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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles can eliminate the Blue Jays with one last win

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If the Orioles avoid getting swept by the Blue Jays, they will knock Toronto out of the postseason.

MLB: OCT 02 Orioles at Blue Jays
The Orioles probably aren’t good enough to eliminate the Blue Jays on their own, but maybe they’ll surprise us.
Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Here we are at last. It is the final day of the 2021 regular season for the Orioles. Though the O’s were eliminated long ago, the last game will still matter. If the O’s win, they knock the Jays out of the playoffs. The Jays could still fail to make it even if they do complete a sweep of the Orioles, since they are a game behind Boston for the second wild card spot.

If New York and Boston both win today, they are in and everyone else is out and that will be that. That’s not much fun, except for the small silver lining that it means one or the other of those teams will play exactly one more playoff game than the 2021 Orioles and win zero more playoff games than the Orioles.

Yesterday’s game against the Jays doesn’t offer a lot of hope that the Orioles are going to put up much of a fight. They made things interesting for tiebreaker scenarios by taking two out of three from the Red Sox, but that was about as far as they could get. Saturday’s 10-1 whipping was not much fun. Check out Stacey’s recap for the not-so-lovely totals from John Means’s final start of 2021.

The Orioles have some of their own stakes to play for in this game, although it’s not the kind of thing where they get better if they win. After last night’s Diamondbacks win, the Orioles are one game back in the #1 draft pick standings. Another Orioles loss today along with an Arizona win would leave these teams with the same record, with the Orioles holding the tiebreaker by virtue of a worse 2019 record.

At a minimum, a three-team tiebreaker remains a possibility. Depending on how things finished up in Seattle last night, the four-team tie could still be in play. Tiebreaker chaos is fun, though on this occasion it requires an Orioles loss. One thing the Orioles are good at is losing, so, you know, maybe they’ll do their part. We’d also need Yankees and Red Sox losses for a three-way tie, and those things plus a Mariners win for the four-way.

I’m always rooting for Yankees and Red Sox losses, so that would be great! The Rays have done their part for this scenario so far by beating the Yankees twice. The Nationals have not contributed much, losing to the Red Sox twice. They’ll have a player making his MLB debut in the finale against Boston. I’m not getting my hopes up. On the other hand, maybe something weird will happen?

It all draws to a close with a 3:07 game this afternoon. All MLB games today begin at the 3 o’clock hour, so the drama will be playing out side-by-side-by-side. Bruce Zimmermann is set to get the start for his hometown Orioles, with Hyun Jin Ryu pitching for the Jays.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles savor taste of playoff atmosphere with final series in Toronto: ‘This is what competitors live for’ (The Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles, much like their neighbors to the south the Nationals, have only helped along the final weekend of playoff atmosphere by losing and helping their opponents chances.

A scout’s take with the Jim Russo Award winner (Steve Melewski)
Adley Rutschman was something of a slam dunk for Orioles scout Jim Verley, but Coby Mayo looks like a nice under-the-radar find. Good job!

John Means ‘gave us everything he had’ in ‘21 (Orioles.com)
It wasn’t a very good final start for John Means, but that shouldn’t put a damper on his overall season. This was a strong

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2014, Delmon Young hit a double.

Four years later, things were less fun. October 3, 2018 saw the Orioles officially announce they would be moving on from both Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. There was success during their O’s tenure, but it ended poorly and we are still paying the price, and probably still will be next year too.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2021 reliever Adam Plutko, 2013 one-game reliever Mike Belfiore, and 1997 swingman Mike Johnson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Caesar assassin Gaius Cassius Longinus (85 BC), novelist Gore Vidal (1925 AD), musician Chubby Checker (1941), Baseball Hall of Famers Dave Winfield (1951) and Dennis Eckersley (1954), Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee (1962), No Doubt singer and solo artist Gwen Stefani (1969), and rapper ASAP Rocky (1988).

On this day in history...

Today in 42 BC, that same assassin Cassius fought fellow conspirator Mark Antony to a draw in the Battle of Philippi. However, Cassius heard an erroneous rumor that his ally Brutus had been killed in the battle and he committed suicide. Brutus rallied Cassius’s force to a draw on this day, but was defeated in turn 20 days later.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day. This was made officially a federal holiday in 1870. In 1942, it was fixed at its current date: the fourth Thursday in November.

In 1995, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty.

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