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Sunday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles can try to pick up another sweep

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The Orioles started off May just like they did April, picking up a win. They can go for a series sweep today.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The Orioles are on the cusp of getting back to a .500 record! After beating the Athletics, 8-3, on Saturday afternoon, the O’s find themselves with a 13-14 record. If they are able to pick up a sweep in the finale of the series in Oakland today, their record will be an even 14-14. Check out Harrison’s recap of the game for some lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the MVP poll.

Another thing about yesterday’s win is that the Orioles are, for now, not in last place any more. The Rays lost on Saturday, bringing the 13-14 Orioles (and Yankees) up ahead of them by a half a game. The O’s sit 3.5 games behind the division-leading Red Sox, who also lost on Saturday, and two games behind the second wild card team, currently Houston.

When it comes to the worst record in MLB and thus 2022 draft position, there’s several games of breathing room between the O’s and the 8-20 Tigers. The Orioles have had their share of problems in their first 27 games, but they have not, on the whole, played at “get the #1 pick next year” level of bad. In 2019, the Orioles were 10-20 at the end of April, several games below the 12-14 Tigers. By season’s end, Detroit had seven fewer wins than the O’s did. Things can certainly change the rest of the way, in any direction.

After a lifeless beginning of the season, there are starting to be some encouraging signs from some of the slumbering bats. When yesterday’s game ended, the O’s were up to five players with an OPS above .700 - which, in this year of depressed offense, is about average. They’ve got two better-than-average-ERA starters in John Means and Matt Harvey, and six relievers who have an ERA under 3.00. Some things have gone wrong with this team so far. Others have worked out.

Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann takes the mound for the Orioles as they try to get back to .500 by completing the sweep in Oakland today. The A’s scheduled starter for the 4:07 Eastern game is Sean Manaea, who’s been pretty good through his first five starts. holding a 2.83 ERA, with just four earned runs allowed over the most recent four starts.

Around the blogO’sphere

Breaking down the four most exciting position groups from the Orioles preliminary minor league rosters (The Baltimore Sun)
The Sun’s Jon Meoli thinks the Aberdeen and Bowie rotations, and the Delmarva and Norfolk infields, are where it’s at. I’m much less excited than he is about the Norfolk infield.

The best players in baseball through April (Orioles.com)
Not just one, but two Orioles make the cut at their positions for the best AL players in the first month of the season. I hope this lasts for both John Means and Cedric Mullins.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The most recent time the Orioles won a game on this day was in 2015. They played a “home” game at the Trop, relocated due to the aftermath of civil unrest. The O’s won a 4-0 game over the Rays, with Miguel Gonzalez pitching 7.2 innings and Brad Brach finishing it off. Steve Pearce, Caleb Joseph, and Chris Davis drove in the Orioles runs as the team improved to 11-11.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018-19 infielder Jonathan Villar, 1996 reserve Brent Bowers, and 1989 reserve Keith Moreland. Today is Moreland’s 67th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Russian empress Catherine II “The Great” (1729), author Jerome K. Jerome (1859), baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Collins (1887), pediatrician and writer Benjamin Spock (1903), vacuum man James Dyson (1947), actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (1972), and actress Ellie Kemper (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1536, England’s queen, Anne Boleyn, was arrested. She was charged with adultery, incest, treason, and witchcraft.

In 1611, the King James Version of the Bible received its first printing, commissioned from a London printer named Robert Baker.

In 1808, the people of Madrid, Spain rebelled against the French occupying force, launching the Peninsular War, which was fought for another six years until Napoleon was defeated and temporarily deposed.

In 1945, the Berlin garrison surrendered to the Soviet Red Army, effectively ending major combat operations in the European theater of World War II, though fighting continued for several days as some German units positioned themselves to try to surrender to Americans on the western front rather than Russians in the east.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 2, or at least until something changes later when the Orioles finish their series against the Athletics. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!