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Thursday Bird Droppings: An Orioles off day before a long weekend of games

The Orioles could use the off day today, since they’re playing five games in four days starting tomorrow.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Adley Rutschman did some hitting for the Orioles last night. Most of the rest of the team didn’t.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Do you feel any better about the Orioles losing when they keep things close? It is a question we must contemplate as they lost the final two games of their series against the Yankees by a combined three runs. This is a big difference from last year, when they were blown out by five or more runs in 27% of all of their games. The 2022 season has only brought five blowout losses, or about 11% of games so far.

Still, a loss is a loss and that’s what the Orioles got last night. They didn’t score any runs, which is always a hard way to win. That’s because they only got five hits. The good news is two of those hits went off the bat of Adley Rutschman. If he finds his footing, that will be great. The lineup still has its share of scufflers, though. Until that changes, the O’s will lose more games like last night’s. Check out Tyler Young’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals.

The last couple of losses have made it a tougher task for the Orioles to have their first winning month since August 2017. They are now 11-13 in May. With six games left to be played, the only way to get above .500 is to go 5-1. Not likely there. On the other hand, the Orioles have done well for themselves to even keep it close, considering how many May games they played against teams in postseason spots.

Not in a postseason spot is the suddenly-hot Red Sox, winners of six straight heading into Wednesday’s game. Boston was losing to the White Sox when I went to sleep last night, but if there was a comeback, then it’s seven straight. That team’s still in fourth place, but now three games ahead of the Orioles (if they lost last night) heading into the weekend’s series. It would be nice to somehow win the series and come a bit closer. We’ll see.

With their 18-27 record, the Orioles are now on a full-season pace of 65-97. That still feels about right for me for this team. Not as bad as expected, especially from the pitching staff that was unexpectedly robbed of John Means after only two starts, not good either. Potential is there to outperform this pace if some prospects arrive and do well after initial adjustments.

Now that Rutschman’s here, we can hope for him to start adjusting, and then start hoping for Grayson Rodriguez. Some people are talking themselves into thinking Rodriguez will start on Spenser Watkins’s next rotation turn. I doubt it. He’s not built up to 100 pitches yet. I get it, though, because it’s fun to dream. It would be a little bit more fun dreaming in the short term if any of Norfolk’s infielders were both healthy and hitting well. Look a level below that and GUNNAR HENDERSON had three hits last night. I’ll take it.

Do you have anything fun or noteworthy planned for this Orioles off night? Tell us about it in the comments below. I’m hoping to get to watch the most recent episode of the David Simon-helmed We Own This City.

Around the blogO’sphere

A look at a young Dominican right-hander excelling at Delmarva (Steve Melewski)
Juan De Los Santos is probably not on your prospect radar right now, but if he keeps up his performance through season’s end, maybe he should be.

Orioles roster move: A. Wells to 60-day IL, Vallimont claimed (Orioles.com)
In what I can only assume was a waiver claim meant to make sure that I don’t have to go too long without writing a new Know Your Orioles 40-man post, the Orioles brought in a pitcher from the Twins... who’s walked 23 guys in 19.2 innings in Double-A this year. That’s... um. That’s something.

Hyde figuring out starters for Red Sox series (Baltimore Baseball)
One thing that is close to being settled is that one of the Saturday doubleheader starting pitchers is probably coming from Norfolk. Five games in four days is going to be weird.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

You have to go all the way back to the 2014 season to find the last Orioles victory on today’s date. On that occasion, they beat the Brewers, 7-6, tying the game with two runs in the ninth and winning it with one in the tenth. Jonathan Schoop hit two homers and J.J. Hardy had three hits. At this time, their record was only 26-23.

Since they’ve got the day off today, the May 26 winless streak rolls on at least one more year.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017/2019 pitcher Gabriel Ynoa, 1993 pitcher John O’Donoghue, and 1991 pitcher Stacy Jones.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: actor/distant cousin by family lore John Wayne (1907), jazz legend Miles Davis (1926), musician Stevie Nicks (1948), pioneering astronaut Sally Ride (1951), actress Helena Bonham Carter (1966), South Park co-creator Matt Stone (1971), and rapper Lauryn Hill (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed himself as the King of Italy, receiving a crown in a cathedral in Milan.

In 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published.

In 1940, the British Navy began evacuating soldiers from Dunkirk, France in Operation Dynamo. Though only about 8,000 men were evacuated on day 1, by its end on June 4, nearly 350,000 men had escaped capture or killing by the Germans.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 26. Have a safe Thursday.