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Sunday Bird Droppings: Still waiting for the Orioles offense to show up

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The current Orioles series against the Rays isn’t technically a five game series, but the O’s are in danger of being swept in it anyway.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Jose Iglesias was hit by a pitch yesterday. It looked bad.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The Orioles lost again last night. This guarantees a below-.500 record for 2020. They have scored either one or zero runs in all but three games dating back to September 11, which you may recall includes two doubleheaders. It’s not great. They are in the position to be swept in what essentially amounts to a five-game series in the finale this afternoon. That’s not great either. Check out Stacey’s recap for the not-so-lovely totals from last night.

What makes this current swoon by the O’s sting even more is that it comes in tandem with a tailspin by the Blue Jays. One half of what the Orioles needed in their playoff scenarios a week or two ago was the Jays collapsing. The Jays have lost six games in a row and are back down to .500. This would be more interesting if the O’s hadn’t lost 10 of their last 12 games. So they’re in no position to take advantage.

The 12-8 start the O’s had gotten out to was a perfect example of playing with house money. There was nothing for the Orioles to lose, in essence, and even now that they’ve started losing that’s still true. There were no expectations this year. Any fun was a bonus, and it was fun for a little while, so that’s cool. It’ll be nice if the offense can wake back up in the last week of 2020 and generate some more good feelings heading into the offseason.

John Means gets the start for the O’s in today’s 1:05 series finale. He’s another guy who could help inspire some good feelings if he has a good close to the season.

Around the blogO’sphere

Davis won’t play again in 2020 (School of Roch)
Under the current MLB assumption that 2021 spring training will be able to proceed on the timetable it ordinarily would, it’ll be February before we have to worry about Chris Davis again.

Hays: ‘I need to continue to prove myself’ (Orioles.com)
Hays had two hits in last night’s game and is now OPSing .619 on the season. So yeah, he’s still got a little something to prove.

Boog Powell, Don Buford remember 1970 Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)
I probably won’t live to see a 50th anniversary of an Orioles World Series championship that happened when I was alive. At this point I’d just like to see a title some time.

How Cesar Valdez’s ‘dead fish’ changeup became a weapon at the back end of the Orioles bullpen (Baltimore Sun)
Baseball is more fun when somebody’s throwing a pitch that’s called the “dead fish.”

Find a way: Farm pitchers get their work in even without games (Steve Melewski)
Guys who weren’t put on the 60-man player pool have had to improvise. Here are the stories of a couple of farther down O’s pitching prospects, Drew Rom and Brenan Hanifee.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1958, Hoyt Wilhelm threw a no-hitter against the Yankees. His catcher, Gus Triandos, hit a solo home run for the game’s only run. This was the first no-no in Orioles history.

In 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. did not play, bringing an end to The Streak at 2,632 consecutive games played.

In 2002, Mike Bordick played a 102nd consecutive errorless game at shortstop, setting a new MLB record.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2014 infielder Steve Lombardozzi, 1990 outfielder Dave Gallagher, and 1972 reliever Roric Harrison. Today is Harrison’s 74th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: novelist Upton Sinclair (1878), actress Sophia Loren (1934), and actor Gary Cole (1956).

On this day in history...

In 1187, Saladin laid siege to Jerusalem.

In 1519, Magellan’s expedition to circumnavigate the globe set sail from Sanlucar de Barrameda.

In 1973, Billie Jean King triumphed over Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis exhibition.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 20. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!