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Thursday Bird Droppings: Another Orioles off day arrives

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Things didn’t go very well for the Orioles in New York. They get a day off today before returning to Camden Yards.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Mets
It was one of those days.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The Orioles have been better on the road than at home this year, but their latest jaunt away from Baltimore did not go so great. Matt “The Dark Knight” Harvey’s return to New York on Wednesday afternoon ended up with him getting blasted out of the game early and the O’s losing by a fairly lopsided 7-1 margin. Check out Andrea’s recap of the game for some not-so-lovely totals.

Wednesday’s loss brings the Orioles into this off day with a 16-21 record. That’s a .432 winning percentage, which over a full season would net them 70 wins. It’s not an exciting number of wins, except for when your favorite baseball team’s most recent 162 game season resulted in 54 wins.

Jumping up to 70 would be a big improvement for the Orioles, especially if many of those wins end up being driven by players who could hang around for a while. Is that happening so far this year? Eh. It would be nicer if there were good, young hitters other than Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, and if there were good starting pitchers other than John Means.

Most of the lineup and most of the rotation is leaving us wistfully looking down at minor league box scores. At this point, it’s levels below Triple-A that have the most intriguing players on the roster. With Keegan Akin in the Orioles bullpen and Zac Lowther bouncing back and forth, those guys aren’t getting stretched out at Norfolk. Neither is Mike Baumann, who’s still working his way back to a 100% workload at lower affiliates.

I was sure that rotation would be interesting! So far, it’s not. It feels a lot like my absolute certainty for the last three seasons that this will be the year that I finally watch three real outfielders in the Orioles outfield. This year will be the year the Norfolk rotation is interesting! That’s what I said on this website less than two weeks ago. And yet, here we are.

The O’s do have today off, but there won’t be much rest for the weary, as their return to Camden Yards will have them starting a series against the Yankees. The O’s are 5-13 at home so far this year. It’s rough. Think about something more fun today, like the fact that Adley Rutschman homered last night.

Around the blogO’sphere

Chris Tillman attempts a comeback, and more notes (The Athletic)
Orioles media old friend Brittany Ghiroli has a tidbit about Chris Tillman in her latest notes column. It’s hard to come back in 2021 when your last good year was in 2016, but maybe he can do well enough to get on the Matt Harvey path.

Harvey’s return takes wrong turn in 7-1 loss (School of Roch)
The score wasn’t fun for Orioles fans, but Harvey was happy for the reception he got in his return to Queens. I hope he pitches better next time.

Baltimore to lift COVID capacity restrictions on restaurants, other businesses (The Baltimore Sun)
Starting on Monday, sporting venues in Baltimore will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Per this article, the Orioles don’t have immediate plans to expand to that capacity. Realistically, next week’s series against the Rays is probably not going to even reach the 25% number; the O’s have only had three games so far with 10,000 or more fans, and all of those were against the Red Sox.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The last time the Orioles won a game on May 13 was in 2018, when they stomped the Rays, 17-1. Fresh callup Joey Rickard hit two dingers and drove in five runs, and Danny Valencia had a four hit game with four RBI. This improved the O’s record to 13-28, which is still a better winning percentage than they had at season’s end.

There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2015-20 relief pitcher Mychal Givens, 2009-10 pitcher David Hernandez, 2008 four-gamer Ryan Bukvich, 1998 reserve outfielder Lyle Mouton, and 1986 utility man Juan Beniquez. Today is Beniquez’s 71st birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Habsburg sovereign Maria Theresa (1717), longest-serving pope Pius IX (1792), actress Bea Arthur (1922), author Roger Zelazny (1937), rock and roller Ritchie Valens (1941), musician Stevie Wonder (1950), basketballer Dennis Rodman (1961), comedian Stephen Colbert (1964), musician Darius Rucker (1966), and rapper Pusha T (1977).

On this day in history...

In 1846, America formally declared war on the Federal Republic of Mexico, beginning the Mexican-American War that eventually settled the Rio Grande as the border between America and Mexico.

In 1862, Robert Smalls, an enslaved man, stole a Confederate steamer and piloted it to Union lines. Smalls was later officially appointed as captain of the USS Planter, making him the first Black man to captain a United States ship.

In 1940, the German Army crossed the Meuse River, its first step towards the conquest of France. The same day, Winston Churchill delivered a speech known as the “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech to Parliament.

In 1989, Chinese students occupied Tiananmen Square to begin a hunger strike in protest of the Communist Party regime.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 13. Have a safe Thursday.