Good morning, Camden Chatters.
When the Orioles set out on their three-city, seven-game road trip through the AL East on Thursday, they knew it had the chance to either make or break their postseason hopes.
So far, unfortunately, they’re trending toward the latter.
The Orioles followed a loss in Boston by dropping two out of three to the Rays in a critical series in Tampa, knocking the Birds 1.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. The last of those losses was particularly embarrassing, as the Orioles were a mere three outs away from letting Drew Rasmussen throw a perfect game against them before rallying for a hit and a run in the ninth inning. Stacey recapped the Orioles’ stumble, in which they avoided making dubious history but lost valuable ground in the playoff race.
All hope is not lost, but the Orioles will need to bounce back, and fast. Their final stop on the road trip takes them to Toronto for three, where the Blue Jays currently hold the top Wild Card spot, 2.5 games better than the Birds. Should the O’s manage to sweep the Jays — which they did last week in Baltimore in a rain-shortened two-game series — they’ll be right back in playoff position, and their missteps against the Rays will be long forgotten. Anything less than a series win, though, will continue a costly Orioles slide. With such a crowded field of Wild Card contenders — including the Jays, Rays, Mariners, Twins, White Sox, and even the pesky Red Sox, who won’t go away despite a sub-.500 record — the Orioles can’t afford any extended losing streaks, especially against their direct competitors.
Unlike the Orioles’ previous trip to Toronto in June, in which Keegan Akin and Anthony Santander were placed on the restricted list, their roster will be at full strength this time as every player on the 40-man roster has been vaccinated. If the Rays series was the Orioles’ most important in the last six years, this Blue Jays series is a very close second. Let’s hope for a much better result. The Orioles’ season could very well depend on it.
Mateo breaks up Rasmussen’s bid for perfect game in Orioles’ 4-1 loss; Elias on playoff chances, Henderson - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Mike Elias told MLB Network Radio that he thinks the Orioles will get to the playoffs this year, quite a shift from the trade deadline when he said it was unlikely the O’s would make it. This special Orioles season has transformed even Elias into a pie-in-the-sky fanboy.
Notes on Mountcastle’s hand, Hall’s debut and Wells’ recovery from oblique injury - School of Roch
Ryan Mountcastle is expected to miss a few days with a hand injury. Hope you’re all excited to see plenty of Tyler Nevin.
Which prospect will the O’s call up next? - MLB.com
Zachary Silver gives an ETA for the major league arrivals of Kyle Stowers, Gunnar Henderson, and Jordan Westburg. Bring ‘em all up now and sort it out later, I say! Moar prospects!
Manager Brandon Hyde, who has seen his share of bad times, is witnessing a rebirth with Orioles — The Boston Globe
I was among the contingent who believed that Hyde was just a placeholder manager who would be long gone by the time the Orioles were contenders again. I’m happy to have been wrong about that. Kudos to him for his, and the Orioles’, remarkable turnaround this season.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Former Orioles born on this day are outfielder Chris Singleton (50), infielder Jeff Huson (58), and third baseman Tom Dodd (64).
The Orioles’ last win on this date came in 2020, a 7-4 victory over the Nationals at Camden Yards. Every batter in the O’s lineup had at least one hit as the Birds improved to 12-8 in the shortened season. Of the 15 Orioles who appeared in that game, just two are still with the club today. That’s a lot of turnover in just two years.
On this day in 1966, Boog Powell single-handedly defeated the Red Sox at Fenway Park, blasting three home runs — including a game-tying shot in the ninth and a go-ahead two-run blast in the 11th — to provide the Orioles’ entire offense in a 4-2 victory.
And on this date in 1975, Earl Weaver was ejected twice in one day by his archnemesis, umpire Ron Luciano, who tossed him for arguing a call in the first game of a doubleheader and then threw him out again while exchanging lineup cards before game two.