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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where the losing streak has reached nine

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The Orioles lost again, Spenser Watkins might not be the answer, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Happy Saturday, Camden Chatters! I hope your weekend is off to a nice start. If you missed last night’s game against the Red Sox, it probably is. Yes, the Orioles lost another one last night and, like most games lately, it wasn’t even close. There was talking going into the series about how the Red Sox are struggling, and that’s true.

On July 30th they were in first place in the A.L. East and now just two weeks later they are five games behind the Rays in the the division and sitting in the second wild card slot, just two games in front of the Yankees.

The implication that because they’ve been struggling means the Orioles might be able to take advantage was always silly, though. Because a struggling Red Sox team is still head and shoulders better than the Orioles and the level they’ve been playing at all year. That was proven last night with the O’s lopsided loss.

Part of the reason for that lopsided loss was starting pitcher Spenser Watkins. Watkins was such a nice story when he got called up. He’d been playing in the minors forever and was on the verge of quitting before coming to play with the Orioles. He’d agreed to become a high school baseball coach! It’s always nice for any player on your team of choice to do well when called up, but a player like that, who cries when talking about the moment he found out he was finally making the majors, that’s really special.

Of course, we all knew it wouldn’t last. Watkins started the year one good appearance out of the bullpen and three good starts. It’s been downhill since then as he gave up four runs in each of his past three starts before last night. And then last night, it got even worse. Watkins gave up six runs in just four innings.

I don’t know if this will be the only season that Spenser Watkins plays in the majors. For his sake I hope not. But it very well could be. It seems that the shine is off, but I am still glad he is here. The Orioles are so very bad, I like that they are giving a guy like Watkins a chance. What does it matter anyway?

The Orioles have now lost nine in a row, which sounds like a lot because it is a lot. But it’s their third losing streak of at least eight games this year, with the longest being 14. So this isn’t exactly new territory for the team or the fans. The only question is, how many more will they lose before getting a win?

Links

Norfolk Tides’ unique coaching staff monitors metrics to ‘make everybody better’ - The Virginian-Pilot
A really interesting story on the diverse background of Norfolk's coaching staff and how they are using information and analytics to help the team succeed.

When remembering the final years of Chris Davis' career, don't forget those early years - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Don't tell me what to do, Rich Dubroff! I do think that eventually I'll remember the good times. But there has gotta be some time to forget the recent past first.

Scout on Mateo: "He's still young and he's got a lot of tools" - School of Roch
It seems like everyone is very interested in convincing us that Jorge Mateo is gonna be something. I hope they're right.

MLB rumors: Real reason Jake Arrieta is out of a job could have nothing to do with baseball - nj.com
The hot goss about Jake Arrieta’s release from the Cubs is that it’s because he made fun of a reporter for wearing a mask. Very charming, Jake. Although I doubt it had NOTHING to do with baseball. He’s pretty bad.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies who all have three things in common. The first is that were all with the Orioles for only one season. The second is that they all appeared with the team in the early 90s. The third is that I have never heard of them.

Tommy Shields, who appeared in two games as a pinch runner for the 1992 Orioles, turns 57 today. Mark Leonard, who also turns 57, had 10 games with the team in 1993. And Mike Cook, who is celebrating his 58th birthday, pitched three innings over two games for the Orioles in 1993.

On this day in 1973, Don Baylor had five hits in a 12-10 win over Texas, The day before he had four hits, making for a pretty good series against the Rangers.

In 1998, catcher Chris Hoiles hit two grand slams in one game against Cleveland. The Orioles won 15-3. Had there been Most Birdland Player awards in 1998, Hoiles would have won in a landslide.

In 2009, Felix Pie hit for the cycle and was, understandably, very excited about it. But Mike Scioscia, manager for the Angels and noted grump, acted like a jerk because Felix dared to be happy, prompting him to apologize after the game for his exuberance. I still haven’t forgiven Mike Scioscia.

In 2014, MLB owners chose Rob Manfred to be the new league commissioner. In my own humble opinion, this hasn’t gone that well. But the owners are still rich so they are probably not too concerned.