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Sunday Bird Droppings: Looking to grab a series win against Cleveland

The Orioles and Guardians have split the first two games, leaving a decisive rubber match for today.

Cleveland Guardians v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Just when it seems like the Orioles are about to sink into the kind of 12+ game losing streak funk that they’ve hit over past seasons, they manage to do enough to win a game. With a messy recent stretch for the starting rotation, they could have been heading for one of these, and then yesterday they scored five runs on three homers and beat the Guardians, 5-4. Check out Andrea’s recap of the game for the lovely totals.

With that win, the Orioles are now on pace for a 68-94 record over the full season. No one will confuse this for a good record, but it’s a heck of a lot better than 52-110. Can they keep on this pace? That’s the mystery for the next four months. They could play an amazing game today and keep everyone feeling like this is a less-bad-than-expected team, or they could get their butts kicked by a dozen runs heading into tomorrow’s off day, leaving us with two days do think about how much they stunk.

As I sit down to write this for you late on Saturday night, we don’t even know who’s going to be pitching for the Orioles today! How can you feel good about their chances in a game when it could be anybody? One decent guess seems like it could be Dean Kremer making his 2022 debut, after he hurt his oblique while doing warmup tosses before pitching against the Rays in the season-opening series. Kremer has made three rehab appearances, most recently on May 29, when he threw 60 pitches over four innings for Norfolk.

Kremer is not an inspiring name even if he is the one to pitch, since he’s got a 6.84 big league ERA over the last two seasons. We can hope for a Keegan Akin-ish turnaround, though in Kremer’s case it would be an even bigger ask to think he might turn into a useful starter.

Whoever ends up pitching, it would be nice for the Orioles to win this one, take the series win, and keep themselves 3-3 on the current homestand. If they can manage to play at least .500 at home as the season goes along, they can probably avoid the sorts of disaster scenarios that certain national baseball writers have expected for them all year long.

The Orioles-Guardians series finale is scheduled for a 1:35 first pitch this afternoon. Though the Orioles pitcher is a mystery, we know Cleveland is set to have Zach Plesac pitch. Plesac’s ERA is nearly 5, so there is an opportunity there for the offense.

Around the blogO’sphere

Hyde on Rutschman: “He’s going to be just fine” (School of Roch)
Adley Rutschman got the day off. No one with the Orioles is worried about him.

Bruce Zimmermann knows what’s behind his struggles (Orioles.com)
Orioles beat writer Zachary Silver and Zimmermann have both zeroed in on the problem that’s plagued Zimmermann over his past three starts: He hasn’t been doing as well with his changeup as earlier in the season.

Orioles releasing Jahmai Jones is a reminder that nothing is given in a rebuild (The Baltimore Sun)
Not that any Orioles fan needs this reminder if you’ve pondered the fate of the players acquired in the July 2018 fire sale, but it turns out that not every player acquired in a rebuilding trade works out.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The most recent Orioles victory on this day was four years ago. The 2018 team plated two first inning runs against the Mets, which proved to be enough to hold on for a 2-1 win. Manny Machado and Danny Valencia drove in a run apiece. Alex Cobb gave up a run in six innings. The Orioles improved to 18-41. Ouch.

One current Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 38th to Robinson Chirinos! The 11-year MLB veteran has played in 34 games for the O’s so far this year and is the oldest 2022 Oriole by a number of years. The lone former Oriole born today was 2006 pitcher Russ Ortiz.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: economist John Maynard Keynes (1883), author/illustrator Richard Scarry (1919), Baltimore Colts legend Art Donovan (1924), author Ken Follett (1949), saxophonist Kenny G (1956), and actor Mark Wahlberg (1971).

On this day in history...

In 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin began ten months of publication as a serial in an abolitionist newspaper.

In 1956, Elvis Presley performed a new single, “Hound Dog,” on The Milton Berle Show. The performance entered rock legend as some members of the show’s audience were scandalized as Presley made suggestive hip movements.

In 1989, a man was photographed blocking a column of tanks that had been involved in crushing pro-democracy protests in Beijing, China’s Tiananmen Square the day previously. Tank Man has never been publicly identified.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 5. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!