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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles have their first .500 full month in three years

It’s been five years since a better than .500 month for the Orioles. They could change that if they complete a sweep today.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox
After the last four years, the 2022 Orioles are almost unrecognizably fun so far.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

How ‘bout dem O’s? Did you know that starting with May 19’s walkoff win against the Yankees, the Orioles are 20-15? That they are now on pace to finish with a 75-87 record this season? What about that this is their first four-game winning streak in nearly two years? And that right now they have a better record than 11 other teams across MLB?

All of these things have been building up for a little while now, with Saturday’s 6-2 win over the White Sox only being the latest thing piling up. Check out my recap of the game if you missed it for the lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.

If you feel like there’s something different about this Orioles team, you’re not the only one. Here’s Trey Mancini from after yesterday’s win:

Mancini was here for the very tail end of the 2016 season, spent his rookie season on the hanging-in-there-til-after-Labor-Day 2017 Orioles, and has otherwise seen a whole lot of crap around here. For one, I’m excited for him that he gets to experience this fun feeling as an Oriole again.

I’m also excited for Orioles fans, because if the players have reached a point where they feel this way about what’s happening, maybe that’s really a good omen. These do not seem to be the deflated losers we’ve known in recent seasons.

There’s still a long way to go between where the Orioles are now and the top of the standings. They’re 18.5 games back of the freaking Yankees, who were on the wrong end of a combined no-hitter yesterday but are still 52-20 on the season. But you know what? They’re only six games back of the expanded wild card chase, and that’s not so many games, not really. Especially when you consider that, with some better injury luck, John Means could have been pitching for this team since mid-April, and Grayson Rodriguez for most of June.

Can the Orioles pull off the unlikely four-game sweep in the finale today? We’ll start to find out with a scheduled 2:10 start. Jordan Lyles will look to continue the streak of solid pitching for the O’s, while the hitters will face off against Dylan Cease, who has a 2.68 ERA this season. It will be fun if the Orioles can make sure that he ceases to have an ERA under 3.

Around the blogO’sphere

‘Everything’s gonna get caught’: Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins share favorite parts of each other’s defense (The Baltimore Sun)
One of my favorite things about the Orioles organization recently is how much the guys pump each other up. The prospects do it for each other a lot and as the big league team has enjoyed a little success over the last month-plus we’ve seen it more here too.

A future O’s lineup could have a heavy homegrown flavor (Steve Melewski)
Melewski sketches out a not-implausible 2023 Orioles lineup with eight Orioles-drafted players. Will that be a good lineup? I guess maybe we’ll find out.

Orioles add infielder Araúz, option Diplán and Bannon before Saturday’s game (Baltimore Baseball)
The Orioles roster merry-go-round kept on spinning yesterday. Players with options who haven’t already secured regular roles on the team are probably going to keep riding the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle.

Odor’s back improving, taxi squad additions, and more (School of Roch)
Rougned Odor has not started a game since June 21. That’s a few days now! He, at least, hasn’t hit the injured list yet, and it looks like he won’t.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1970, Frank Robinson hit grand slams in consecutive at-bats during a 12-2 thrashing of the Senators. Robinson became just the seventh MLB player to accomplish this feat. These two grand slams were the only two that Robinson ever hit for the Orioles.

You don’t have to go quite that far back to find the most recent Orioles win on June 26, but it has been a few years. The 2016 team won its fifth straight game in beating the Rays, 12-5. Adam Jones had four hits as the leadoff man, Chris Davis drove in four runs, and Mark Trumbo drove in three. The winning streak eventually hit seven games, putting the Orioles 17 games above .500 with a 5.5 game division lead after 77 games. From that point on, the team played one game below .500 and had to settle for being the road wild card team.

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 30th to Austin Voth, who is going to get at least one more chance to make a start. Former Orioles born on this day: 2007-08 reserve infielder Luis Hernández, 1987 swingman Mike Griffin, and 1960 one-game outfielder Gene Green.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Gettysburg general and mythical (but probably not actual) baseball creator Abner Doubleday (1819), King Tut’s tomb excavation funder George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (1866), Elvis Presley manager Colonel Tom Parker (1909), American cycling legend Greg LeMond (1961), football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (1968), movie man Paul Thomas Anderson (1970), and pop artist Ariana Grande (1993).

On this day in history...

In 1409, the Council of Pisa established Alexander V as the new pope. There were already two reigning popes at the time: Gregory XII in Rome, and Benedict XII in Avignon.

In 1718, Peter the Great’s son and heir Alexei Petrovich died in what the Wikipedia page hilariously describes as “mysteriously ... after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.” Maybe it wasn’t that much of a mystery?

In 1918, the 26-day Battle of Belleau Wood ended in an Allied victory. It’s the most significant American-led battle in World War I, with 1,811 men killed in the fighting. German Crown Prince Wilhelm commanded the opposing force in the battle.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed, “Ich bin ein Berliner” to show support for West Germany. This followed not long after East Germany erected the Berlin Wall.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 26. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!