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Friday Bird Droppings: The Orioles’ winning ways continue

The O’s have won or split four straight series, something they haven’t done since 2017. It’s a welcome change of pace.

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Baltimore Orioles v St. Louis Cardinals
Apparently the Orioles’ latest thing is group hugs, which is adorable.
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Is it too early to say the Orioles have turned a corner? It’s probably too early. But these past two weeks of O’s baseball have been simply delightful, with the club showing the kind of competitive fire that’s long been missing around these parts.

Yesterday’s victory over the Cardinals was the kind of game that the Orioles of recent years almost never win. Their banged-up roster had only one healthy bench player. They threw together a patchwork, bullpen-by-committee game. Nobody could have blamed them if the O’s had simply been overmatched by a good Cardinals team in the finale. Yet against all odds, the Orioles pulled out the well-played victory, getting important contributions from unlikely sources to seal the series win. Andrea SK recapped the hard-fought O’s victory.

By clinching the rubber game in St. Louis, the Orioles have now gone four straight series without losing any of them (three series wins and one split). Four series in a row might not sound like a big deal, but it’s a feat the Orioles haven’t accomplished in nearly five years, since Aug. 21-Sept. 3, 2017. It’s the first time in the Mike Elias/Brandon Hyde era that they’ve had such a stretch of success. And it’s a lot of fun.

The Orioles have a chance to continue their successful road trip, opening a three-game series tonight against the 9-23 Tigers, the second-worst team in baseball. After that, though, the schedule gets a lot tougher, with seven of the Orioles’ next 10 games coming against the best team in the majors, the Yankees, along with a three-game set against a Rays team that has dominated the Birds the last two years.

Maybe that upcoming brutal stretch will clip the wings of the high-flying Orioles. But let’s enjoy this ride for however long it lasts.


Top prospect Adley Rutschman will be joining the Orioles soon. But when, exactly, is soon? - The Athletic
Dan Connolly throws some cold water on the conventional wisdom that Adley will debut on Monday, calling it “unlikely.” But Stacey and I have already lined up a babysitter for that night so we can attend Rutschmas! (Seriously, we have. Don’t ruin our plans, Orioles.)

Orioles celebrate Bannon debut and bullpen game with a win (updated) - School of Roch
How about that Rylan Bannon? His first defensive play in the majors: a fantastic diving stop to rob Nolan Arenado. The first pitch he sees in the majors: a sharp single. Baseball can’t be that easy, can it?

MLB Mock Draft 2022 position players standout -
The Orioles’ three drafts under Mike Elias have all begun with a college player as their first-round pick. Jim Callis sees that changing this year with such a standout crop of prep players available.

Can the Orioles keep pitching well with such low strikeout rates? - Maximizing Playoff Odds
It still shocks me to see “Orioles” and “pitching well” in the same sentence, but here we are. As for how long it might continue, that’s the question that Jon Meoli delves into here.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! A slew of former Orioles were born on this day: relievers Mychal Givens (32), David Hernandez (37), and Ryan Bukvich (44); and utility men Lyle Mouton (53) and Juan Beniquez (72).

The Orioles haven’t played a game on this date since 2018, when they demolished the Rays, 17-1. The offensive explosion came against Blake Snell, who would go on to win the AL Cy Young that year with a 1.89 ERA. Former Rays farmhand Joey Rickard, fresh up from the minors, went 3-for-5 with two home runs, Danny Valencia homered as part of a four-hit day, and Manny Machado doubled twice. Dylan Bundy tossed seven scoreless innings, immediately following an outing in which he gave up seven runs without recording an out.

And on this day in 2001, the Orioles won an 8-3, extra-innings game at Yankee Stadium, stunning Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera by scoring five runs in the top of the 11th. An RBI groundout and run-scoring single preceded an emphatic three-run homer by Jeff Conine to put the game out of reach.