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Thursday Bird Droppings: It’s a sweep in Birdland

The first sweep of the year, the resurgence of Spenser Watkins, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles
Spenser Watkins and his friends
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, Camden Chatters! It’s a lovely morning indeed, because the Orioles just got their first three-game sweep of the year! They kept saying on TV their first “three-game” sweep of the year, perhaps because they won the lone game they played against the Cubs with the other game in the series getting rained out. Everyone knows that one game does not a series make, but I will also say three-game sweep to maintain my technical correctness.

Every year in our pre-season contest, we ask who will be the first team that the Orioles sweep, and now we have our answer. The Texas Rangers, a team in another division and who the Orioles didn’t play until July, were not a popular pick. In fact, only one person out of 179 correctly guessed the Rangers. Well done, jsuperstarr!

But now I want to talk about Spenser Watkins. Seriously, you guys. Spenser Watkins! Let’s talk about him. Most Orioles fans know his story from last year. Almost out of baseball, ready to accept a job as a high school coach, and the Orioles came calling to give him one last chance. It was a heartwarming story last season and I, like many others, ate it up when he gave up just one run in each of his first three major league starts.

After that, though, he started to look like the guy who was about to be a coach. I don’t say this in a mean way, I was rooting for him as much as the next Orioles fan. But it seemed like maybe the magic ran out.

This year, after a few decent starts at the start of the season, things started trending downward again and, when he went on the injured list I wondered if that was the last we’d see of Spenser Watkins.

Since returning, though? He’s been like a different pitcher! June 25th, he pitched five innings with no earned runs. On July 1st, he was even better as he pitched six innings and retired 15 in a row after the first inning. And last night was just another solid stretch in which he pitched over six innings for the first time in his major league career. He gave up just one run and completed 6.2 innings. If the Orioles hadn’t been clinging to the most narrow of leads, I believe he would have gotten those seven innings.

Is this another short term success for Watkins, or has he figured something out with the help of his coaches? I certainly hope it’s the latter because what a boost it is to the team to have him out there holding down other team’s lineups.


Orioles Claim Kirk McCarty, DFA Marcos Diplan - MLB Trade Rumors
Claimed by the Orioles from the Guardians, McCarty has been pretty good at triple-A this year and while Cleveland wasn’t interested in keeping him, he does have three options. So that’s could keep him in play with the Orioles for awhile.

Wife of Baltimore Orioles Owner Peter Angelos meets with MLB over son's lawsuit - Sports Business Journal
Not a lot of information in here, but it probably doesn't bode well for Lou Angelos that MLB says they have no concerns about her leadership in respect to the Orioles.

DL Hall has 14 of Norfolk’s 19 strikeouts as Tides throttle Jumbo Shrimp – The Virginian-Pilot
You'll get to read more about this in today's minor league recap written by Tyler Young, but I couldn't just ignore Hall's incredible game yesterday. And while it doesn't sound as impressive as 14 strikeouts, I'm almost as excited that he only walked two.

Baker talks about thriving during the kind of outing "you live for" - MASN Sports
This article is two days old but after Bryan Baker had another scoreless outing last night, it feels relevant. He hasn't been one of the most confidence-inducing guys in the bullpen this season but he is quietly on a very good streak.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday! Happy birthday! You have just one Orioles birthday buddy: Tim Nordbrook. Born on this day in 1949 in Baltimore, Nordbrook put together a six-year major league career. That career began with the Orioles in 1974. A utility infielder, he appeared in 74 games with just 83 plate appearances for the Orioles from 1974-76. After leaving Baltimore, he also played for the Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays and Brewers.

On this day in 1970, Brooks Robinson hit a 10th inning grand slam as the Orioles defeated the Yankees, 6-2.

In 1995, the Orioles traded for Scott Erickson of the Twins. Erickson was in his sixth season with the Twins and would appear with the Orioles in seven seasons. Erickson pitched for the Orioles in the playoffs in both 1996 and 1997. In 1998, he led the league with 11 complete games. Imagine?