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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles have now lost nine of their last ten

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The starting pitching has been bad. The relief pitching has been bad. The offense... you guessed it, although at least the Orioles scored nine yesterday.

MLB: MAY 22 Yankees at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

I take it as a given that if you are able to navigate your way to this website, you are either familiar enough with the movie The Waterboy or classic Internet GIFs to understand: Oh no, we suck again! There is no more succinct description of the Orioles right now. The latest bummer was Saturday’s 12-9 defeat at the hands of the Nationals. Check out Paul Folkemer’s recap for the not-so-lovely totals.

Only ten games ago, things did not feel this way. Yes, the Orioles were still in last place, but they were “only” 16-19. That’s not a good record. It’s not “worst team in the league” territory either. Yet now the Orioles have lost nine of their last ten games and suddenly they’re headed for the basement of MLB. After this dismal stretch of baseball, only two other teams have worse records than the Orioles.

It seems like everything is falling apart at once. The Orioles have allowed six or more runs in seven of their last ten games. They’ve scored two or fewer runs in four of ten. Three different starting pitchers and three different relievers have been charged with losses in this time.

Maikel Franco is OPSing just .465 in the last 15 days. Pat Valaika over the same stretch is at .267. Cedric Mullins has cooled off. Ryan Mountcastle’s last 15 days OPS is .656 and that’s actually an improvement over what he was doing before. It’s hard to win games like that! Perhaps Anthony Santander’s two good games since returning from the injured list will help reverse the trend.

Whatever is going on, the Orioles are not going to have any days off to try to break this up. They are in the middle of a stretch that will not see them with another scheduled off day until June 3. That’s another eleven games in eleven days, counting today. The rotation has been crap and the bullpen is already ragged. Are we having fun yet?

The O’s are losers of five straight and will try to stave off a sweep by the Nationals in today’s 1:05 game. The good news for the O’s is that Nats starter Patrick Corbin has been bad so far in 2021, with a 6.10 ERA and 6.01 FIP in eight starts. The bad news is that Orioles starter Matt Harvey has also been bad, with a 5.93 ERA over his nine starts. FIP suggests Harvey deserves a bit better, as he has a 4.30 in that stat. So maybe he’s due for the ERA to drop. We can only hope.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles promote Bradish to Triple-A (School of Roch)
The pre-minor league season chatter about Kyle Bradish, part of the Dylan Bundy trade return, is that the Orioles had excitement for him that is not yet reflected in prospect lists. His first three starts in Bowie, where he struck out 26 batters in 13.2 innings, have boosted that idea. And now the O’s are kicking Bradish up a level.

Why manager Brandon Hyde is considering taking César Valdez out of the closer’s role (The Baltimore Sun)
It’s quite simple, really. The Orioles aren’t getting leads into the ninth inning. So maybe the pitcher they believe is their best reliever should get into games and hold leads at earlier critical junctures.

Orioles 2020 first-rounder Jordan Westburg talks hitting (Fangraphs)
If you missed this one a few days ago, it’s still worth reading today. Westburg entered play on Sunday hitting .392/.515/.585 through his first 14 games.

Orioles prospect Pat Dorrian on power surge, journey to pro ball (Press Box)
15 games into his season with Bowie, Dorrian is batting .275/.448/.706. I don’t imagine we will have many occasions to think of him beyond this month, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1999, the Orioles racked up 10 runs in the first inning against the Rangers on the way to a 15-6 victory. Brady Anderson was hit by a pitch twice during that first inning, setting an American League record.

There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today: 2010-11 reliever Mike Gonzalez. It’s also the birthday of former manager Buck Showalter, whose 2010-18 tenure had good times and bad times.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707), sideburns originator and Union general Ambrose Burnside (1824), baseball Hall of Famer Zack Wheat (1888), actress Rosemary Clooney (1928), synthesizer inventor Robert Moog (1934), TV’s Drew Carey (1958), musician Jewel (1974), and movie man Ryan Coogler (1986).

On this day in history...

In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured while trying to raise an army to relieve Compiegne. She was captured first by the Burgundians, then handed over to the English.

In 1568, Louis of Nassau’s Dutch rebels defeated loyalists in the Battle of Heiligerlee, launching the Eighty Years War.

In 1618, a bunch of people were thrown out of windows in the city of Prague. This Second Defenestration of Prague led to the Thirty Years War.

In 1934, police in Bienville Parish, Louisiana ambushed Bonnie and Clyde. The bank robbers were killed in the ensuing confrontation.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 23. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!