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Saturday Bird Droppings: A return to losing for the Orioles

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Hopefully the O’s loss on Friday is only a minor bump in what is sure to be a roaring finish to the season. You with me?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

All good things must come to an end, and that includes the Orioles itty, bitty two-game winning streak. It was fun while it lasted. The Rays put a stop to the good vibes at Camden Yards with a 6-3 defeat of the good guys, which Mark lovingly recapped for the site.

Look, after suffering 19 straight L’s, we can handle one bad night, especially when it wasn’t even that bad. Matt Harvey was actually pretty good after a rough first inning. He went six innings. Unfortunately, Tanner Scott was dreadful. It might be time for a reduced role for Scott given that Tyler Wells is healthy, Cole Sulser continues to deal, and Jorge López might actually be a decent reliever.

Ryan Mountcastle had a hard-luck 0-for-5, having a home run stolen by Kevin Kiermaier, and a single robbed by Wander Franco. Don’t be fooled by the box score, he’s still hot at the plate. And I’m not sure why we ever worried about Cedric Mullins. He is crushing it again at the top of the lineup with an OPS of .900 after he had two hits, including his 23rd home run of the year.

On top of that, today is John Means Day! That doesn’t feel the same way it did early in the season, but it’s usually still a better pitching day than most for this team. It would be fun to actually win a game against the Rays, ya know?

Links

Christian Yelich has a day, Chris Sale is immaculate and the Orioles … well: Joe’s Week in Baseball | The Athletic
It gets to a certain point with these pieces where you start to think the media has a quota to hit every day on Orioles-bashing. This column has the added nugget of suggesting that a team like the Royals might deserve a higher draft pick because they are “trying” unlike the Orioles. Maybe. But the Orioles have a 2-1 record against the Royals, and it would be fun to hear someone twist themselves in knots while trying to explain how the two team’s divisions compare to one another. Let’s not pretend like the Royals are actually good. They stink too, just in a more palatable way and in a more fortunate circumstance.

Orioles Release Maikel Franco | MLB Trade Rumors
The much-maligned third baseman won’t be sticking around the organization. He has cleared waivers (shocker!), and been granted his release. Hopefully he is able to catch on with another team come spring training.

The Orioles gave their fans a brief respite from losing, but the pain from a rock bottom season cuts deeper | Baltimore Sun
A pretty good recap of the different perspectives that have been thrown around regarding the Orioles’ current rebuilding process. Let me just say that I totally agree that rebuilding is awful and absolutely no fun from a fan perspective. At the same time, the Orioles are not the first ones to do this, and they aren’t even the only ones doing it right now. So let’s just be consistent with our criticism and provide context.

Hyde on Harvey, Mateo, Urías, and López | School of Roch
Jorge Mateo and Ramon Urías are playing themselves into consideration for the Orioles’ Opening Day roster next season. We shouldn’t expect them to continue to be as good as they have been the last couple of weeks, but even slightly reduce production at a pair of infield positions would be a huge boost for this team over an entire season.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! A whole slew of former O’s were born on this day:

  • Kelvin Gutiérrez turns 27. An infielder on the current iteration of the O’s, Gutiérrez has appeared in 12 games so far. Prior to joining this fine organization he spent parts of three seasons with the Kansas City Royals.
  • Mike Torrez celebrates his 75th. The right-handed pitcher spent one very good season with the Orioles in 1975, when he went 20-9 with a 3.06 ERA and earned some down-ballot MVP votes.
  • Lou Piniella is 78 years old. Although known better for his managerial career, Piniella had an impressive 18-season playing career, which started with a four-game stint on the 1964 Orioles. He was traded to Cleveland in 1966 for Camilo Carreón, who also only played four games for the O’s.

This day in history

This has been a fairly dry day in the history of the Orioles, so here a few things that have happened away from Birdland:

1609 - The Delaware Bay is discovered by Henry Hudson.

1830 - Tom Thumb, a steam locomotive on the B&O Railroad, races a hose-drawn car.

1845 - The first issue of the Scientific American magazine.