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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are having a bad time in the Bronx

There is no reason to panic, but the Orioles lost for a second time, they are striking out a bunch, and there is no end in sight. Again, do not panic!

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

Good morning Birdland,

The 2021 season is only a week old. It’s too soon to get excited or worried about anything in particular that has happened. We don’t have enough data to establish trends one way or another. But that doesn’t make the Orioles current performance against the Yankees any less disappointing.

It’s been a pretty bad showing all-around from the O’s during their time in the Bronx. The offense has scored two total runs, both coming on one swing from Rio Ruiz. Although that was shrouded in good news since it seems that the Orioles are, in fact, allowed to hit home runs. Ruiz was the first member of the team to leave the park this season.

That said, the pitching has not been good either. Both Jorge Lopez and Dean Kremer struggled with control and seemed to run out of gas sometime during their second time through the Yankees order. The Orioles won’t be expecting many of their starters to toss seven shutout innings like John Means did on Opening Day, but they will need them to cut down on walks and get through five innings with some regularity.

Again, there are no trends yet. Kremer will be better in his next start. Hitters like Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander, and Ryan Mountcastle won’t stay homer-less all season long. Plus, Means is on the bump tonight, and although he may not be a universally-regarded “ace” just yet, it sure feels a lot better when he’s pitching.

Links & Notes

Orioles home opener to include first pitch from Mayor Brandon Scott; Mo Gaba, front-line workers to be recognized | The Baltimore Sun
As bad as the O’s have looked the last two days, you can be excited that tonight’s game is the end of a road trip, and we get to see the team back at Camden Yards tomorrow. It will be neat to see fans back in the stands at the friendly confines.

2020-21 MLB International Reviews: Baltimore Orioles | Baseball America
Things are looking up internationally for the O’s. This most recent class of signings was an improvement over Mike Elias’s debut class in 2019, and the next class should be better than that as the current Orioles regime establishes a foothold in the region. The development of the training facility in the Dominican Republic can only help.

Strikeouts mount as O’s lose again to Yankees | Steve Melewski
There have been a lot of Orioles strikeouts in this first week of the season. However, they have also just gone from a frigid few days in Boston to facing the Yankees, where it looked like Jordan Montgomery had everything working and Gerrit Cole is...well, he’s Gerrit Cole. Of course, if the trend continues against all types of pitchers, concerns will mount.

Ryan McKenna made it to the majors. Now the Orioles’ outfield prospect wants to stick around. | The Baltimore Sun
The Orioles outfield is full of options these days, and that is despite Austin Hays and DJ Stewart sitting on the shelf with matching hamstring injuries. Ryan McKenna looks to have plenty of athleticism to be a useful player on this Orioles team. It’s just a matter of whether he will get enough playing time to show it off. If not, he may be better served to put in work at the alternate site or Norfolk until a bigger role opens up.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Ricky Bones turns 52 today. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 30 games for the 1999 Orioles and finished with a 5.98 ERA.
  • The late Tom Phoebus (d. 2019) was born on this day in 1942. The Baltimore native spent five seasons with the hometown team from 1966 through 1970. He pitched to a 3.06 ERA, 107 ERA+, and 6.0 bWAR over those five seasons.

Orioles history

1873 - John McGraw is born. Although he was never a part of the organization that we currently know as the Baltimore Orioles, McGraw did play third base for the 1890s Orioles before becoming a successful manager of the New York Giants, winning 10 NL titles and three World Series championships. McGraw was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.