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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles got the last laugh over the Yankees

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The O’s finished their season series against the Yanks with a walkoff win, knocking New York out of playoff position.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Is it just me, or is the air a little sweeter, the sky a little brighter, whenever the Orioles do something that absolutely torments the New York Yankees?

Look, O’s fans haven’t had much to celebrate this year. But their (relative) dominance against the Yankees will never fail to make me chortle with delight. Last night, the O’s finished their season series against New York with the unlikeliest of walkoff victories. The Birds were one strike away from defeat when the Yankees literally threw the game away, uncorking a wild pitch to tie the score in the ninth before Austin Hays made the O’s walkoff winners in the 10th. Mark Brown recapped the delightfully zany action.

The Yankees’ loss dropped them half a game out of a Wild Card spot, behind the division rival Red Sox and Blue Jays, who were both off last night. As has been pointed out by many, but which always bears repeating, the Yankees — a team that considers anything less than a postseason appearance to be a miserable failure — may well miss the playoffs because of their inability to rack up victories against the lowly O’s. The Orioles finished the season series with an 8-11 record against the Yankees, their most wins against any team. The other three AL East teams — Sox, Jays, and Rays — have combined to go 38-10 versus the Birds so far, with Boston still set to face the Orioles six more times and Toronto three.

As bad as the 2021 season has been for the Orioles, if they’re able to drag the Yankees down with them and cost them a postseason berth, I’d be perfectly happy with that outcome. Kudos to the Birds for showing some life and living up to the role of spoiler, at least for one night. This weekend, the O’s have the chance to do the same against the Red Sox...which would, I guess, help the Yankees after all. Oh well. Either way, the Orioles can help keep one of their hated divisional foes out of the playoffs. That’s enough reason to keep tuning in.

Links

The Yankees lost an absolutely crushing game to a dismal Orioles team - Pinstripe Alley
Let’s see how SBNation’s Yankees blog is handling their team’s defeat. (checks headline) Ah, about as I expected.

Ryan Mountcastle sets Orioles rookie home run record - Orioles.com
Oh by the way, Ryan Mountcastle is good. He broke Cal Ripken’s single-season record for home runs by an O’s rookie, with two weeks still to play.

Gunnar Henderson: Aberdeen struggles provide learning and growth - Steve Melewski
You know you’re doing something right as a prospect when you get promoted twice in one season. The Orioles’ #4 prospect talks about his experience, giving some major props to mental skills coordinator Kathryn Rowe.

Orioles claim Kriske off waivers - School of Roch
On the Yankees’ way out of town, the Orioles plucked a player from their waiver wire. Could he become the 60th different player used by the Birds this year? The suspense is killing me!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your only Orioles birthday buddy is the late infielder Wayne Krenchicki (b. 1954, d. 2018), who spent parts of three seasons with the Birds from 1979-1981.

The last time the Orioles won a game on this date was in 2017, a 6-4 decision at Yankee Stadium. Ubaldo Jimenez had one of his better performances, holding the Yanks to one run in five innings while striking out 10, and late-season acquisition Tim Beckham powered a three-run homer. Five Orioles relievers combined to secure the lead, including future Yankees Darren O’Day and Zack Britton.

On this day in 1955, the Orioles beat the Senators, 3-1, at Memorial Stadium. In that game, an 18-year-old third baseman by the name of Brooks Robinson made his major league debut, collecting two hits and an RBI. Twenty-two seasons and nearly 3,000 games later, the Orioles legend had cemented his place in Cooperstown.

And on this date in 1999, rookie Orioles GM Frank Wren committed a blunder that ultimately cost him his job, ordering the team plane to take off without Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., who was a few minutes late because of traffic. When O’s ownership fired Wren after the season, they cited that incident as a major reason, saying they “will not abide having a general manager operate in such an unreasonable, authoritarian manner.” Okay then!