So, it’s back to .500 for the Orioles. They used up some magic coming back to tie last night’s game against the Rays in the ninth inning, then there was nothing left for extra innings, where every bad luck break and bad strike zone call seemed to go against them. Too bad for anybody wanting to keep the wild card dreams alive, because the team the O’s are chasing is the Rays. After the 6-4 loss, the O’s are now four games back with their 49-49 record.
Where does that leave us? About where things were before this Rays series, only with fewer games remaining until the trade deadline arrives and Mike Elias needs to commit to try to go for something, to sell off, or even to chart a middle course. The deadline is August 2 at 6pm this year, and there are games every day until the deadline. The outcome of these games may not impact Elias’s thinking much anyway - you don’t want to overreact. They’re all going to feel important, though.
The Rays series isn’t over yet. The Orioles and Rays will be back at it at 12:35 Eastern today. The O’s can still win the series with a win. If the O’s triumph in the finale, they’ll be three games back of a wild card spot. A loss sends them five back. Again, it feels very important, even though it’s only one game of the 64 that they have left to play the rest of the way.
Jordan Lyles is scheduled to start for the O’s. They’ll surely be looking for him to go deep in the game after the bullpen was called upon for a heavy workload last night. Whether he’s up to the task, well, I guess we’ll find out.
One other thing to keep an eye on from last night. Tyler Wells left the game in the fifth inning with what the team called lower back soreness. If he has to miss time, that’s going to shake up the rotation, offering yet another opportunity for the D.L. Hall partisans to get their hopes up, while in reality we’ll have to settle for Matt Harvey or maybe Mike Baumann. The latter of those two pitched five innings for Norfolk last night, so he’s even on the same turn in the rotation as Wells.
Around the blogO’sphere
O’s welcome No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday (Orioles.com)
Of the player he just drafted, Mike Elias said, “If he hits like we think he’s going to and he gets good fortune and health, he’s, I think, going to be one of the impact players in the league.” Sounds pretty good.
Jackson Holliday from his press conference (Steve Melewski)
Holliday made an aggressive prediction that he will get to MLB in two years or less. That would be unbelievably amazing.
Matt Holliday happy to pass the baseball baton to son Jackson (School of Roch)
Reading Matt Holliday talking about all of the things that Jackson has been able to experience from growing up with a longtime MLBer dad, you get a sense of why these players really pop as prospects when their measurable talent is also strong.
Mancini looks at standings, tries to ignore trade talk while focusing on his slump (Baltimore Baseball)
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It’ll be sad if Mancini gets traded away from this team now that they aren’t horrible. He did finally snap the 0-26 streak with a two-hit night last night.
Making MLB trade deadline predictions for all 30 teams (The Athletic)
The one trade that The Athletic’s Dan Connolly is willing to predict is Trey Mancini to the Mets. Mancini reuniting with Buck Showalter on a first place team would ease the sting a little bit. My wild guess of a Mancini to the Mets trade return: Christian Scott and Dangelo Sarmiento.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1995, the Orioles acquired Bobby Bonilla from the Mets for Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford. In 2000, they dealt with the Mets again, trading Mike Bordick for for Melvin Mora, Mike Kinkade, Leslie Brea, and Pat Gorman. Exactly one year after that trade, the Mora quintuplets were born.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019 three-gamer Drew Jackson, 2001 reliever Chad Paronto, and 1988-92 rotation member Bob Milacki.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866), baseball Hall of Famer Bullet Rogan (1893), Garfield creator Jim Davis (1945), and rapper Soulja Boy (1990).
On this day in history...
In 1540, England’s Henry VIII married the fifth of his six wives, Catherine Howard. The same day saw an execution: Thomas Cromwell, former Chancellor to Henry. The fifth wedding happened a mere 19 days after Henry’s previous marriage was annulled.
In 1794, the guillotine was turned on two of the central figures of the French Revolution who had themselves presided over the guillotine deaths of many: Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just.
In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was certified as having been passed by the states, enshrining birthright citizenship as well as providing a textual basis in the Constitution for preventing states from depriving citizens of their rights.
In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia following the assassination of its archduke, Franz Ferdinand, effectively beginning what we now know as World War I.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 28. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!