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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles losing streak could hit double digits today

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The Orioles have lost nine straight games. They face a first place team tonight. Maybe they can avoid hitting double digits.

Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

So... the Orioles. Things aren’t great right now, we have all seen for ourselves in whatever games we’ve watched ever since John Means threw his no-hitter. The Orioles were 15-16 after winning that game, almost back to .500. They’ve gone 2-16 since then, sinking steadily to be the team with the worst record in all of baseball. They have not stopped being bad at home and now they’re losing on the road too.

The O’s led yesterday’s game through five innings, but it never really felt like it was theirs to win. They’d only scored one run in the first inning and that was it. With Jorge López on the mound, it seemed like only a matter of time until runs scored. It happened in the sixth inning rather than the fifth, like usual. A game where López gets a quality start feels like it “should” be a win. Then the Orioles had just five hits and scored only two runs. Check out my recap of the game for more about the not-so-lovely totals.

As bad as things are right now, the Orioles are still “only” on pace to lose 106 games this season. That’s a mighty bad baseball team indeed. It’s also nine games better than the recent gold standard for bad Orioles baseball, the 2018 losers who went 47-115.

It’s safe to say that things have gone a bit awry for the 2021 Orioles that they’ve even made us think a little bit about those 2018 jabronis. I had higher hopes for these guys after their 12-14 record in April. Obviously, that’s not playoff-caliber baseball being played there, but it was enough to think maybe this year would not bring the kind of numbness to losing that the last Duquette-era team and the first Elias-era team brought.

That is not turning out to be the case. The pitching has been bad outside of Means and maybe two relievers. There are several solid hitting performers in the lineup to go along with a number of others who are a complete black hole. Defense is not a strong suit, especially at the catching position.

It all adds up to 17-32. The Orioles would have to lose another nine straight games on top of this to get to the 17-41 mark that the 2018 O’s posted. That would be quite a lot of losing. It doesn’t feel out of the realm of possibility, unfortunately. There’s no immediate help on the horizon from the minors. The guys who are here are going to have to play better or they’ll just keep losing. Some of them may not be capable of playing much better than they are.

If the Orioles are going to stop the skid before it hits double digits, they are going to have to beat the first place White Sox in the series opener in Chicago tonight. East coasters will have to wait an extra hour for the game compared to usual. It’s an 8:10 start time.

Around the blogO’sphere

Elias: O’s ‘remain steadfast’ in rebuild (Orioles.com)
Mike Elias met with Orioles beat writers over Zoom prior to yesterday’s game and touched on a variety of things relating to the team’s current struggles and the better times he sees on the horizon.

Hyde on Kremer’s demotion, Mountcastle’s hand, and more (School of Roch)
Elias said the Orioles are going to be patient with players developing at the MLB level, but that’s not unlimited patience. The team thinks Dean Kremer needs to work on the quality of his pitches and the ability to execute them at Norfolk for a little bit.

What if the Orioles extended Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis after the 2014 season? (The Athletic)
I wonder this same question sometimes, but it’s hard to imagine a much better direction existing for the franchise in that alternate universe unless they also got better pitching - which they would have been even less likely to do if money was spent on Cruz and Markakis.

As Paul Fry climbs the bullpen ranks, his winding path to the Orioles comes into focus: ‘I still think back and get chills’ (The Baltimore Sun)
Paul Fry may have ended up as the most trusted Orioles reliever of the moment. If you’d like to know a bit more about his baseball history, here’s a good story.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The last time the Orioles were victorious on this day was 2019, when they turned seven hits into five runs and beat the Tigers, 5-3. Three O’s from that day’s starting lineup remain: Pedro Severino, Trey Mancini, and Stevie Wilkerson. At this point, the O’s had a worse record than the Tigers, but by season’s end, Detroit had earned the #1 pick in 2020 and the O’s slotted into the #2 spot.

There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today. Happy 37th to 2012-15 pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. May his day feature his desired level of mariachi serenading.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: 19th century wealthy person Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794), railroad robber baron Jay Gould (1836), writer Dashiell Hammett (1894), environmentalist Rachel Carson (1907), actor Vincent Price (1911), baseball Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas (both 1968), and TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (1971).

On this day in history...

In 1703, the city of St. Petersburg was founded in Russia, during the reign of Peter the Great.

In 1905, Russian and Japanese battleships engaged in the Battle of Tsushima, which was both the first and last battle in history to be fought between modern steel battleship navies. In the two-day battle, over 125,000 tons worth of Russian ships were sunk, with Japanese losses totaling 450 tons.

In 1941, Germany’s massive battleship Bismarck was sunk after an extended pursuit and engagement with the British Navy, losing all but 114 men of its crew of about 2,200.

In 1962, a fire was ignited in a coal mine in Centralia, Pennsylvania. The fire still burns today, and over the decades the 1,500 or so people living in the town almost completely abandoned it.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 27. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!