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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles look to rebound for a series win

D.L. Hall’s debut day could have gone better, and now the Orioles are out of a wild card spot again.

Orioles pitching prospect D.L. Hall is removed from his MLB debut.
We had higher hopes for D.L. Hall.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Unfortunately, not every MLB debut can be a magical occurrence. This is not news to Orioles fans in 2022, as we already experienced the team losing Adley Rutschman’s debut back in May. Rutschman, at least, was on base twice and got his first hit out of the way. Yesterday’s debut outing for D.L. Hall was not so good, and the result is that the Orioles are back out of the wild card spot that their Friday victory propelled them into.

The Saturday game was always going to be a tough one for the Orioles, as soon as the Rays lined up their rotation such that Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan - Baltimore’s own - was starting the game. He’s a tough opponent, though the O’s did manage to win a game started by McClanahan back on July 26 - by ambushing the Rays bullpen after he came out of the game.

There was no ambush yesterday, or at least not by Orioles hitters. The ambush was Rays batters able to sit and wait for good pitches as a control-challenged Hall struggled to find the strike zone. Hall issued three walks in 3.2 innings, all of which ended up scoring later when the Rays picked up a number of cheap hits and also some not-cheap hits.

This was a frustrating outcome! One thing that made it so frustrating is it seemed like the Orioles didn’t even give Hall the best possible chance for success in his debut. The best way to do this would have been to have Adley Rutschman, the master pitch framer, as the catcher yesterday afternoon, instead of backup Robinson Chirinos, who grades out poorly there. They might also have lined up a better defensive outfield than one with Anthony Santander in it; at one point, Santander’s inability to cut off a ball before it got into the gap cost Hall a run.

Having actually watched Hall’s part of the loss, though, it’s hard to argue these kinds of marginal differences would have mattered that much. His problem wasn’t that he wasn’t getting calls on borderline pitches. He wasn’t even managing to throw borderline pitches at all. He looked like the guy whose minor league BB/9 is 5.1 over his whole pro career. There was a one-inning flash of brilliance, when he managed to strike out the side in the second inning. This feat got the attention of Pitching Ninja:

Watch only this video and you can get a sense of why there was so much hype for Hall! If he can look like that more often than not, he will do good things. He only looked like that for one inning yesterday, and the result is now he has a 12.27 ERA after one start.

The Orioles are back to having a half game to make up on the Rays. They can do this if they win today’s 1:40 Eastern finale! Drew Rasmussen is set to pitch for the Rays, with Jordan Lyles in action for the Orioles. Same as on Friday, the Orioles can take a wild card spot with that win. We can partially thank former Orioles closer Jorge López for this, as he blew a 3-1 9th inning lead against the Angels last night and the Angels went on to win in the 11th. Had the Twins won yesterday, they’d be ahead of the Orioles in the wild card standings.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles option DL Hall after debut, left-hander will return as reliever (Baltimore Baseball)
The plan for Hall seems like it would have been about the same regardless of yesterday’s results. The team is sending him back down to the minors to get some work in the bullpen, with the goal of his returning soon to reinforce the bullpen. Don’t worry, the plan is for Hall to return to being a starter in 2023.

Akin, Lyles offered advice before Hall’s debut (School of Roch)
Among the advice offered by Jordan Lyles was just to keep remembering to slow things down. That one doesn’t seem like it sunk in as much, at least initially.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2009, Felix Pie hit for the cycle as the Orioles crushed the Angels, 16-6. The most recent Oriole to do this, you may recall, was Austin Hays back on June 22.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1992 two-gamer Tommy Shields, 1993 reserve outfielder Mark Leonard, and 1993 two-game pitcher Mike Cook. Today is Cook’s 59th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him. Also born today was legendary Orioles manager Earl Weaver, who passed away in 2013 at age 82.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: O.K. Corral gunfight figure Doc Holliday (1851), musician David Crosby (1941), basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson (1959), and actress Mila Kunis (1983).

On this day in history...

In 1040, Scotland’s king Donnchad I (Duncan) was killed in a battle against his cousin, Macbeth, after which Macbeth became king. The incident later inspired what actors superstitiously only ever refer to as Shakespeare’s “the Scottish play.”

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, creating the agency of the same name.

In 1969, British soldiers deployed to Northern Ireland to combat “The Troubles”; the deployment, Operation Banner, lasted continuously until 2007, the longest deployment in British army history.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 14. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!