Good morning, Camden Chatters.
The Orioles wrapped up yet another losing series this weekend, dropping three out of four in Buffalo to the Blue Jays while getting outscored 31-12 in the set. They did manage a comeback victory on Friday to halt their road losing streak at 20 games — safely short of the record 24-game road skid by the Diamondbacks that also ended this weekend — but that’s little comfort for a team that’s now 30 games under .500 with more than half their schedule remaining.
So let’s try to focus on some good news. And for the 2021 Orioles, no news has been better than the breakout season of Cedric Mullins. Now he might get a chance to strut his stuff on a national stage.
Mullins finished seventh among AL outfielders in Phase 1 of fans’ All-Star voting, and by virtue of being in the top nine, he advanced to Phase 2. The votes are reset and fans can again vote among the nine outfield finalists (and three finalists at all other positions) to determine who will start the Midsummer Classic in Denver on July 13.
By the numbers, Mullins deserves to start. He leads all AL outfielders in hits (91), OPS (.916), and fWAR (3.2) while playing an outstanding defensive center field. He might face an uphill climb in garnering enough national support, though, from fans who aren’t particularly familiar with him and know only that he plays for an atrocious team.
Still, there’s a chance. Two higher profile outfielders among the finalists, Mike Trout and Byron Buxton, are both sidelined with injuries and might not be healthy enough to play in the All-Star Game. The other finalists — Michael Brantley, Adolis Garcia, and fellow AL East outfielders Aaron Judge, Teoscar Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, and Randal Grichuk — are having fine seasons. By the numbers, though, none hold a candle to Mullins. It’s a near certainty that Mullins will end up on the All-Star team one way or the other. But starting it would be extra special.
So, let’s get cracking. Let’s get Cedric Mullins into the All-Star starting lineup. Starting at noon today, go vote!
The Orioles may be afterthoughts, but Cedric Mullins is too good to ignore - Washington Post
In case you needed a refresher on what makes Mullins awesome, here you go.
Orioles lose for 16th time in 18 games, go 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position; López loses his 10th - Baltimore Baseball
But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Galvis to miss one to two months with quad injury - School of Roch
If things weren’t bad enough in Birdland, one of the Orioles’ most reliable players is now down for the count for the foreseeable future. He might have been traded next month anyway, but losing him this way really stings.
Mike Elias, former GMs talk Orioles and trade deadline thoughts - The Athletic
With Mike Elias being predictably tight-lipped about what the O’s might do at the deadline, Dan Connolly checked in with four former GMs, including former Birds VP Jim Duquette, to get a sense of how the Orioles might play things.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just one Orioles birthday buddy, the late Don Baylor (b. 1949, d. 2017), who came up with the Birds in the early 1970s and was just starting to break out as a star when the O’s dealt him to Oakland in the Reggie Jackson trade. Baylor played another 13 years after that, winning the AL MVP award for the Angels in 1979.
On this day in 1957, Ray Moore tossed the Orioles’ fourth consecutive complete-game shutout — following Hal Brown, Billy Loes, and Connie Johnson before him — to set a new American League record. That mark was later topped twice — both times by the Orioles themselves, who threw five straight shutouts in 1974 and in 1995.
On this date in 2000, O’s left fielder B.J. Surhoff went 5-for-6 with two doubles and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning in an 8-7 victory in extras at Fenway Park. The scorching performance at the plate extended Surhoff’s hitting streak to 21 games, though it would end the next day.
And on this day in 2015, the Orioles shut out Cleveland in both ends of a doubleheader in Baltimore, outscoring them 12-0 for the day thanks to five home runs. Game two featured seven scoreless innings by Chris Tillman, while the opener included a brilliant eight-inning gem by...Ubaldo Jimenez?? Wow. Ubaldo allowed just four hits, struck out seven, and didn’t walk anybody in his shutout performance, outdueling future Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. Cleveland’s starting pitcher in the nightcap was right-hander Toru Murata, in what was his first and only MLB appearance ever, but he’s had a long 12-year career in Japan that’s still active today.