey Johnson were a combined 0-for-15. Rookie right-hander Roger Nelson threw seven scoreless innings of relief for the win.

On this date in 1983, in a big AL East matchup, the Orioles walked off the Blue Jays in 10 innings, 2-1. It was a scoreless game after nine — thanks to Dave Stieb’s nine shutout innings for Toronto and Storm Davis’ eight for the Birds — before a Barry Bonnell solo homer off Tippy Martinez in the 10th put the Jays ahead. But “Disco” Dan Ford won the game with a two-run double in the bottom half, keeping the O’s within half a game of the division-leading Brewers. The O’s would walk off the Blue Jays the next day, too.

And on this day in 2014, the O’s hit both back-to-back homers (Nick Markakis, Steve Pearce) and back-to-back-to-back homers (Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis) for the first time in franchise history, leading to a 9-1 rout of the Rays.