Good morning, Birdland!
These Orioles are on some kind of weird streak ,aren’t they? Last night saw them win their third straight contest, but it was not for the faint of heart. It took 10 innings, included the Orioles bullpen coughing up the lead three different times, and some shaky infield defense. Maybe tonight they could just do something straightforward, like a 6-1 win that takes two-and-a-half hours to complete. What do you say, Birds?
Much of the stress comes from the Orioles bullpen, which has endured a difficult week. Since Friday, when Jorge López blew his first save against the Twins, the team’s relievers have a 6.00 ERA and are serving up three home runs per nine innings pitched. That includes last night, when Keegan Akin, Nick Vespi, and Félix Bautista all allowed long balls.
This is the life of a big league reliever. Some days (or weeks) are going to be bad. López is having a tough stretch, which has forced Brandon Hyde to shuffle roles a little bit, and it has shaken the group. They will need to adjust as it feels unlikely that López is going to be facing a save situation the next time out to the mound. He needs to reset with low leverage outings first.
Ultimately, though, we can walk away from last night’s win encouraged by the offensive performance. They just kept scoring in support of a struggling pitching staff. Ryan McKenna had himself a nice day with a home run and a stolen base. Cedric Mullins is hitting better, adding three hits last night. And the team put up 10 runs on 14 hits and five walks without Austin Hays or Ryan Mountcastle in the starting lineup. Nabbing a win with a B-lineup is huge.
A sweep would be even bigger. That’s what they are going for tonight with Spenser Watkins on the mound.
Eddie, Crush to be at OPACY’s 30th anniversary weekend | Orioles.com
It’s always fun to see former players back at Camden Yards. Chris Davis returning after retiring last year will certainly capture a lot of attention. Obviously, his final few seasons in Baltimore did not go well, but he remains a team legend for what he did prior to that. Hopefully he gets a warm welcome.
NEW: Updated Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com
Adley Rutschman is no longer a prospect, and so he has been removed from Pipeline’s rankings. However, another young Bird got a massive boost in these latest rankings, leaving the Orioles with two of the top five prospects in all of baseball, including the top pitcher and top infielder. Seems pretty good!
With the future in mind, Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander practices first base | The Baltimore Sun
Being able to play multiple positions at a level that is acceptable in the big leagues is always valuable. Switching between infield to outfield once you are well into your career feels rather tough to me, but more power to Santander if he can make it work for him.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Manny Machado turns 30 today. He spent parts of seven seasons with the Orioles after the club drafted him third overall in 2010. Over that time, Machado accumulated 31.9 bWAR, went to four all-star games, won two Gold Gloves, and earned some MVP consideration.
- Barry Shetrone was born on this day in 1938 (d. 2001). The Baltimore native played parts of four seasons with his hometown club from 1959 through 1962.
- The late Frank Kellert (b. 1924, d. 1976) was also born today. He came to Baltimore when the team moved from St. Louis, and played in 10 games for the 1954 O’s.
This day in O’s history
1966 - O’s slugger Boog Powell ties an AL record by driving in 11 runs during a doubleheader; seven in game one and four in game two.
2016 - The Orioles and Dodgers combine to strikeout 36 times (18 apiece) at Dodger Stadium. But the O’s would prevail 6-4 thanks to a pair of Mark Trumbo home runs and a Jonathan Schoop two-run double in the 14th inning.