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Saturday Bird Droppings: Blown save spoils July opener

A tough loss, trade rumors, Hall impresses, and Mountcastle is hitting the ball hard.

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Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

July got off to a rough start on Friday night as the Orioles lost a 3-2 heart-breaker to the Twins. It’s a shame that a fine Spenser Watkins start (six innings, one run, one walk, five strikeouts) got flushed down the drain due to a rare rough outing for closer Jorge López. But that’s baseball. López has been terrific to this point, and he likely will be after this. Sometimes you just get beat.

The Baltimore bats didn’t do much to back up the pitchers anyway. They combined for just four hits, two of which were from Ryan Mountcastle. It becomes more evident everyday that the Orioles are getting next to nothing offensively from the three non-Mountcastle spots on the infield. At least Jorge Mateo offers speed and defense, but the club has no such reasoning at second and third base.

Jonathan Araúz and Rougned Odor combined to go 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in the loss. None of Araúz, Odor, or Tyler Nevin is hitting above .200 nor has an OPS above .630. Getting Ramon Urías back will help, but it is still a ways off from a competitive major league infield.

The eventual internal solution is obvious. GUNNAR HENDERSON and Jordan Westburg! are tearing up Triple-A and making the case that they should be in the big leagues before the end of the year. But we all understand that it won’t be happening for a while longer.

Reminder that today’s game is the first of three straight matinees for the Birds. First pitch is 2:10 ET today with Jordan Lyles (4-7, 4.94 ERA) on the bump.


Orioles Notes: Mancini, Santander, Lopez | MLB Trade Rumors
A reunion of Trey Mancini and Buck Showalter would be cool. It would make it hard for any other contender to top the Mets as my preferred team for the length of the 2022 postseason.

Ramsey on Hall: “The stuff has been great” | Roch Kubatko
The eventual debut of DL Hall will be a lot of fun. His pure stuff is off the charts, and he showed it off last night across four scoreless innings in which he struck out eight. For him it just seems to be about maintaining his mechanics to remain consistent. That is easier said than done.

Julio Rodríguez, Ryan Mountcastle and other hitters surging due to better batted-ball quality | The Athletic
I am a big Ryan Mountcastle fan. His skillset just feels like the type that good teams need in the middle of a lineup. There isn’t a whole lot of patience, and he strikes out at a good clip. But the power makes it worth it, and his improved defense (thanks to exclusively playing first base) has made him such a valuable part of the roster.

López looking ahead after first homer, rare blown save |
It’s hard to not love López’s response after blowing the save. He wants the ball again in the next game. And there is the positive reinforcement from Watkins and Brandon Hyde. Blown saves are part of the game, and it shouldn’t shake the good vibes surrounding this team.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Pedro Araujo turns 29. Taken from the Cubs in the 2017 Rule 5 draft, Araujo pitched in 21 games for the Orioles between 2018 and 2019, accumulating an 8.16 ERA over 28.2 innings.
  • Pete Burnside turns 92. The southpaw spent part of the 1963 seasons with the O’s, allowing four runs over 7.1 total innings.

This day in O’s history

2013 - The Orioles trade pitchers Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta to the Cubs in exchange for veteran Scott Feldman.