When the 2022 season comes to its end and the Orioles finish however many games out of the wild card race that they end up finishing, there are going to be some losses that hurt more than others - a few games where it just feels like if only they’d flipped those around, maybe things would have been different. Last night’s absurd 11-10 loss to the Astros is an instant contender for that list of games.
This one would have been dumb enough if it happened in April or May, before we had any idea that these Orioles would get into the race. Joey Krehbiel’s fifth-inning immolation started a bad chain reaction that eventually led to Félix Bautista trying to get a five-out save that he just wasn’t up to getting. And even for that, Bautista was one strike away from finishing off the Astros... but he couldn’t get that last strike and Houston scored four runs and held on to win.
To be sure, there was a lot of other dumb stuff that happened in the game. Austin Hays missed the cutoff man on a play where a runner aggressively rounding third could have easily been thrown out; instead, at that time, the game became tied at 7-7. The Orioles loaded the bases with no one out in the seventh inning and scored no runs. It was a lot. And they did all this on Thanks Brooks Night.
Worse still for those who were still holding out hopes for a longshot wild card run, the Mariners finally woke up and beat one of the bad teams they’ve been playing all month. You can’t win them all, but when you’re where the Orioles are in the wild card this late in the season, you kind of have to. The O’s are four back with 11 games to play, with an elimination number of 8. It’s really five back because of the Mariners holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, which MLB’s standings don’t factor in for elimination numbers, so that’s more like a combined six Mariners wins or Orioles losses until it’s done.
The only questions left to answer are exactly when they’ll get officially eliminated and whether they’ll get to win #82 before the season ends. That last one will only take a 3-8 record or better for their remaining games. It should be doable. Don’t get swept in any remaining series and they’re there. I hope they can find a way to make it to October before getting eliminated. I don’t think it’s going to work out that way.
Maybe they can even steal an extra win in today’s 1:05 series finale against Houston. Austin Voth is set to start for the O’s, with Cristian Javier pitching for the Astros. The O’s could use some length for Voth after Dillon Tate and Bautista got heavy use in last night’s loss.
Around the blogO’sphere
Trey Mancini: Astros quite impressed with Bradish and Kremer (Steve Melewski)
The former Oriole’s new teammates were all impressed by what they saw from the first two starting pitchers they saw in this series.
In return to Baltimore, Trey Mancini, fiancee Sara Perlman celebrate the past while embracing the future: ‘He’s so happy where he is’ (The Baltimore Sun)
Thorough readers of Bird Droppings saw this one yesterday, but you know, I can’t pass up the chance for Trey Mancini content.
Rehab going well for Means, Hyde cherishes time with Brooks (Baltimore Baseball)
Brandon Hyde recalls that Brooks was there to meet him the day he was hired by the Orioles. Pretty cool of Brooks, considering where the team was at that point in time.
On finishing above .500, Baumann, Henderson, and more (School of Roch)
In response to a question about getting to 82 wins, Hyde said, “I’m hoping we don’t stop at 82.” I’m hoping they can get to 82!
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1983, the Orioles beat the Brewers, 5-1, to clinch the American League East title. They led by 7.5 games with seven left to play; at season’s end, they had a six game cushion. Storm Davis and Tippy Martinez combined to allow just six hits and no earned runs.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2015-17 pitcher Tyler Wilson, 2016 pitcher Vance Worley, and 2009-11 pitcher Brad Bergesen. Today is Bergesen’s 37th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: biologist Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866), novelist William Faulkner (1897), baseball Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto (1917), author/illustrator Shel Silverstein (1930), actor Mark Hamill (1951), basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen (1965), actor Will Smith (1968), actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (1969), and actor Donald Glover (1983).
On this day in history...
In 1066, the English led by Harold II defeated the invading Norwegians led by Harold Hardrada in the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Within three weeks, the English Harold was defeated and killed in turn by William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.
In 1789, Congress passed twelve different amendments to the Constitution, including the ten we know today as the Bill of Rights.
In 1957, President Eisenhower ordered US Army soldiers to provide security as nine Black students became the first to integrate a Little Rock, Arkansas high school.
In 1974, pitcher Tommy John received the first ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, performed by Dr. Frank Jobe. These days, the surgery is simply known by that first patient’s name: Tommy John surgery.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 25. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!