Have you heard the news? The Orioles don’t have the worst record in MLB any more! As unlikely as it feels after the 4-24 August record - and the earlier 5-23 May - the O’s have climbed up out of the cellar for at least one day. They are 5-5 over their last ten games, while the Arizona Diamondbacks have gone 1-9 in that same stretch. It’s those same Diamondbacks who now hold the #1 pick in next year’s draft. The teams are separated by two games in the loss column. This one will be coming down to the wire.
As for last night, holy mackerel. You can watch a whole lot of baseball games and still you never know when you’re going to see something that you’ve never seen before. The O’s nine run eighth inning explosion last night was remarkable enough on its own, but what really took it to ridiculous levels was the failed catch by Royals defensive replacement Hunter Dozier, who, with the game already tied up at 5-5 and two men in scoring position with two outs, dropped a routine flyout.
Give an assist on the play to Royals center fielder Edward Olivares, who drifted into Dozier’s neighborhood for no reason and may have caused him to think twice about occupying the correct space to catch the ball. If you want to get the full rundown on the craziness, check out Paul Folkemer’s recap of an extremely unlikely 9-8 win, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.
The Orioles now need to win three more games to avoid being the worst Orioles team of all time. At their current pace, they would end up with a 53-109 record, one win worse than the only full season of the Mike Elias era to date. I’d take 53 wins after where they were in August. I have a feeling I’m going to have to settle for fewer than 53 wins.
As far as the Diamondbacks, they have avoided the drive-by opprobrium of certain national baseball writers, but that team is a mess. The last few weeks will tell which team is truly Obscene for (Elijah) Green.
The O’s are right back in action against the Royals tonight to close out the four-game series. They’ve already guaranteed at least a split and could still get a win with a win tonight. John Means is scheduled to start the 7:05 finale for the O’s, with Carlos Hernandez pitching for the Royals.
Bonus note for my fellow Yankee-haters out there. New York dropped its fifth straight game last night and has now fallen into the second wild card spot. They are only two games ahead of the charging Blue Jays, with the Mariners also surging to within 2.5 games. The one bummer of this is that for now, the Yankees loss is the Red Sox gain. Boston has moved into wild card spot #1 thanks to the Yankees recent faltering. The door is open, however, for the Yankees to suffer a 2011 Red Sox-like collapse, and that would be pretty freaking funny.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles hoping rest will help Mancini’s oblique (Orioles.com)
I will be glad to be wrong about this, but it often feels like oblique issues are measured in weeks rather than days, so I don’t know how much more we’ll be seeing of Mancini this year.
Former Orioles knew where Mateo belonged (School of Roch)
The ex-Orioles contingent with the Padres thought Jorge Mateo would be a great fit for a team like the Orioles who could give him regular at-bats.
New York’s highest court to hear Orioles-Nationals MASN TV dispute (The Baltimore Sun)
The legal battle that feels like it will outlast us all is still on track to go on forever.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1999, the Orioles beat the Twins, 6-5. A little history was made in this game, as Cal Ripken Jr. grounded into the 324th double play of his career, setting what was then an MLB record. Cal finished with 350, but his record has since been supplanted by Albert Pujols, who’s now at 412.
There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2020-21 super utility guy Pat Valaika, 2017 three-gamer Edwin Jackson, 2010 first baseman Rhyne Hughes, 2003-04 pitcher Kurt Ainsworth, 1996 third baseman Todd Zeile, and 1999 reliever Jim Corsi. Today is Corsi’s 60th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Three Musketeers antagonist Cardinal Richelieu (1585), mutinee William Bligh (1754), author Leo Tolstoy (1828), KFC founder Colonel Sanders (1890), occasionally funny man Adam Sandler (1966), and music man Hunter Hayes (1991).
On this day in history...
In 1513, the English and Scottish waged the Battle of Flodden, the largest battle between the two countries, seeing about 14,000 men killed. Most of the dead were Scottish in a defeat, including Scotland’s king, James IV. He holds the distinction of being the most recent reigning monarch on the British Isles to die in battle.
In 1776, the Continental Congress officially named its new country as the United States.
In 1855, the Russian Army abandoned the city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea, ending a siege that had lasted for nearly a full year. The capture of the city by a French, British, and Ottoman allied force helped push towards an end of the Crimean War.
In 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 9. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!