Are you sitting down? Okay. The Orioles are tied for a wild card spot right now. It’s true! They were idle yesterday due to the rain postponement, and earlier Wednesday afternoon, the Rays were walked off by the Brewers. That dropped the Rays to a 58-52 record - the same record that the Orioles have. These two teams are tied for the third wild card spot at the start of today. That’s pretty exciting.
Hit the brakes before getting carried away and saying the Orioles would be in a postseason spot if the season ended right now and still somehow had a postseason. This, unfortunately, is not true. There are no more tiebreaker Game 163 scenarios, so ties will be resolved by looking first at head-to-head record, then if necessary at intradivision record. The Rays and Orioles are 8-8 so far, so it goes to AL East record, where the Rays are 25-21 and the Orioles are 22-24. The O’s would come up short at this moment.
Elsewhere in the AL wild card chase, the Orioles got no help from the Yankees in beating the Mariners. Seattle knocked off the suddenly-sputtering Yankees, who were merely 13-13 in July and are 2-7 so far in August. If the Mariners, holders of the second AL wild card spot, had lost, they would be a mere half-game ahead of the O’s. Instead, Seattle is 1.5 games up.
The Blue Jays, who were also idle with the rainout, are two games ahead with the top wild card spot. All of these are in play for the Orioles, if they can keep winning. That is pretty cool to say. They just need to actually do that. The Jays, Mariners, and Rays are all off today, so the O’s can gain ground on all three - pulling ahead of the Rays outright - if they win.
Today is one of the games the Orioles really need to win anyway, a one-game lockout-related makeup against the Red Sox. Boston has been in a nosedive since the start of July. They were 8-19 last month and are 3-6 in nine August games. There are no free wins in MLB, but a team that’s trying to secure its playoff spot needs to take advantage of a team that’s falling apart.
It’s a scheduled 7:10 start in Boston. Josh Winckowski is set to start for the Red Sox. Dean Kremer, who was supposed to start the Wednesday game before it was rained out, is being pushed back a day to start this one instead.
Note for anyone who has gotten used to listening to the Orioles on 97.9 FM on the radio this season that tonight’s game will NOT be broadcast on that station due to a Baltimore Ravens preseason game. 97.9’s sister stations that also regularly carry Orioles games - 101.5 FM and 1090 AM - will still have the Orioles game broadcast as they normally would.
Around the blogO’sphere
Notes on wild card race, Rodriguez, Rutschman, and more (School of Roch)
Grayson Rodriguez has progressed to where he threw off a mound for the first time yesterday. He threw 25 pitches, and told reporters he hopes to be able to throw in games in September.
Odor’s impact on the Orioles can’t be measured in stats (Baltimore Baseball)
A lot of poorly-reasoned stuff usually comes after talking about what “can’t be measured in stats” ... but if you’ve been watching the Orioles all year, you know there’s definitely something going on.
Top 30 MLB free agents for 2022-23 offseason (The Athletic)
Are we approaching the time where the Orioles might actually sign one of these free agents? Is there one you think seems Mike Elias-y? Is that the same player you hope the team signs?
He’s No. 1: Baseball America’s JJ Cooper on Gunnar Henderson (Steve Melewski)
Cooper said, “He has five above average tools or better. He is going to have plenty of defensive value, whether it’s shortstop or third base. He is a really, really good baserunner. He hits for average and power and has a strong arm.” It’s going to be exciting to see this guy on the Orioles.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2018 outfielder Colby Rasmus, 2006-07 pitcher Kurt Birkins, 1990 pitcher John Mitchell, and 1990 pitcher Dorn Taylor. Today is Taylor’s 64th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: actor Ian McDiarmid (1944), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (1950), wrestler Hulk Hogan (1953), actress Viola Davis (1965), and actor Chris Hemsworth (1983).
On this day in history...
In 3114 BC, the Mayan Long Count Calendar is recognized as having begun. According to myth, 13 “b’ak’tuns” had to pass, during which the world was created. The start of the Long Count marked the beginning of the age of human beings. 13 “b’ak’tuns” of the age of men ended on December 21, 2012, though despite the jokes at the time there is no indication the Mayan people would have believed the world would end on that date.
In 1929 AD, Babe Ruth hit the 500th home run of his career. He was the first player to achieve the milestone. There are 28 players in the club today, including two active players - Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. The closest active player to joining the club is Nelson Cruz at 457 homers, though his 2022 results suggest he may not get the chance to get much closer.
In 1942, actress Hedy Lamarr received the patent for a communication system that has proved crucial in all modern technologies, including wireless phones, two-way radio, and even Wi-Fi internet.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 11. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!