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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the good times came to a screeching halt

The undefeated Orioles were flying high heading into New York, but a blowout loss to the Yankees dampened the mood.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I regret to inform you that the Orioles are not, in fact, going to finish 162-0 this season.

As stupendous as the O’s looked in their opening-series sweep in Boston, it took just one night at Yankee Stadium — the Birds’ personal house of horrors — to flatten the club’s early momentum. The Orioles were outplayed in every facet of the game last night, starting with an offense that managed just four singles and no runs. Starter Jorge Lopez held his own for a while before losing his command in the fifth. Veteran relievers Shawn Armstrong and Paul Fry added kerosene to the fire, and the Birds were essentially out of the game long before it was officially over. Alex Church recapped all the gruesome details.

Frankly, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The Orioles have been nearly incapable of beating the Yankees, particularly in the Bronx, for the better part of two years. From 2019-2020, the Orioles lost 19 consecutive games to the Yanks, and while they eventually snapped that ignominious streak in Baltimore last September, they still haven’t figured out Yankee Stadium. Last night’s loss was the Birds’ 11th straight in the Yankees’ home park. The last time the Orioles won a game there was over two years ago, on March 31, 2019, when John Means got his first major league win and Brandon Hyde just his second. That game ended with a strikeout of Troy Tulowitzki, who has been retired from baseball for 19 months.

It never fails. Just when Orioles fans are starting to feel the tiniest bit excited about their team, a matchup with the Yankees always smacks them with a cold dose of reality. The talent disparity between the AL East behemoths and the rebuilding Birds is too stark to ignore, and the games play out on the field just as you’d expect they would on paper.

The Orioles probably won’t lose 19 in a row to the Yankees again. Probably. And maybe someday they’ll consistently be able to go toe-to-toe, and even gain the upper hand, over their pinstriped rivals. But that day, it appears, has not yet arrived.


Mac Sceroler impresses in MLB debut -
The news wasn’t all bad for the Orioles last night; Rule 5 pick Mac Sceroler enjoyed a brilliant MLB debut, which included a strikeout of Aaron Judge in a bases-loaded jam en route to 2.2 hitless innings. Not bad for a guy who’s never pitched above Single-A.

McKenna and Sceroler debut in Orioles' 7-0 loss in Bronx - School of Roch
It’s a bummer to see the oft-injured Austin Hays land on the injured list again, but in his absence it’ll be intriguing to see what Ryan McKenna can do. His debut last night wasn’t quite as memorable as Sceroler’s, unless of course you’re Ryan McKenna or his family.

Orioles made pitch to host this season’s All-Star Game after MLB moved it out of Atlanta - Baltimore Sun
I guess this is moot now, with reports coming out last night that the All-Star Game will be played at Coors Field in Denver. Maybe one day Baltimore will finally get to host again.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! The only Oriole born on this day was the late Danny Clyburn, who played 13 games for the 1997-98 Orioles. He hit his first major league homer as an Oriole before being traded for Jason Johnson in 1999. Tragically, Clyburn was fatally shot by his neighbor in 2012 at age 37. He would have been 47 today.

On this day in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards hosted its first regular season game, revolutionizing baseball ballparks as we know them. With a sellout crowd of 44,568 on hand for the grand-opening festivities, O’s starter Rick Sutcliffe inaugurated the park with a complete game shutout against Cleveland, a game that took just two hours and two minutes. Even nearly three decades later, Camden Yards remains, for my money, the most beautiful ballpark in the game.

The Orioles have played a few other memorable games on this date, too. In 2008, after getting shut out for eight innings by Mariners ace (and now recent ex-Oriole) Felix Hernandez, the Birds rallied for three runs against the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth, capped by a walkoff single by light-hitting shortstop Luis Hernandez.

In 2009, the Birds walloped the Yankees on Opening Day at Camden Yards, crushing new Yankees ace CC Sabathia for six runs in his team debut. Brian Roberts and Adam Jones each had three hits and Cesar Izturis smacked an unlikely home run. The crowd of 48,607 mercilessly booed Maryland native Mark Teixeira, who had spurned his hometown team to sign with the Yanks as a free agent, and he went 0-for-4 in his debut.

And on this date three years ago, the O’s outlasted the Yankees in a 14-inning marathon in New York, with Pedro Alvarez crushing a go-ahead grand slam in extras, not long after the O’s had denied the Yankees the winning run on Mychal Givens’ skillful block of home plate on a wild pitch. It was one of the few memorable wins of that godforsaken season.