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Sunday Bird Droppings: Tied for the worst record once again

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Two bullpen meltdowns leave the O’s hoping for a series split later today.

MLB: Game One-Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Losing both games of a doubleheader is lame, especially in the fashion that the Orioles went about it on Saturday. If you care to revisit the misery, you can do that right here on this very website. Drew recapped Game 1’s 11-10 loss while Andrea wrapped up the Game 2 11-2 defeat.

Each of the games saw the O’s bullpen give up a ton of runs in the seventh and final inning. Tyler Wells imploded in Game 1 while Tanner Scott got absolutely lit up in Game 2. That is unfortunate, but ultimately not terribly surprising. Relievers have bad days. It happens. It is just a bummer that it happened twice within a few hours for the Birds.

What should not be overshadowed is that Keegan Akin might be kind of good now? The lefty carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Game 2 before running out of gas. His final line (6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR) does not look particularly sexy, but he was cruising through a really good lineup for most of the day.

Akin has now lowered his season ERA in six consecutive starts. In those starts he has allowed 15 earned runs over 31 innings with an opponent OPS of .698. Now, there does appear to be some luck involved. His BABIP is only .183, and his strikeout numbers (24 in 31 innings) are not overwhelming. Even still, it is encouraging and should put him right in the middle of the rotation discussion again in the spring.

Zac Lowther has a chance to do something similar later today. The 25-year-old lefty starts for the O’s in the series finale looking to follow-up his six-inning, one-run outing from last week. It’s going to be a good sports day, folks!

Links

With Orioles’ ‘studs exposed,’ coach Tim Cossins appreciates fans’ criticisms: ‘If people aren’t talking about it, we’re going backwards’ | The Baltimore Sun
This may seem like an obvious take, but it is often refreshing to hear from a player or coach that they understand and (to an extent) appreciate fan criticism. There is a contingent of professional athletes that think fans should “stay in their lane” and don’t feel their opinions are valid unless they have played at the highest level. That is, of course, absurd and isn’t an opinion that makes sense for many things in life, sports included. I’m not advocating for wild, uninformed complaining, but rather thoughtful, fact-based criticism.

O’s Matt Blood on Grayson Rodriguez and Kyle Stowers | Steve Melewski
These two represent some of the biggest steps forward in the Orioles’ organization this summer. The praise for Grayson Rodriguez has been loud and far-reaching, while Kyle Stowers appreciation is still mostly reserved for local outlets, but that could be changing.

The Orioles are actually kind of fun (Ep. 80) | The Warehouse Podcast
While it may not feel like it after Saturday’s late-game failures, these last couple weeks have actually been pretty enjoyable. Me and my pals chatted about all of the good stuff that has happened since the 19-game losing streak was snapped.

Brandon Hyde’s foul-mouthed outburst shows these Orioles still care | The Athletic
Look, it’s no secret that the Orioles have not won many games under Brandon Hyde’s watch, but that is far from the skipper’s fault. What I also know is that his players seem to like him (brawl with Chris Davis excluded), and have said as such. The take that Hyde was “classless” or whatever from some online was ludicrous. Evidently, his team was accused of cheating, and that made him mad, rightfully so. He didn’t say anything offensive. He cussed. I think the world will keep spinning.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Keith Hughes turns 58. The outfielder appeared in 41 games for the 1988 Orioles, posting a .618 OPS. He was traded to the Mets in December of 1989.
  • Mark Thurmond celebrates his 65th birthday. Between the 1988 and ‘89 seasons, the southpaw tossed 164.2 innings for the Orioles, mostly out of the bullpen.
  • Albie Pearson is 87. Acquired from the Washington Senators in exchange for Lenny Green during the 1959 season, Pearson stuck in Baltimore through the 1960 campaign with a 73 OPS+ over 128 total games played.

This day in history

1964 - The Orioles beat the Athletics 1-0 in a double one-hitter. Both teams get only one hit as Baltimore’s Frank Bertaina just barely bests Oakland’s Bob Meyer.

2009 - Brian Roberts hits his club-record 51st double of the season as well as a grand slam in an O’s 7-3 victory over the Yankees.

2014 - The O’s sweep the Yankees in a doubleheader with 2-1 and 5-0 wins, but they also receive the news that Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games after testing positive for amphetamines.