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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles try to dust off and win a series

Last night’s game wasn’t much fun. The Orioles still have a chance to win the series tonight.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
It be like that sometimes.
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

I’ve thought about it long and hard and I’ve come to the decision that it’s not a lot of fun when one’s favorite baseball team is 30 games under .500 before the All-Star break. The Orioles have been that many games under .500 three times in the last couple of weeks, starting at 24-54 on June 27. They hit 27-57 on July 4 and after last night’s loss they are 28-58.

Up to this point this year, the Orioles have not been worse than that. They can avoid going even lower if they are able to win the rubber game of the series against the Blue Jays tonight at 7:05. Alek Manoah and Keegan Akin are the scheduled starting pitchers for the finale. Manoah accepted and served the five-game suspension he was given for throwing at Maikel Franco last month.

The O’s dropped the second game of the series last night by a 10-2 margin as Matt Harvey was bad yet again and the offense did not come close to making up for that. Check out Alex’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals.

It’s been hard to watch this Harvey thing play out for a while now. He started sinking in mid-May and there hasn’t been anything to reverse that since then. It’s after Independence Day and there’s a guy in the rotation who’s made 18 starts and his ERA is closer to 8 than it is to 7. If he was eating innings, you could maybe live with this as part of a tanking effort, but he’s not eating innings. He has pitched more than five innings in five of his 18 starts. Enough is enough!

The problem for the Orioles is that they are short on remotely acceptable options. John Means and Bruce Zimmermann are on the injured list, although Means should be back in the second series after the All-Star break, if everything holds. Dean Kremer was bad and banished to the minors.

Neither Zac Lowther nor Alexander Wells have pitched great in Triple-A, and neither of them are stretched out such that they’re averaging five or more innings per game. Lowther pitched in last night’s game, and both he and Wells seem to be viewed by the team more as relief options for 2021. So we might be stuck with more Harvey for a little while. Maybe Means will replace him after the break. Maybe not.

For now, the Orioles are on pace for a 53-109 season. That’s not much fun either, especially since, as bad as they are, they still aren’t on a path to get the #1 pick in next year’s draft. The Diamondbacks entered play on Wednesday six games back of the Orioles in the loss column. The Orioles are this bad and some team is still six games worse! It’s just wild.

Around the blogO’sphere

Some of the clubhouse support for Mancini in Home Run Derby (Steve Melewski)
It’s already a great story that Trey Mancini will hit in the Home Run Derby. For Birdland, it’ll be even greater of a story if he does well.

O’s trio forming super battery in minors (
I’m here for any and all DL Hall, Grayson Rodriguez, and Adley Rutschman buddy trio content.

Orioles put Franco on injured list, recall Gutierrez (Baltimore Baseball)
A daily roster move is practically mandatory for the Orioles. Yesterday, the O’s put Maikel Franco on the injured list due to an ankle sprain he suffered at the end of the Houston series. Taking his spot is Kelvin Gutiérrez, an infielder the O’s acquired for cash considerations on July 3.

Why Orioles manager Brandon Hyde deserves an extension (Press Box)
Some fans have wanted to blame Hyde for some of the mishaps in the field this season. Stan Charles takes the opposite view of Hyde, that he deserves a chance to helm the Orioles as the next good team draws closer.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1958, the All-Star Game was played in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, then less than five years into its use by the Orioles. The O’s were represented in the game by catcher Gus Triandos, who was in the starting lineup, as well as pitcher Billy O’Dell, who pitched three innings of relief for a save as the AL beat the NL, 4-3.

In 2011, the Vandal, David Ortiz, initiated a brawl with Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg after popping out pathetically and making minimal effort to get to first base. The O’s lost the game, 10-3, as Zack Britton was blasted from the game in the first inning with eight runs allowed. We can safely say, however, that the 2011 O’s had the last laugh against the 2011 Red Sox.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2006 five-game catcher Danny Ardoin, 1997 reserve Jerome Walton, and 1960 reserve John Powers.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Coca-Cola inventor John Pemberton (1831), pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly (1838), robber baron John D. Rockefeller (1839), Five Stages of Grief psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926), chef Wolfgang Puck (1949), and actor Kevin Bacon (1958).

On this day in history...

In 1709, the Russians defeated the Swedish in the Battle of Poltava. Prior to the battle, Sweden was regarded as a major power in Europe, but it declined in prominence in the aftermath of Poltava.

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read for the American public for the first time, accompanied by church bells and possibly the Liberty Bell.

In 1898, Alaskan crime boss Soapy Smith was killed in the Shootout on Juneau Wharf.

In 2011, the space shuttle Atlantis launched for the 135th mission of the space shuttle program. Its four-person crew was the smallest for a shuttle mission since 1983. The mission is more noteworthy for being the last mission of the program.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 8. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!