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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are on a winning streak

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With two straight high-octane victories and a series win, the Birds are finally trending in the right direction. Now the schedule gets tough again.

Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Don’t look now, but the Orioles have won two games in a row. They just need 17 more and we can forgive them for these last couple of weeks.

In all seriousness, though, it’s nice to see the Birds finally look like a major league team again. The offense has been stellar, posting two consecutive double-digit run totals against the hapless Angels. And the pitching contributed yesterday as well, with Keegan Akin delivering an out-of-nowhere stellar outing, working seven innings with a Shohei Ohtani leadoff homer his only blemish. Andrea SK recapped the O’s rout, which sealed a series victory — their first in their last nine series — and made them the last team in the majors to reach the 40-win mark.

It’s good that the Birds got a couple wins under their belt, because now the schedule gets a whole lot tougher again, starting with a three-game weekend tilt against Tampa Bay. The Rays might as well be called “Angelos,” because they own the Orioles. They’ve won 15 of the 16 matchups between the two clubs this year, including all six at Camden Yards so far. After that comes a six-game road trip against two other tough AL East teams, the Blue Jays and scorching-hot Yankees.

Maybe the Orioles can carry some of the momentum from the last two days into these next few series. Perhaps the power of the sage can propel them to a handful of victories during this brutal upcoming stretch. At the very least, let’s hope for some more competitive Orioles baseball than we saw for most of the last three weeks. Ain’t nobody got time for another 19-game losing streak.

Links

Akin goes career-high seven innings in O’s 13-1 romp (updated) - School of Roch
Brandon Hyde, Pedro Severino, and Keegan Akin talk about the Orioles, who are tied for the best record in baseball since Aug. 25. That’s a fact! You can look it up!

An MLB expansion exercise: Keeping 15 eligible members of the Orioles organization – The Athletic
For The Athletic’s mock expansion draft, Dan Connolly chose 15 Orioles players to protect from being plucked away. And, well, when Richie Martin makes the cut, you know it’s not exactly the strongest group of talent. (No offense to Richie Martin.)

Orioles Prospect Colton Cowser Not Worried About Expectations As He Starts Pro Career - PressBoxOnline.com
The Orioles’ 2021 first-round pick discusses, among other topics, that he used to play basketball but quit in middle school because he was “always fouling out and always on the ground.” I like hearing about great athletes who were terrible at other sports — it makes them more relatable to someone like me.

Amid Another Awful Season, Do the Orioles Have a Path Forward? | FanGraphs Baseball
Kevin Goldstein peruses the Orioles’ organization and doesn’t see much star power on the immediate horizon besides the top two prospects. He notes that the O’s are going to need to open the checkbook to be competitive in the coming years. So...we’re doomed?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 29th birthday to current Oriole Spenser Watkins, who was a feel-good story by finally making his MLB debut after he thought his pro career might be finished (and even accepted a high school coaching job this past winter). And happy 51st birthday to Hall of Famer Jim Thome, who finished his outstanding career by playing 28 games for that magical 2012 Orioles club.

On this day in 1961, O’s lefty Milt Pappas had the best all-around game of his career, not only throwing a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, but also hitting two home runs at the plate. Eat your heart out, Shohei Ohtani. Pappas’ standout performance led to a 3-0 O’s win over the Twins.

In 1970, Mike Cuellar became a 20-game winner for the second straight year, earning victory #20 with a complete game in a 6-4 decision over the Oakland A’s. Frank Robinson blasted two home runs to lead the offense as the Orioles extended their AL East lead to 12 games.

And on this date in 1973, the Orioles’ 6-1 win over the Rangers gave them a 14-game winning streak, the longest in the American League in 13 years. Mike Cuellar again played a prominent role by throwing a complete game, giving up 10 hits but no earned runs, while Bobby Grich and Earl Williams homered. The O’s lost the next day, but their 14-game win streak remains the longest in franchise history. I think it’s time for the Orioles to change that soon, don’t you?