There have been some bad times for the Orioles so far this month, but for all that, they just took two out of three games from the first place Braves. That’s never a bad thing. Keegan Akin looked pretty good in striking out nine batters in a five inning start, and the O’s offense was remarkably efficient in getting five runs off of seven hits. Check out Paul Folkemer’s recap of the 5-1 win for some lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.
The victory helps keep the dim light of the Orioles postseason hopes lit for at least a little bit longer. The Blue Jays were shellacked by the Yankees on Wednesday night, falling to 26-22. The Orioles are five games behind these guys in the loss column. You don’t want to be five games back with 11 to play.
The O’s making it would take an 8-3 finish just to get to .500, and then the Jays would have to end up with a collapse of 3-9 or worse. The good news is the O’s have three games against those Jays, so if they somehow survive to the final series they can control what happens.
Another possibility involves the Indians, who’ve stumbled a bit heading into the final stretch of the season. Cleveland was walked off by the Cubs yesterday to drop to 26-23, having lost eight straight. The O’s are a mere four games back of the Indians, who would have to finish 3-8 or worse from here on in addition to the O’s going 8-3.
The good news for this longshot is that the Indians offense really sucks. The bad news for O’s fans is Cleveland’s pitching is very, very good. Still, it’s always possible until it’s not. But a lot has got to go right for the Orioles to do the unlikely.
What’s more, the Orioles would have to make that 8-3 finish happen while playing eight of their final 11 games against above-.500 teams. Up to this point, the Orioles have been 12-20 against those teams. If they end up making it, no one will be able to say they didn’t earn it.
The Orioles will play two of their last 11 games in a doubleheader against the Rays today. The Rays, like the Braves, are a first place team. The first of the two seven-inning regulation contests is scheduled to begin at 4:35. It is apparently possible that a Baltimore area Orioles pitching prospect will be called up to make his MLB debut in one of the games:
Ellicott City product Bruce Zimmermann is a candidate to start one of the Orioles games against the Rays tomorrow, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Zimmermann was scheduled to throw a simulated game in Bowie recently but the O's altered those plans, per source.— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) September 16, 2020
After Wednesday’s win, manager Brandon Hyde said that the game 1 starter would be Dean Kremer, while the game 2 starter is someone from Bowie who needs to be called up. Zimmermann certainly is in that category. This would certainly be interesting, and hopefully still exciting after the outing.
Around the blogO’sphere
The Orioles’ inconsistent offense explains their streaky season: ‘We need to zero in’ (Baltimore Sun)
The offense hit the magic number last night, which is scoring at least four runs. The Orioles won. These things are often connected.
How the O’s teach English as a second language to young Latin players (Steve Melewski)
Neat interview with the woman who helps teach English to recent Orioles international amateur signings.
Orioles announce 2021 Grapefruit League schedule; Pitchers, catchers report February 16th (Baltimore Baseball)
Here is an announcement that, by its existence, broadcasts a confidence that I do not have.
Orioles join MLB in promoting voter engagement through Voter Up campaign (Press Box)
The Orioles and the city are trying to arrange for Camden Yards to be an early voting site. It’ll be good if the team can be a part of this initiative that’s been implemented with other pro sports venues.
There’s also this:
Jose Iglesias is getting a precautionary X-ray on his shin, Brandon Hyde said.— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) September 17, 2020
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1970, the Orioles clinched the American League East division title, although they lost their game that day, 2-0. It was a Yankees loss to the Red Sox that put the O’s over the top.
In 1999, the Orioles team plane left without Cal Ripken Jr., an incident that helped contribute to then-GM Frank Wren’s firing. That same night, Jesse Orosco appeared in his 1,072nd game, setting an MLB record for pitchers that Orosco still holds. He reached 1,252 games before retiring. The active leader in games pitched is Astros reliever Joe Smith, whose 782 games place him 56th on the all-time list.
There is one lone former Oriole who was born on this day. 1979-81 reserve infielder Wayne Krenchiki was born today in 1954. He passed away in 2018 at age 64.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Buick founder David Dunbar Buick (1854), Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid (1859), Marriott founder J. Williard Marriot (1900), novelist Ken Kesey (1935), movie man Baz Luhrmann (1962), and rapper Flo Rida (1979).
On this day in history...
In 1176, the Byzantine Empire was defeated by the Seljuk Turks in the Battle of Myriokephalon, a significant defeat as it marked the last time the Byzantines tried to reclaim central Anatolia (modern day Turkey).
In 1787, the United States Constitution was signed.
In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from the Eastern Shore plantation where she was enslaved.
In 1908, Orville Wright crashed the Wright Flyer. The crash killed his passenger, Army Lt. Thomas Selfridge, and marked the first airplane fatality in history.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers dropped into the Netherlands, initiating the ill-fated Operation Market Garden.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 17. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!