By golly, the Orioles have done it. They have played a full calendar month of baseball and they’re guaranteed to win more games than they lose. It hadn’t been done since August of 2017 and now that ignominious streak is over. This is not a very interesting milestone if it’s not soon paired with more interesting ones, but it is something. Hopefully it proves to be a sign that more consistent better times are approaching.
With a winning month out of the way, perhaps the real optimists of Birdland are starting to notice how close the team is to a .500 record and wondering, can they get there? The Orioles are, at the moment, a mere five games below .500. That’s not good. It’s also not terrible. There were 11 teams with a worse winning percentage than the O’s heading into today’s games across MLB.
From this moment, it would take a seven-game winning streak for the Orioles to get themselves above .500. That’s the one game they’ve already won, plus six more. That’s another “first time since...” stretch that also dates to August 2017, as the team’s last seven-game winning streak played out from August 23-30 that season.
As fun as this team has been so far, seven wins in a row feels like it might be too much to ask. Then again, racing to get above .500 isn’t the only way to get there. If the Orioles just keep steadily chipping away, gradually winning more than they lose, they’ll get there.
Only three of their next 14 games are against teams currently better than .500 themselves. The Orioles are .500 this season when playing other below-.500 teams. Looming beyond those 14 games, though, is a stretch of ten straight - split up by the All-Star break - against the Rays and Yankees. That will probably be the real test of whether something truly better has started to happen as the season has gone along.
For tonight, the Mariners. I am sure that they would like to make up for last night’s ugly loss. Whether they are capable of doing so, well, that’s up to the players.
- Cedric Mullins - CF
- Austin Hays - RF
- Anthony Santander - LF
- Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
- Adley Rutschman - DH
- Tyler Nevin - 3B
- Rougned Odor - 2B
- Robinson Chirinos - C
- Jorge Mateo - SS
Dean Kremer is in action for the Orioles tonight. He’s done well through his first four starts of the season, which is honestly not something I expected in the slightest. Perhaps that will continue tonight. If Kremer’s most recent start is any indication, it seems like the team thinks he’s ready for a full workload already, as they had him throw 93 pitches last time out.
- J.P. Crawford - SS
- Julio Rodríguez - CF
- Jesse Winker - LF
- Eugenio Suárez - 3B
- Carlos Santana - 1B
- Taylor Trammell - RF
- Cal Raleigh - C
- Adam Frazier - 2B
- Abraham Toro - DH
Pitching for the Mariners tonight is noted whiner Robbie Ray, who as you may recall suggested the Orioles were stealing his signs last year. It would be very funny to me if the Orioles offense can continue to give him reasons to whine.
This is Santana’s first game with the Mariners. I gather they didn’t give up very much, but it was still weird to me that they made a trade to add to their team when their record was what it was. And also he hasn’t hit well in any of the last three seasons. Anyway, so he’s probably going to hit three home runs tonight.