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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are one game out of a wild card spot

The Orioles sold out Camden Yards for a non-home opener yesterday for the first time in nearly five years.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

It is August 7 and the Orioles are a game out of a playoff spot! They have played 107 of the 162 games they are scheduled to play and only one game separates the O’s from the Rays. Tampa Bay holds the third AL Wild Card presently, and dropped their Saturday game to the Tigers. With the Orioles picking up a 6-3 win over the Pirates - their fifth straight victory - they’re now one game back. Check out Andrea’s recap of the game for the lovely totals.

This is fun and still rather unbelievable. The Orioles could end today tied for a wild card spot, if they win again and the Rays lose again. Depending on a late result between the Angels and Mariners, the Orioles could find themselves within a game of the second wild card spot, too. They are tantalizingly close to being able to put themselves in the driver’s seat.

At 56-51, the Orioles are five games above .500 for the first time in more than five years. They last were that many games over .500 on June 7, 2017, when they were 31-26. It’s been a long time since then. Absolutely no one who was on the MLB roster in June of 2017 is still on the team.

Safe to say that people around Birdland have noticed that there’s something different going on with the team this year. Last night’s game against the Pirates drew 41,086 fans. It is the first time the team has drawn so many fans to a non-Opening Day/home opener game since September 23, 2017.

Now, to be sure, there was a confluence of stuff going on there. The O’s were celebrating the 30th anniversary of Camden Yards with a giveaway and a pregame ceremony including some former Orioles. There was a post-game concert featuring Baltimore’s own Dru Hill.

But also, the Orioles are... good! They’re 31-20 when playing at Camden Yards. Any given day’s starting pitcher probably isn’t fueling much in the way of day-of-game sales, but there seems to be something fun and exciting in a lot of games. Last night’s win saw some slick Jorge Mateo defense, a clutch Ryan McKenna pinch hit, and Adley Rutschman getting on base four times.

The Orioles will try to close out a sweep of the Pirates this afternoon at 1:35. Spenser Watkins is set to pitch for the O’s, with Bryse Wilson pitching for Pittsburgh. Wilson has a 6.20 ERA in 61 innings this year. What ought to be done is obvious. Whether it will be done is always another story. Games against losing teams are sporadic the rest of the way. The O’s won’t get many more chances like they do today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Brooks helps celebrate Camden, ‘thrilling’ young O’s (
The 2022 Orioles have officially won the Brooks Robinson seal of approval. He addressed the team before yesterday’s game, telling them “you have been absolutely thrilling me,” and that he watches all of the games.

Austin Hays expected to avoid the IL (Steve Melewski)
Hays last played on August 2 and is nursing an oblique to make sure it doesn’t turn into a larger problem. Until he’s back, well, there’s Ryan McKenna or Brett Phillips.

Mussina, Sutcliffe, Andino remember 30 years of Orioles baseball at Camden Yards (Baltimore Baseball)
There were a lot of memorable Orioles around for the weekend’s festivities, though you don’t have to look very hard to find some great Orioles who were on the team since 1992 who apparently didn’t even get invited for reasons unknown.

Maybe Mountcastle has found solution to struggles (School of Roch)
The Orioles first baseman hasn’t homered in more than a month and is slumping big time overall. Perhaps the Pirates series is a sign he’s emerging from the slump, though.

30 years later, Camden Yards is still a gem, still hasn’t hosted a World Series game (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly’s retrospective of the stadium is built around talking to some of those past players about one thing they never got to do here: Win the whole freaking thing.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2019, Chris Davis tried to fight Brandon Hyde in the dugout. We’ve come a long way in three years, friends.

There are several former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2015 catcher Ryan Lavarnway, 2020-21 pitcher Wade LeBlanc, 2001-05 catcher Geronimo Gil, 2004-05 pitcher Jason Grimsley, and 1955-57 outfielder Tex Nelson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Revolutionary War general Nathaniel Greene (1742), dancer/spy Mata Hari (1876), and actress Charlize Theron (1975).

On this day in history...

In 1782, the Badge of Military Merit was created under direction of George Washington, to be given to soldiers who suffered wounds in battle. We know this award today as the Purple Heart.

In 1942, Marines landed on the island of Guadalcanal, launching a six-month campaign that was the first American offensive of World War II. There were 7,100 American fatalities in the battle, and 29 ships sank in naval battles waged over control of the waters around the island.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 7. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!