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Monday Bird Droppings: Just two weeks left in this Orioles season

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If you’ve seen enough O’s losses in 2021 to last a lifetime, don’t worry — there are no more than 13 remaining.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The end of a brutal Orioles season is near. Only a fortnight remains in the Birds’ 2021 schedule. Two weeks from today, O’s players and coaches will be scattered to the winds, headed to their respective homes for the winter.

It’s for the best, really. While we’ll miss baseball during the long, slow offseason, we probably won’t miss this particular brand of baseball. The Orioles suffered their MLB-worst 102nd loss of the season last night, getting swept out of Boston after blowing a seventh-inning lead. Check out my recap for all the gory details.

For now, it’s off to Philadelphia for a three-game interleague series, because what we really want while watching the O’s slog to the finish line is to see some pitchers try to bat. The Phillies are desperately trying to stay alive in the NL Wild Card race, so they don’t figure to make things any easier for the Orioles than the Red Sox just did.

After that the O’s return to Baltimore for their final homestand of the season, hosting the Rangers for four games and the Red Sox for three, before wrapping up the 2021 campaign with three games in Toronto.

The finish line is within sight. Perhaps a time will come when these late-September games are important for the Orioles and not just for their opponents. When the end of the regular season means a final tune-up before the Birds kick off their postseason slate, not just a welcome respite from an uncompetitive six-month slog. Until that time comes, though, all we can do is count down the days until we can turn the page on another lost year for the Orioles.

Links

Wells retires 11 of 12, but O’s lose 8-6 to complete sweep (updated) - School of Roch
Trey Mancini has been playing through a sore oblique, saying, “Cancer is the only thing that’s put me on the IL in my career and I'd like to keep it that way.” One word: badass.

The Bowie Baysox win to reach the playoffs - Steve Melewski
There will be some postseason excitement to be had in Birdland. The Double-A Bowie Baysox are headed to the Northeast Championship Series after a dramatic, come-from-behind victory in a win-or-go-home finale yesterday. Rock on, Baysox.

Playoff-race atmosphere invaluable to O’s - Orioles.com
To hear the Orioles tell it, they like that their opponents have important games to play in September because it makes the O’s feel like they do, too. I guess the logic makes sense, but doesn’t that seem a little...sad?

‘Everyone loves Brooks’: How Brooks Robinson’s kindness impacted new Oriole Brooks Kriske – The Athletic
The Orioles just called up right-hander Brooks Kriske, and yes, he’s named after our Brooks. And yes, our Brooks went out of his way to meet his family when Kriske was just a little kid, and now they’re good friends, because our Brooks is the nicest human on the face of the earth.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your big day with former Orioles Steve Lombardozzi (33), Dave Gallagher (61), and Roric Harrison (75). It’s also the 25th birthday of reliever Zach Pop, who thus far has had the most successful career of the five players the O’s acquired in the Manny Machado trade. Too bad none of it has actually come with the Orioles — they lost Pop to the Marlins in last year’s Rule 5 draft.

A lot of significant stuff has happened on this date in Orioles history. On this date in 1958, the O’s threw the first no-hitter in franchise history, with knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm doing the honors in a 1-0 victory over the Yankees at Memorial Stadium. That was not only the first career no-hitter for Wilhelm but also the first career shutout for the Hall of Famer, who was primarily a reliever during his 21-year career.

On this day in 2002, O’s shortstop Mike Bordick played his 102nd straight errorless game, setting a new major league record. Bordick ultimately committed just one miscue in 117 games at short that season.

And on this day in 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. took himself out of the starting lineup, ending his record consecutive-games streak at 2,632. Ripken popped out of the dugout after the first batter to a long and loud standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 48,013 at Camden Yards, waving and doffing his cap to the fans. He spent the rest of the night shuffling restlessly around the dugout, unsure how to occupy his time while not on the field for the first time in 16 years.