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Saturday Bird Droppings: These O’s just don’t quit

The second half opens with a loss, weighing trade options, and Ripken retires.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Look, I’m not trying to say moral victories are as good as actual victories. But last night’s 7-6 loss to the Yankees sure feels like the type of learning experience that ends up beneficial to this team in the long run.

Like it or not, the Yankees are the standard in baseball right now. They have the most wins in MLB, the MVP is in their lineup, and there are three all-star pitchers on their roster. Beating them is a tall order, and sometimes it isn’t gonna work out.

But look at what the Orioles did last night. They fell into an early hole, but never stopped fighting back. It would have been easy enough to pack it in down 3-0 or again when trailing 7-3 in the seventh. Instead, they went to work both times and even got the tying run on base in the ninth inning. They got moxie!

This was only possible because the relief trio of Bryan Baker, Félix Bautista, and Dillon Tate sliced through the Yankees order, striking out seven across only 2.2 innings. There are plenty of teams out there with better records than the Orioles that would love to have the backend of their ‘pen. Oh, and their catcher is pretty good too. Adley Rutschman threw out two base runners last night and continued to show off his pitch framing skills while also delivering two hits and a walk out of the two hole. The guy can play.

It came down to Tyler Wells having a bad night, or at least a bad night against Aaron Judge specifically. That’s going to happen. Wells has been terrific this year, but he has also taken on a much bigger workload this season, and Judge crushes everyone. It’s not something to be ashamed of.

This series isn’t over. The Birds have two more chances this weekend. The first one is tonight at 7:05.


The case for and against trading each of the Orioles’ top candidates | The Baltimore Sun
I really do not want the Orioles to trade anyone, but I also live here on earth, so I understand the inevitable. Trey Mancini is probably gonna head out. That is a bummer, but I get it. Hopefully he goes somewhere that is easy enough to root for because they will be my favorite non-Orioles team for the remainder of the season.

Ryan Ripken, son of Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr., retires from professional baseball | The Baltimore Sun
Congrats to Ripken on his professional career. It is unclear where he goes next, but it seems like a guarantee that he will remain around the organization in some way, whether that be via the IronBirds and Ripken Baseball or otherwise.

This, that and the other | School of Roch
These are not the 2012 Orioles, who seemed to win every one-run game. No, these O’s haven’t been as fortunate. But the volume of close losses makes this team feel even closer to getting over the hump than their overall record does. Slight upgrades in the rotation and on the infield could catapult the club to contender status rather quickly.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! According to Baseball Reference, no former Orioles players share this day with you, but you are celebrating on the same day as actor Woody Harelson (b. 1961), guitarist Slash (b. 1965), and YouTuber David Dobrik (b, 1996).

This day in O’s history

1971 - O’s pitcher Pat Dobson wins his 10th straight, topping the California Angels 4-3.

1998 - Baltimore backstop Lenny Webster leads the Birds to a 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics with four hits, including a double and home run, to go with six RBI.

1998 - The 51-51 Orioles trade Joe Carter and cash to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitching prospect Darin Blood

2013 - The Orioles add to their bullpen, trading infield prospect Nick Delmonico to the Brewers in exchange for reliever Francisco Rodriguez.