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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are trying to ruin seasons

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Beating the Red Sox is a good time, Zimmermann returned, and Santander hits the IL.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

That was fun! Beating the Red Sox is always fun, but especially in the thick of the AL Wild Card race and the Orioles have no business being so pesky.

Boston has now lost four in a row, while the Seattle Mariners have won three in a row and sit just a half game back of Red Sox. A continuation of those two streaks tonight would have Boston on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot in the AL. That would be simply sublime.

But in terms of things that actually matter for the Orioles, last night was also good news. Bruce Zimmermann was back, and he looked like himself. There were not a ton of strikeouts, but he allowed just one run and seemed ready to step right back into the rotation discussion next year. Plus, the bullpen was dynamite, allowing just one run over five innings. It’s been a rough month for that crew, so any steps forward should be appreciated.

And of course you had Ryan Mountcastle smacking a absolute bomb of a home run, off Chris Sale of all people. I still don’t think he is going to win Rookie of the Year, but he is making a nice case for himself and should make all of us feel pretty good about handing him the first base job for the foreseeable future.

Ah, I will miss these Orioles when the season is gone, no matter how frustrating they usually are. Nights like Tuesday make it worth it.

Links & Notes

‘Banged up’ Santander shut down for 2021 | Orioles.com
It was a tough season for Anthony Santander. He was injured almost all year, and we are still waiting to see what he can do at the plate over an entire season. It will be interesting to see what the Orioles do with him this winter. Clearly, there is special talent there, but there is also an inability to stay healthy.

Tyler Nevin joins Orioles with chance to continue strong finish to 2021 — and help his dad on the Yankees in the process | The Baltimore Sun
The Orioles were probably hoping Tyler Nevin did a little more in Norfolk this summer to force his way onto the big league roster. For a prospect that only plays the corner positions, an 86 wRC+ and .392 slugging did not do that. But it’s not like the Orioles haven’t suffered some similarly poor performances at several position this season.

Zimmermann stingy in return and O’s rally past Red Sox | School of Roch
It’s always pretty fun to have a local player on the Orioles’ active roster. It’s even more fun when that player remembers the Curse of the Andino and brings it up in a post-game interview. That is a moment that probably does not stick in the brains of any other fanbases beyond Baltimore and Boston, and to hear it mentioned was neat.

Hyde on Santander, Nevin, Ellis and more | School of Roch
Quotes from the skipper are always essential reading. The notes on Chris Ellis are interesting. Hyde isn’t committing to him as a starter, which I think is good. The Orioles’ rotation needs to get a lot better this winter, and Ellis should certainly be given a chance to earn a spot. But that doesn’t need to be determined just yet.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Branden Kline is 30 years old. The Maryland native was drafted by his hometown team in 2012 and went on to appear in 37 games out of the bullpen between 2019 and 2020.
  • Calvin Pickering is 45 today. From 1998 through 1999 the 6-foot-5 first baseman made his way into 32 games with the O’s.
  • Craig Lefferts celebrates his 64th birthday. The southpaw had a 12-season big league career, although only five games of it were spent with the Orioles in 1992.
  • The late Mike McCormick (d. 2020) was born on this day in 1938. As a pitcher, McCormick played 16 major league seasons. He spent 1963 and ‘64 in Baltimore, where he pitched in 29 games and had a 4.40 ERA.

Orioles history

1953 - The American League announces that Bill Veeck’s controlling interest in the St. Louis Browns has been sold to a Baltimore-based group, led by the city’s mayor Tom D’Alesandro.