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Monday Bird Droppings: Dreaming of a winning month for the Orioles

The O’s haven’t finished over .500 in a month since 2017. With a win in the next three days, they could change that.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox
Jonathan Arauz is just the latest out-of-nowhere Oriole to contribute.
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s fun to be an Orioles fan all of a sudden, isn’t it?

The O’s enjoyed a hugely successful four-game series in Chicago, taking three of four games to continue their recent surge of excellent play. Even though the White Sox salvaged yesterday’s finale to deny the Birds their first sweep of the year, it was another competitive game, with the Orioles rallying in the ninth to plate two runs and put the tying and go-ahead runners on base. This is a team that puts up a fight, even when they lose.

The Orioles’ four-game win streak that was snapped yesterday was their longest since 2020. And another, more impressive achievement is well within reach: the Orioles could actually have a winning record for the month of June.

It shouldn’t be that big a deal. But a winning month is something the Orioles haven’t pulled off since August 2017, in which they went 17-12 thanks to a seven-game win streak at the end of the month. Since then, 23 full months of baseball have come and gone without the O’s so much as fluking their way into a successful month. They topped out at .500 once, with a 12-12 record in July 2019, but for the most part the team has been so atrocious during that five-year span that even four weeks of halfway decent baseball was too much to ask.

This month, though, the Orioles have rattled off a 13-10 record with three games left in June. One more win will finally put an end to this half-decade of monthly ineptitude. All the O’s need to do is avoid getting swept by the Mariners in their three-game series that begins tonight in Seattle.

It’s not guaranteed to happen. But with the way the Orioles have been playing of late, I like their chances.

Links

Orioles are exceeding expectations and expecting to win - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Even if you don’t read the article, please take a moment and soak in that headline in all its glory. It’s been a long time.

Sunday Notes: Jordan Lyles Knows What it’s Like to Lose | FanGraphs Baseball
David Laurila decided to ask Jordan Lyles how he feels about always playing for losing teams. That’s a...unique choice for an interview topic, for sure, but Lyles was accommodating enough.

A look at a couple of All-Star worthy Orioles - Steve Melewski
The Orioles haven’t had multiple All Stars in a season since 2016, but they have two clearly worthy candidates this year. Will they finally crack the one-token-All-Star threshold this season? Probably not, but it’s fun to dream.

Orioles can’t solve Cease and winning streak snapped (updated) - School of Roch
It’s almost as if the Orioles’ winning streak was told to...Cease and desist. (hold for laughter)

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! A bevy of former Orioles were born on this day: All-Star closer Jim Johnson (39), infielder Oscar Salazar (44), first baseman Jeff Conine (56), infielder Jackie Gutierrez (62), outfielder Nelson Simmons (59), and the late right-hander Lou Kretlow (b. 1921, d. 2007). And though he doesn’t technically count as a former Oriole, it’s the 27th birthday of catcher Jonah Heim, a former O’s fourth-round pick whom they traded as a minor leaguer for an injured Steve Pearce in 2016. Three organizations later, Heim is now a productive starting catcher for the Rangers.

The first time the Orioles ever played on this date — June 27, 1954, their inaugural season in Baltimore — they walked off both ends of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics. And the same hitter, first baseman Dick Kryhoski, delivered both game-ending hits. In the opener, Kryhoski roped an RBI single in the 11th to plate Bobby Young with the game-winner, and in the nightcap, he swatted the walkoff single in the ninth to plate pitcher Joe Coleman, who threw a complete game.

On this day in 1964, Boog Powell crushed three solo home runs, accounting for all three of the Orioles’ runs in a 3-1 victory over the Washington Senators. Powell’s three blasts — one each in the first, fourth, and ninth innings — were enough to support starter Milt Pappas, who threw seven strong frames, and reliever Stu Miller, who tossed two scoreless.

And on this date in 1967, in a horrific scene, the Orioles’ Frank Robinson collided with White Sox second baseman Al Weis while trying to break up a double play in the fourth. The gruesome collision did major damage to both players. Weis suffered a broken leg, ending his season, while Robinson missed more than a month due to double vision, posting a relatively mediocre .834 OPS after his return compared to 1.109 beforehand.