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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles will score no runs again (they’re off today)

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There’s an off day for the Orioles to regroup before they tackle the Athletics, winners of eleven straight. Good luck!

Baltimore Orioles v Miami Marlins
Same, Ryan.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Have you seen the Orioles offense? Through 18 games of the season, they’re still looking to find one. Yesterday, they were shut out by the Marlins in a 3-0 loss, collecting just four hits and drawing only one walk in the game. This was the third time so far in 2021 that the Orioles have been held scoreless in a game, and their second time being shut out in their last three games. It’s not great. Check out Harrison’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals.

The loss puts the Orioles at 8-10. Over a full season, that’s a pace that would give the O’s 72 wins at season’s end. That is better than most people expected from this team, although it’s nowhere close to quality baseball, either.

It’s also early in the season, so one game’s result affects the pace a lot more than will be the case in July or August. If the Orioles lose their next game, suddenly they’re only on a 68 win pace. If they win it, they’re up to a 77 win pace. That’s quite a swing, but the reality is it’s still just one game out of 162.

The O’s have a tough task looming, as six of their next ten games are against the red hot Athletics. Oakland won an eleventh straight game yesterday, winning a wacky 13-12 10 inning contest on a walkoff error to improve their record for the season to 12-7. They’ve managed this record while having a -2 run differential.

We’ll see if that persists, and if it does, if it sets off the kind of people who refused to admit the 2012 Orioles were any good for this same reason. The A’s “should” (based on the Pythagorean win expectation) have a 9-10 record. If I was them, I’d be glad to see the Orioles right now.

For today, the Orioles have another day off. Yes, they just had a day off on Monday, too. You are not wrong about that. An occasional scheduling quirk with the current way MLB does interleague games is that the two game series against an NL team occasionally has days off on either side of the series. This will happen again when the Mets come to Baltimore for two games in early June.

Around the blogO’sphere

Santander placed on 10-day injured list, McKenna recalled again (School of Roch)
News before yesterday’s game is that the MRI on Anthony Santander’s ankle showed no fracture. However, he’s still expected to miss at least 2-4 weeks with a sprain.

Facing another injury, Orioles outfield depth remains basic example of what club should strive for (The Baltimore Sun)
Different injuries have happened at different times to DJ Stewart, Austin Hays, and Anthony Santander this season, and the O’s outfield has been able to keep on rolling, as long as you don’t look at some of their batting numbers.

Shutout loss ‘a tough one to swallow’ for O’s (Orioles.com)
Some dissection by Joe Trezza in this recap of a failure to back up third base on a bunt attempt costing the Orioles a bit. But the reason they lost is they scored zero runs.

The strike zone is imperfect, but mostly unchanged (Fangraphs)
Umpires are about the same as last year at calling balls and strikes, which isn’t very reassuring when you run into one of the notably bad ones.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1997-98 pitcher Jimmy Key, 1987-89 pitcher Dave Schmidt, and 1963-65 pitcher John Orsino.

Today is also the birthday of Baltimore-born MLB pitcher Bryan “Moose” Haas, a 100-game winner over a 12-year career who also happens to be the only MLB player to ever come from my high school.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724), Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (1870), novelist Vladimir Nabokov (1899), Manhattan Project physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904), and Baltimore movie-making product John Waters (1946).

On this day in history...

In 1864, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, which mandated that all United States coins should have the motto In God We Trust inscribed on them.

In 1915, German troops unleashed chlorine gas on British and French lines as they launched an attack in the Second Battle of Ypres. This was the first large-scale use of poison gas on the Western Front during World War I.

In 1954, the first witnesses started testifying in the McCarthy hearings, which were carried on television.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 22. Have a safe Thursday.