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Thursday Bird Droppings: It’s not getting any better for the Orioles

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The Orioles, who lost their seventh straight game and fell to 1-8 in August, are on pace for a 55-107 season. Seems optimistic.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Welp, so much for what was supposed to be the easiest series of the Orioles’ August schedule.

The Orioles lost their second game in a row to the sub-.500 Tigers last night, guaranteeing a series loss and dropping them to 1-8 in August. And it only gets more difficult from here. Starting Friday, the Orioles play at least 19 of their next 22 games against winning teams — and maybe all 22, depending on whether the Angels (currently hovering a game around .500) have a winning record when the Birds play them Aug. 24-26. All come against teams that are fighting tooth and nail for postseason spots, so don’t expect any of them to take it easy on the Orioles. They see the O’s as patsies that they can run up some valuable wins against, and they will almost certainly be correct.

This Tigers series had the potential to be the oasis in the middle of the desert for the Orioles. Granted, the Tigers are a much better team than the Orioles — almost everyone is — but they’re not the caliber of club that the Birds’ upcoming opponents like the Red Sox and Rays are. If the O’s were going to notch a few wins, this was their chance. Instead, they’ve been soundly outplayed in the first two games of the series and will try to salvage the finale this afternoon. Stacey recapped last night’s futile O’s effort.

If it’s any consolation — and it isn’t — the O’s at least avoided making unfortunate history last night. By holding the Tigers to five runs, the Birds snapped a streak of six straight games in which they’d coughed up nine or more. Had they run that streak to seven, they would have tied the all-time MLB mark held by the 1901 New York Giants and 2000 Seattle Mariners. So...yay?

The Orioles also avoided giving up Miguel Cabrera’s 500th career homer, merely allowing #499 with his fifth-inning blast off Matt Harvey. They kept him in the ballpark for his final two at-bats. There’s still a chance he could hit #500 against the Birds today, but with the Tigers slated to return to Detroit tomorrow night, it’d make sense for the club to hold Cabrera out of today’s lineup so he can try to reach the milestone in front of the home fans.

It’s nice that those Tigers fans have something to look forward to, even in a non-contending season. Orioles fans aren’t so lucky.

Links

Miguel Cabrera’s 499th home run breaks Matt Harvey’s dam in Orioles’ 5-2 loss to Tigers, their seventh straight defeat - Baltimore Sun
Nathan Ruiz notes that Cabrera and Matt Harvey once faced each other in an All-Star Game when they were both in their primes. Last night, even as their stars have faded, they had another notable battle.

Updates on Zimmermann, Wells, Mountcastle, Kremer - School of Roch
Brandon Hyde offers updates on three injured players as well as the struggling Dean Kremer, whom he says is “a little bit inconsistent.” I disagree — he’s been consistently bad.

Adley Rutschman on his move to Triple-A and more - Steve Melewski
Adley Rutschman is not only a top prospect but also a classy guy, considering he resisted telling reporters something like, “How am I not in the majors already? Have you seen these Orioles catchers?”

Baltimore Orioles: Expectations for Season’s Final Two Months - Eutaw St Report
My expectations? Pain.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy birthday to Lew Ford, who has had a fascinating career. After washing out with the Twins in 2007, he jumped around from Japan to Mexico to independent ball, then returned in 2012 with the Orioles and was the starting DH in a couple of postseason games. Ford hasn’t played in the majors since then but is still active in the Atlantic League to this day, currently in his 11th (eleventh!) year with the Long Island Ducks. He turns 45 today. Other ex-Orioles with birthdays today are 2018 righty Jhan Marinez (33) and 1980-83 infielder Bobby Bonner (65).

On this day in 2000, the Orioles won a wild game in Kansas City. Trailing by three runs with two outs in the ninth, the O’s rallied on a hit batsman and two singles before Albert Belle crushed a go-ahead, three-run homer to left, leading the Birds to a 12-11 victory.

In 2015, the Orioles were on the wrong end of a no-hitter for the seventh time in club history, with Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma pulling off the feat at Safeco Field. The right-hander issued three walks and struck out seven en route to his historic achievement. The Orioles, of course, returned that favor earlier this season with John Means’ no-hitter against the M’s in Seattle.

And on this date in 2019, the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres hit three home runs against the Orioles in a doubleheader, giving him 13 against the Birds that season. That set an MLB record for the most homers in a year for a player against an individual team. (For what it’s worth, Torres hasn’t homered against the Orioles since that day.)