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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Dreaming of .500

The Orioles are this close to .500, Hays is changing up his workout, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

The Oriole Bird sweeps the plate after the Orioles swept the Angels
Can the Orioles pick up three sweeps in a row?
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Camden Chatters!

After an off day yesterday, the Orioles are in Chicago looking to extend their winning streak to nine against the Cubs. The Cubs are not having a great year and currently have nine fewer wins than the Orioles. Don’t feel bad, Cubs! Not everyone can be as hot as the Orioles.

Back on Thursday, before the Orioles played their first game against the Angels, I commented in Bird Droppings that if the Orioles could just finish the first half of the season by going 7-2, they’d going into the All-Star break at .500. At the time I said it jokingly after the Orioles had swept the Rangers, but I wasn’t seriously entertaining it as a possibility.

Then the Orioles swept the Angels in four games, which means that now they only need to go 3-2 to going into the break at .500. That is totally doable! Even bad teams can go 3-2 over a five-game stretch, and the Orioles aren’t bad. Incidentally, it feels weird just typing “the Orioles aren’t bad.”

The five games remaining before the break are all on the road, with two against the Cubs and three against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cubs, as I mentioned, are not doing so well this year. Even in the weak NL Central, the Cubs are floundering in fourth place, worse than even the Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Orioles played them back on June 7th they defeated the Cubs, 9-3, with the second game of the series being rained out.

The Rays are a tougher draw, as we know, but they are currently on a downward slide. They just got swept by the Cincinnati Reds, the only team in the NL Central worse than the Cubs. They just placed rookie Wander Franco, defensive wizard Kevin Kiermaier, and starting pitcher Jeffrey Springs on the injured list, so maybe now is the best time to play them.

All I know if that if you told me before the season started that the Orioles would be at or near .500 at the All-Star break, I probably would have laughed at you.


Orioles promote Heston Kjerstad to Aberdeen -
About time! He has laid waste to low-A pitching for long enough.

Hays changes workout routine in quest to play full season - MASN Sports
Austin Hays has struggled with injuries throughout his major league career and is hoping to change that. Can he also get out of that slump he’s mired in?

The Orioles Aren’t a Total Embarrassment Anymore - Sports Illustrated
In which Sports Illustrated forgets that the Orioles traded Manny Machado before he became a free agent and also weirdly acts like they should have known they'd be playing so well and therefore should have signed a better starting pitcher.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just one Orioles birthday buddy, John Harshman (b. 1927, d. 2013). Harshman was in the majors from 1952-1960, including time with the Orioles from 1958-59. A pitcher, he made 29 starts in 1958 with a 2.89 ERA. Not bad! After 14 games with a 6.85 ERA in 1959, he was traded to the Red Sox for Billy Hoeft.

It’s also the birthday of someone even better, my daughter! Maggie was born on this day in 2017 and has made every day a joy since then.

On this day in 1969, Mike Cuellar pitched a three-hit shutout against the Red Sox in which all three hits were by the same player. Bizarrely, he did the same thing in his start just before this one! This gave him the strange honor of having been the only player to pitch two three-hitters in which the same batter got all three hits.