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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles’ pitching is surprisingly solid

After holding the Yankees offense in check in their weekend series win, the O’s now boast a 3.04 team ERA in the early goings.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Jorge Lopez is pumped. Are you pumped?
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles did it. They won a series for the first time in 2022, and that they did it against the rival Yankees — with swarms of Yankee fans in attendance at Camden Yards to watch their team get thumped — made it all the sweeter. Yesterday, the O’s kept the New York bats completely silent while finally exorcising their RISP demons, at least for an inning, with three clutch hits in a five-run eighth. Tyler Young recapped all the fun.

The O’s pulled off the series victory thanks to a pitching staff that’s exceeding expectations. The Birds gave up just six runs to the high-profile Yankees offense — and only two runs by pitchers not named Travis Lakins Sr. — and capped the series with their second shutout of the year. The Orioles now have a 3.04 team ERA through their first nine games, far better than anyone would have expected. Their bullpen has been especially strong, posting a 2.66 ERA after another four scoreless innings yesterday. And again, take out that one horrific Lakins outing, and that number would drop to 1.88.

It’s an extremely small sample size, of course. Few expect the Orioles’ pitching to hold up over the grind of a full season, especially with ace John Means on the shelf for possibly the rest of the year. But it’s fun to see while it lasts.

The Orioles will now hit the road for their first trip outside the eastern time zone this year, heading west for a grueling, 10-game trek that will take them through Oakland and Los Angeles and then back east to Yankee Stadium. Best of luck.


Zimmermann scoreless again and O’s clutch in 5-0 win (updated) - School of Roch
Baltimore native Bruce Zimmermann has been one of the best stories of the Orioles’ young season, throwing nine scoreless innings this year, all in front of his hometown crowd. You love to see it.

Akin on how rocky spring turned into strong start - Steve Melewski
Among the impressive relief arms for the Orioles has been Keegan Akin, who is trying to find a home in the bullpen after struggling as a starter. With 5.2 scoreless this year, I’d say he’s off to a good start in his new role.

Orioles move Means to 60-day injured list; Club says it’s a left elbow sprain; Diplán added -
In case you were the one fan still holding out hope that Means could return soon, the O’s eliminated all doubt by transferring him to the 60-day IL. It’s going to be a while, I’m afraid.

Rutschman’s return to game action? ‘Very soon’ -
In much more encouraging injury news, Mike Elias says that Adley Rutschman will be returning to game action “very soon” and could arrive in the majors shortly after that if he shows he’s back in form. How about in the Orioles’ first game back home from this road trip? Just throwing the idea out there.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the birthday of former Orioles utility man Pete Stanicek (59) and righty reliever Rich Bordi (63).

The Orioles’ last win on this date came in 2019, a 6-5, 10-inning win in Tampa Bay. Joey Rickard burned his former organization with a 4-for-5 performance, including a go-ahead RBI double in extras, while Pedro Severino hit his first home run as an Oriole. John Means, then pitching in long relief, worked two hitless innings and struck out four to earn the win.

And on this day in 2013, the Orioles notched their 17th consecutive regular season extra-innings win, dating back to 2012. Matt Wieters played the hero for the Birds, bashing a walkoff grand slam in the 10th to beat the Rays, 10-6.