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Monday Bird Droppings: Welcome to the last week of the season

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Only six games remain before we say goodbye to the 2021 season.

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles
The result yesterday was ugly, but Camden Yards is always gorgeous.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters!

We are nearing the end of the road, friends. After today’s off day, the Orioles host the Red Sox for three games at Camden Yards, then go on the road this weekend to finish the season against the Blue Jays. It’s going to be a tough stretch for the Birds. Not only are both of those teams a lot better than the Orioles, both are still fighting for a playoff spot.

The Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Yankees are the three teams fighting for two wild card spots. After the Yankees swept the Red Sox over the weekend, they have a one-game lead for the first wild card spot. The Red Sox hold the second spot, and the Blue Jays are one game behind them, currently on the outside looking in.

While the Red Sox get to play the Orioles this week, the Yankees and Blue Jays are facing each other. I really can’t stand the Blue Jays but, go Jays I guess? For the last series of the year, the Red Sox get to play the Nationals and the Blue Jays get the Orioles, but the Yankees have to face the Tampa Bay Rays.

Maybe they’ll have let off the gas because they clinched the division over the weekend, But even a Rays team going easy is going to be a lot tougher than the Orioles or Nationals. Sorry, Yankees. I hope you lose every single game.

As for the Orioles, the only race they’re close to is the one for first draft pick in 2022. Over the past 10 games, both they and the Arizona Diamondbacks have gone 3-7, which means they remain tied for the worst record in baseball. This one is going to go down to the wire! With six games remaining, both teams are 50-106.

It’s anyone’s guess how things could end up. The Diamondbacks have three games on the road against the San Francisco Giants and then three at home against the Rockies. The 102-game winning Giants have clinched a playoff spot, but are still fighting to win their division, so they won’t be letting up. The Rockies, however, are quite bad and even worse on the road, with a 25-52 road record.

Will the Orioles get that #1 spot? I have faith in their terribleness.

Links

Bungling Baltimore Orioles’ defense fails ace John Means in loss to Rangers - The Washington Post
Clipped this mostly for the headline. Bungling is the perfect word for what happened yesterday. And I was lucky enough to watch it in person!

Rutschman, Stowers are Orioles' co-minor league players of year; Rodriguez top minor league pitcher; Mullins gets a rest - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The Orioles announced their minor league awards yesterday and it's no surprise that Grayson Rodriguez and Adley Rutschman were honored. But Kyle Stowers is making a name for himself!

Ryan Mountcastle, Adolis García stand out in AL Rookie of Year race - MLB.com
Ryan Mountcastle has been one of the pleasant surprises this year for the Orioles. I don't think he has a chance to win ROY. But it's nice to see him mentioned.

Chris Ellis on arm issues and great chance with O's, plus other notes - Steve Melewski
Am I crazy to think that Chris Ellis might be something for the Orioles?

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies. Today is former Oriole Dick Hall’s 91st birthday. Happy birthday to him! Hall pitched for the Orioles from 1961-1966 and 1969-71. Mostly a relief pitcher, he put up 2.89 ERA over those nine seasons. He appeared in the postseason for the Orioles in his second stint, not allowing an earned run in six appearances.

It’s also the birthday of 1978 outfielder Carlos López (73) and the second most famous Radhames to pitch for the Orioles, Radhames Dykoff (47).

On this day in 1953, the St. Louis Browns lost their 100th game of the season, 2-1 against the White Sox. It was the final game for that team as the next spring debuted as the Baltimore Orioles.

In 1970, the birthday boy Dick Hall pitched three innings in relief and picked up his 10th win of the season. He finished the season with 10 wins and only six walks!

In 1974, Jim Palmer pitched 12 shutout innings against the Brewers but didn’t even factor in the decision. The Orioles won the game 1-0 in the 17th inning on a walk off fielder’s choice. It wasn’t called that though; the term walk off didn’t yet exist until 1988.

In 1996, Roberto Alomar spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck after being ejected from a game. It was bad, but in later years there were stories about how Alomar and Hirschbeck made up and, if you were like me, you started thinking maybe Alomar wasn’t so bad. But that’s not true. He sucks.