The Orioles, thankfully, averted the ultimate disaster of a series and season sweep at the hands of the 90+ loss Tigers by winning last night. Hopes for even an 82-win season started to slip away after the flat offense of the last couple of games. They’ve got at least a little bit back on track with last night’s 7-1 win. Check out John Beers’s recap of the game for the lovely totals, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.
For me, the path to 82 from here on goes like this: Split the four-game series with the Red Sox and don’t get swept in any of the other three series. Can the Orioles do this? I sure hope so. The difference between 80 wins and 82 isn’t worth very much when it comes to how close they were to a wild card spot, but it would just... feel better if, after everything we got to experience in June, July, and August, this could be a winning season for the O’s.
Speaking of that wild card spot, for those who simply refuse to give up the hopes until it is mathematically impossible to make it, the Orioles did gain a little ground last night. Their win plus a Rays loss puts the Orioles 4.5 games back. (Late score for the Bird Droppings: Seattle played Oakland out west; a Mariners loss would put the Orioles four back, or five when considering the head-to-head tiebreaker.) You want to root for the Blue Jays and Athletics today.
Will the Orioles make it to October before getting eliminated? That would be a nice milestone of near-success for me, too. If they’re going to do that, they are probably going to need to find a way to take some games against the Astros over this coming four-game set.
The Astros are one win away from reaching triple digits for the season, with Justin Verlander on the mound tonight. Seems inevitable, you know? Maybe the Orioles will reach back for a fun surprise like they did in earlier months. Kyle Bradish is pitching for the Orioles.
Until then, let’s all bask in this quote from Kyle Stowers after last night’s game:
Kyle Stowers on Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Terrin Vavra: “They’re three of my best friends in the world. To get to do that with them and help the team win together and share moments like that, we're gonna try and enjoy each moment we get together.”— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) September 22, 2022
I want them all to be good on the same good Orioles team together!
Around the blogO’sphere
Odor’s playing time scaled back down the stretch (School of Roch)
I think an Orioles fan might have blown one of their three wishes from finding a genie lamp. Whatever it is, it seems many people are finally getting what they hoped, with less Rougned Odor playing and more Terrin Vavra.
Orioles playoff push still exists statistically, but not realistically (The Athletic)
This was pretty much true as soon as the O’s got swept in that Blue Jays doubleheader on Labor Day and hasn’t gotten much less true since then.
Hyde, Santander looking forward to Mancini’s return to Baltimore (Baltimore Baseball)
Trey Mancini has been hitting below the Mendoza line since getting traded to Houston. I have a sinking feeling he might be about to change that over this four game set.
Austin Hays helps young fan with inspiring story pay for college (Fox 45)
Hays and the Orioles funded a $20,000 scholarship this year. They sure seem like they’ve picked a deserving recipient in Ms. Fatima Koroma.
One minor elsewhere in baseball note: On Wednesday night, the Rockies were reported to be promoting prospect Ezequiel Tovar. This is noteworthy for Birdland for a small reason. Tovar, 21, is about one month younger than Gunnar Henderson, so Henderson’s reign as youngest player in MLB ends after about three weeks. Henderson is still younger than every pitcher in MLB. The streak of not facing a pitcher younger than him continues.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1966, the Orioles dropped the Kansas City Athletics by a 6-1 score, securing the first American League pennant in team history. They clinched after game #153 and ultimately led what was then a one-division league by nine games over second place Minnesota.
One current member of the Orioles injured list has a birthday today. Happy 30th to Chris Ellis, who’s pitched eight games for the team across the last two seasons. Former Orioles born today: 2018-19 three-game pitcher Luis Ortiz, 2002 six-game outfielder Luis Garcia, 1995-96 reserve catcher César Devarez, 1998 nine-game infielder P.J. Forbes, 1983/86 catcher John Stefero, and 1955-56 two-game pitcher Bob Harrison. Today is Harrison’s 92nd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda (1927), musician Joan Jett (1958), and rapper Mystikal (1970).
On this day in history...
In 1692, eight of the 20 people who were executed during the Salem witch trials were killed on the same day. These were the last executions associated with the trials, though at least one other woman died in jail before the trials ended.
In 1975, there was an assassination attempt against President Gerald Ford in San Francisco. A woman, Sara Jane Moore, fired one shot at the president from about 40 feet away. She was sentenced to life and served 32 years before being paroled.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 22. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!