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Thursday Bird Droppings: A day off from the Orioles

The Orioles are guaranteed not to lose a game today, since they have the day off.

MLB: SEP 02 Mets at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The bad version of the Orioles came out to play again yesterday as they were shellacked by the Mets, 9-4. There wasn’t much silver lining to it, though Jose Iglesias had two hits and is still hitting over .400, and Ryan Mountcastle and Pat Valaika each had multi-hit games also. Check out Alex Church’s recap of the game for some not-so-lovely totals.

The Orioles get the day off today before their run through the New York gauntlet continues. There’s four games in three days against the Yankees coming starting tomorrow with a doubleheader, then another two games against the Mets, and at the far end of that, more games against the Yankees.

The O’s have somewhat infamously lost approximately 500 straight games to the Yankees. If that streak of futility continues, the Orioles will have at least eight more losses in the next ten days. The Yankees have had some problems of their own lately, so perhaps they’re reeling enough for the O’s to, you know, win a game or two against them. It’s always fun to dream. Just don’t get your hopes up too much.

Hopes for the O’s to sneak back into the playoffs are relying on much more of a longshot now as compared to two weeks ago. It would take a 7-3 stretch in the next ten games just to be back at .500 and it’s no longer looking certain that .500 will be enough for the #8 spot in the American League.

We’re left with a more familiar thing to hope for in the last month of the season, the same thing that there has been in the last two seasons before this: The hope that maybe some future pieces can establish themselves.

Mountcastle looking good over his first 50 big league plate appearances won’t be enough to silence the doubters, but he’s been fun so far. Anthony Santander keeps looking interesting.

Among the pitchers, we can hope for John Means to right the ship, for Keegan Akin to have a few good turns through the rotation, for the improvements from Paul Fry and Tanner Scott to keep showing, for Hunter Harvey to stay healthy and do well, and for Dillon Tate to keep doing what he’s done through his first four 2020 outings.

Maybe even another prospect will show up to join this group? That would be fun. I’d rather see Dean Kremer getting a chance to fill a rotation spot than a stop-gap already on the MLB roster.

For today, though, think about something other than the Orioles. I’ll be spending my sports energy watching Stage 6 of the Tour de France this morning, where the peloton faces three climbs in the final 50km, including an ascent to the 1,351 meter summit of the Col de la Lusette. The famed yellow jersey changed hands after yesterday’s stage when then-leader Julian Alaphilippe was penalized 20 seconds for receiving food or drink at a forbidden time. No, really.

Around the blogO’sphere

After whirlwind offseason, Valaika settles in with Orioles (Steve Melewski)
Valaika is following the 2019 Hanser Alberto path to unlikely Orioles success so far. He’s got six hits in the last two days. Not bad!

LeBlanc raising funds for hurricane relief (
Wade LeBlanc’s hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana was hit by Hurricane Laura. He’s trying to help with the relief effort.

Means has ‘horrible’ fastball, Nunez injures hamstring (Baltimore Baseball)
It would be nice to have some positive stuff to say about John Means outings at this point. Not much good to say yet.

Orioles announce plans for Sunday’s 25th anniversary celebration of Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game (Baltimore Sun)
Where were you on that day 25 years ago?

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1979, the Orioles swept a doubleheader against the Blue Jays, winning a 2-1 contest in 11 innings as well as a 5-1 nightcap. Mike Flanagan picked up the win in the second game, making him the season’s first 20-game winner.

In 2012, the O’s beat the Jays, 4-0, in a game where starter Joe Saunders was perfect through 5.2 innings. They pulled within a game of the Yankees, setting the stage for Cal Ripken Statue Night to have a whole lot of potential meaning.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2010-14 pitcher Troy “The Invisible Man” Patton, 1987-90 utility man Rene Gonzales, 1956 nine-game pitcher Morrie Martin, and 1956-57 nine-game pitcher Sandy Consuegra.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: painter Paul Kane (1810), writer Sarah Orne Jewett (1849), Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche (1875), Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl David Anderson (1905), Taco Bell founder Glen Bell (1923), musician Hank Thompson (1925), and snowboarder Shaun White (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1260, the Mongols were defeated by the Mamluks in the Battle of Ain Jalut, the first significant defeat of the Mongols. This also marked an end to westward Mongol expansion.

In 1777, the United States flag was flown in battle for the first time during the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware. The Americans lost the battle but (as you know) won the war, with the Treaty of Paris concluding the conflict exactly six years after Cooch’s Bridge with American independence recognized.

In 1939, World War II expanded into a global conflict as France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia all declared war on Germany following the Nazi invasion of Poland. The British initiated a naval blockade of Germany that lasted the remainder of the war, though German U-boats still escaped into the Atlantic to prey on shipping there.

In 1944, Anne Frank and family were placed on the last trains headed to Auschwitz from a transit camp in Westerbork, Netherlands.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 3. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!