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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are aiming to avoid another sweep

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The Orioles have now lost seven of eight games since the John Means no-hitter, including four straight.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
It was another one of those days.
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Remember when John Means threw a no-hitter? That was fun! After that game, the Orioles were 15-16 with a chance to get back to .500 in their next game. They’ve gone 1-7 since that no-hitter, including a four-game losing streak at the hands of the New York teams, the Mets and Yankees. The latest setback came last night, as Jorge López turned in a clunker on the way to an 8-2 loss. Check out Stacey’s recap for some not-so-lovely totals.

The Orioles are quickly dropping into the territory that most experts expected them to be in for the 2021 season. Their 16-23 record now has them on pace to win 66 games over a full season. As we know, that’s a massive improvement over the 54 wins they accumulated in 2019, but it’s still a pretty bad baseball team.

There are several worse teams out there. Three teams were below a .400 winning percentage heading into Saturday’s games. The O’s competition in the cellar of MLB so far has been the Tigers, Twins, and Rockies.

An almost unbelievable 5-15 home record is what has really sunk the O’s to where they are. If they were merely a somewhat disappointing 9-11 at home, they’d be 20-19. That would actually still leave them in last place in the AL East! Fourth place Tampa is 22-19. The East is a tough division and the O’s have had one of the toughest, if not the toughest, schedules so far. That doesn’t make the losses any more fun. Losing sucks.

The good news is that on these nights that make you glance anxiously at the minor league box scores, there’s often been a lot of fun stuff to see from the farm. Saturday was no exception. Our usual minor league recap will go into it in greater detail, but just to whet the appetite, Grayson Rodriguez struck out eleven batters in a five-inning start. That dude might be pretty good.

The Orioles try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Yankees as the series closes out today at 1:05. They’ll have their work cut out for them, as it’s looking like they will deploy a bullpen game. Those aren’t much fun either. Better times will arrive eventually, we can continue to believe, but they don’t feel all that close just now.

Around the blogO’sphere

Updates on Means, Tate, and more (School of Roch)
Regular rest for Means would have had him starting today, but the Orioles have chosen to push him back to Wednesday to give him a little extra rest.

Steady on D, Franco seeks answers at the plate (Orioles.com)
Franco was out of the Orioles lineup on Saturday in the midst of a 5-for-51 slump. That’s rough!

Trey Mancini in impressive company on Orioles leaderboards through his first 500 games (The Baltimore Sun)
Here’s an impressive number from this story: “With 93 home runs, no player who began his career with and spent his first 500 games with the Orioles has more than Mancini.”

Plutko on heavy innings load and praise for young pitchers (Steve Melewski)
Adam Plutko wants to lead MLB in relief innings. The way the Orioles rotation is going, he might have a pretty good chance to come close.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1965, Jim Palmer picked up the first of his 268 career wins, pitching the 3rd-6th inning in a 7-5 win over the Yankees. Palmer helped his own cause by hitting one of three career home runs.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018 infielder Luis Sardinas, 2000 infielder Ivanon Coffie, and the late Dave Philley, who played for the Orioles in 1955, 1956, 1969, and 1970.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Alaska purchaser William H. Seward (1801), microphone inventor David Edward Hughes (1831), actor Henry Fonda (1905), historian Studs Terkel (1912), and musician Janet Jackson (1966).

On this day in history...

In 1527, the people of Florentine kicked out the Medicis and re-established themselves as a Republic. The victory was short-lived, however, as four years later a Medici pope established one of his relatives as Duke over Florentine, hereditary rule that lasted until 1737.

In 1842, a train of wagons with 100 settlers departed from Elm Grove, Missouri for the Pacific Northwest. It’s recognized as the first major train to travel along the Oregon Trail.

In 1888, a Nikola Tesla lecture first described the equipment to generate alternating currents, allowing electric power to be transmitted over long distances.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 16. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!