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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Down to the final two games

Can you believe the Orioles have played 160 already?

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Adley Rutschman is pretty good, you guys.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

We’re nearing the finish line now. Only two games remain in this delightful, unexpectedly competitive 2022 Orioles season.

This is the first time in a long time that Orioles fans haven’t been eagerly awaiting an end to their season-long suffering. For once, it’s actually a bummer that the season is coming to a close, as the team has been an absolute joy to watch for the majority of the year. Although after last night’s forgettable slog at cold, wet Camden Yards — with at least one more day of rain ahead of us — it feels like it’s a good enough time to wrap things up. The O’s have already been eliminated from the playoffs but clinched a winning season. There’s nothing left to settle. Time for the Orioles to head home after a successful year and look ahead to what could be a special 2023 season.

In the meantime, the O’s awarded some hardware yesterday, naming Adley Rutschman as the Most Valuable Oriole as voted by the local media. It was an easy choice. The rookie catcher was everything he was hyped to be and so much more, not only the best player on the field but also a momentum-shifting presence for the franchise, instantly transforming the O’s from moribund cellar-dwellers into a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations to Adley, who I’m willing to bet will rack up a few more MVO awards before all is said and done.


Rutschman named Most Valuable Oriole - School of Roch
The Orioles media got it right in naming Adley as MVO, even if a couple of voters didn’t understand the assignment and voted for Rougned Odor and Austin Hays. I’m not saying they should lose their votes, but I’m not not saying that.

What a winning season means at this stage of the Orioles' turnaround - Maximizing Playoff Odds
For the Orioles, 82 wins is more than just a number. Jon Meoli explains why. (He does not give 82 reasons, fortunately. That would be brutal on his typing fingers.)

A winning season for these Orioles makes the 2022 team special - Steve Melewski
Melewski puts this special 2022 O’s season into perspective. I will disagree with the premise that they may be as fondly remembered as the 2012 club, simply because that team made the postseason and this one didn’t. But it was a memorable year nonetheless.

Minor Monday: Matt Blood on Orioles’ farm system: ‘It’s a very deep group of players’ -
O’s director of player development Matt Blood is happy about the Orioles’ depth. It really gets his Blood pumping, you might say.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your Oct. 4 O’s birthday buddies include right-hander Alec Asher (31); outfielder Drew Stubbs (38); utility man Mark McLemore (58); 1974-75 righty Dave Johnson (74); and the late Don Lenhardt (b. 1922, d. 2014), an outfielder for the inaugural 1954 Orioles.

The Orioles’ most recent victory on this date came in 2015, their last game of the year, in which they completed a five-game winning streak to finish their season at .500. Chris Davis crushed two home runs, giving him 47 for the year, as the Birds beat the Yankees, 9-4. At the time it was thought Davis, an impending free agent, might have been playing his last game in Baltimore. In hindsight, he should have been. Yankees manager Joe Girardi pointlessly slowed down the game by using nine pitchers, five of whom recorded just one out each.

On this date in 2001, Hall of Famer Tim Raines and his son, Tim Sr., both started in the Orioles’ outfield, becoming just the second father-son duo in MLB history (after the Ken Griffeys) to play in the same game. The elder Raines went 0-for-4 with an RBI while the younger had a hit and a stolen base in the Birds’ 5-4 loss to Boston.

And the O’s have played six postseason games on this date in history, going 3-3. The three wins came in three consecutive years, 1969-71, in the first three AL Championship Series in MLB history.

  • In ’69, they won a dramatic opener against the Twins in Baltimore, with Boog Powell tying the game with a ninth-inning homer and Paul Blair winning it with a squeeze bunt in the 12th.
  • In ’70, the O’s again beat the Twins, this time in Minnesota, riding a seven-run ninth inning to an 11-3 romp in Game 2. Frank Robinson and Davey Johnson homered to support a Dave McNally complete game.
  • And in ’71, the Orioles took a 2-0 series lead over the Oakland Athletics in Baltimore, with Mike Cuellar throwing a CG to defeat Catfish Hunter. The Orioles bashed four home runs off the future Hall of Famer, including two by Powell, one from Elrod Hendricks, and one from fellow HOFer Brooks Robinson.