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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles’ skid hit double digits

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The Orioles lost their 10th straight game last night, and Trey Mancini got injured. How was YOUR day?

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Me, a week ago: Man, I wish the Orioles didn’t play so much worse at home than on the road.

The Orioles: Oh, okay, we’ll fix that! We know just what to do!

Ugh. I guess I...should have been more specific.

The Orioles are now an equal-opportunity atrocious team, dropping to 11-15 on the road (along with 6-18 at home) with their seventh consecutive loss on this road trip and their 10th straight defeat overall. Drew Bonifant recapped the latest indignity in the Birds’ opener against the White Sox.

A 10-game skid seems like the kind of nightmarish event that should happen only once in a blue moon, but this is actually the 17th double-digit losing streak in Orioles history (and the second in the past three years, after they also dropped 10 in a row in June 2019). That means the Orioles, now in their 68th year of existence, have averaged a 10-game losing streak once every four seasons. That seems like a lot to me, though I haven’t compared that average to other franchises.

Going past 10 straight losses has been much rarer, though. Only seven times have the Orioles lost 11 or more, most recently in September 2009, when they lost 13 straight, the third-longest streak in O’s history.

Will the Orioles reach that unlucky 13 again? With three more games against the excellent White Sox, it’s certainly within reach. And if they also lose on Memorial Day against the Twins in Baltimore, they’d match the second-worst skid, set by the inaugural Orioles in August 1954.

I think any Orioles fan is well aware of the longest streak in club history, as it just so happened to start a season. But even these hapless 2021 Orioles couldn’t possibly match that level of despair by losing 21 in a row...could they?

Actually, don’t answer that. I’m not sure I want to know.

Links

Trey Mancini exits early after hit-by-pitch - Orioles.com
Because this is just what a freefalling Orioles team needed. Everything is awful.

O’s Paul Fry on how players are holding up during losing run - Steve Melewski
It’s wild to me that Paul Fry is now one of the longest-tenured Orioles. And sad that he’s never gotten to play for an even halfway competent team. Hopefully one day he gets that chance, but I’m betting it won’t be in Baltimore.

Hanifee undergoes elbow surgery (updated) - School of Roch
For all you Brenan Hanifee-heads out there, here’s the latest on the O’s pitching prospect.

Orioles Fans Rip New ‘Local Market’ Hat, New Era Appears To Have Pulled From Website – CBS Baltimore
If you didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity to buy an Orioles hat that included randomly slapped-on clip art of a crab, a boat, and Edgar Allan Poe, alas, it appears you have missed your chance.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 40th birthday to Daniel Cabrera, the tall, hard-throwing right-hander from the 2004-08 Orioles who we kept waiting to put things together. It didn’t happen, but we’ll always have that near no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. Also born on this day was a member of the original 1954 Orioles, left-hander Bob Kuzava (b. 1923, d. 2017).

In recent history, May 28 has been a terrible day for the Orioles. In the decade of the 2010s, they lost a game on this date every single year, going 1-10 overall (a split of a doubleheader in 2015 prevented them from going entirely winless).

Still, the Birds have had a few memorable moments on this date. In 1987, the Orioles’ Mike Young joined the short list of players to hit multiple extra-inning homers in a single game. In the bottom of the 10th, with the O’s trailing the Angels, 6-5, Young powered a leadoff homer off DeWayne Buice to knot the score. Two innings later, Young faced Buice again with a runner aboard and clubbed a walkoff, two-run blast, sealing the Birds’ 12-inning win.

And in 1996, Cal Ripken Jr. had one of his greatest offensive performances ever, crushing three home runs and driving in eight runs in a 12-8 O’s win at Seattle’s Kingdome. That included a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh off Michael Jackson (not that one). It was the only three-homer game of Cal’s Hall of Fame career. Three other Orioles homered in that game, including Cal’s brother, Billy.