Good morning Birdland,
The Orioles made it to the final week of the season before being eliminated from playoff contention. It was their 8-3 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night that did the trick.
It may not be as impressive to remain in the race so late considering the circumstances of the shortened season. But these Orioles were not supposed to even sniff the postseason. Some folks thought single-digit wins were realistic for this club.
Instead, the O’s have already won 23 games with five more to go. That is a success, and it is something that should make them proud even if they aren’t satisfied. The 2020 campaign was a building block towards better days for this franchise. It may disappointing considering where they once stood in the standings, but it was a really fun run while it lasted.
On top of that, we learned a lot about the talented already in the organization. The pitching staff might actually be good next year. And there are some offensive building blocks that have already arrive at the big league level. This was a net positive, and it should be treated as such.
Links & Notes
Hyde on Tate, Iglesias, Zimmermann, Fulmer and more - School of Roch
Carson Fulmer was not going to be the player that transformed the Orioles from an also-ran to a contender, but losing him on waivers was a bit of a bummer. He clearly has some ability, and he pitched well while donning an O’s uniform. That said, the club will move on and replace him with little or no issue.
The Orioles’ season isn’t finished, but the offseason roster churn has already begun - Baltimore Sun
The O’s have a ton of Rule 5 eligible players that they will have to think about protecting sometime soon. Not all of them are worthy, but many others, including Yusniel Diaz, Michael Baumann and Zac Lowther are no-brainers. Mike Elias is about to be mighty busy.
Wei-Yin Chen Signs With NPB’s Chiba Lotte Marines - MLB Trade Rumors
It feels like a lifetime ago, but Wei-Yin Chen was a vital part of a few really good Orioles teams. His career has gone downhill since he left Baltimore, but hopefully the now-35-year-old can find his way in Japan.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Willie Greene turns 49 today. He played in 24 games for the 1998 Orioles, hitting .150/.358/.250 with one home run, one double and five RBI while spending most of his time in right field.
It’s the 54th birthday of Pete Harnisch. The right-handed pitcher was the Orioles first-round pick in 1987 and went on to appear in 51 games between 1988 and 1990. He compiled a 4.49 ERA with 202 strikeouts over 305 innings befor the O’s trade him along with Steve Finley and Curt Schilling to the Houston Astros in exchange for Glenn Davis.
Finally, this is the birthday of the late Marcelino Lopez (b. 1943, d. 2001). He played for the Orioles in 1967 and then again from 1968-69. Across 147.2 innings, the southpaw had a 3.23 ERA with the Birds.
1958 - Orioles pitcher Jack Harshman hits two home runs in a game for the second time this season. His performance this time leads the O’s to a 3-2 win over the Washington Senators.
1999 - The Orioles 13-game winning streak comes to an end with a 9-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics game in the first match of a double-header, but they take the nightcap with a 12-4 victory.
2013 - O’s third baseman Manny Machado suffers a season-ending knee injury by stepping awkwardly on first base in a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.