For the nervous among us, the Orioles home series against the Athletics seemed to have all the hallmarks of a potential trap series - one where everyone’s already looking ahead to the crucial coming four games against the Blue Jays and instead they slip up and lose games they shouldn’t against a bad team. Fortunately, the first two games against the Athletics have been just the opposite, with the O’s taking care of business.
Saturday’s win felt more like what the Orioles should be doing against Oakland. They stomped on a subpar pitching staff, combining to hit five home runs on the way to an 8-1 victory. Encouraging was seeing Ryan Mountcastle with two of the homers. If he’s breaking out of his July/August slump down the stretch, that should be good news for the O’s and their fans.
Regrettably for the Orioles, as they’ve beaten the A’s these last two days, they’ve gotten no help from teams playing their wild card competitors. The Jays, Rays, and Mariners were all winners on both Friday and Saturday. The Orioles, despite going 7-3 in their last ten games, have lost a game to each of the Rays and Mariners in that time, and they’ve only gained one game on the Blue Jays. It is annoying. They remain 1.5 games back of Toronto for the final AL wild card spot.
If there’s any consolation to be had while this is going on, it’s that the Yankees are in a free fall. The AL East leaders once had a 23 game advantage over the Orioles that’s down to 7.5 games - fewer than eight games for the first time since April. The Rays, who’ve beaten the Yankees the last two days, are now within four games of the division lead. It would be pretty freaking hilarious if the Yankees have that collapse, and honestly, the O’s are 3.5 back of the Rays with the Rays holding the tiebreaker, so there’s little hope of passing them anyway.
The Orioles need to once again take care of business against this poor quality Athletics team by finishing up with a sweep today. Spenser Watkins is set to start the 1:35 finale for the O’s, with Adrián Martínez taking the mound for Oakland. Elsewhere in MLB, Toronto plays its finale against Pittsburgh starting at 12:05, the Rays and Yankees start at 1:40, and the Guardians and Mariners get under way at 2:40. It would really be nice for the Pirates to win one.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles claim Anthony Castro, designate Phoenix Sanders (MLBTR)
Even with the Orioles doing what they’re doing, Mike Elias is tinkering on the edges of the 40-man roster trying to find relievers who might be able to be polished into capable players next year.
The 2019 draft picks all in the same lineup and Chirinos celebrates a milestone (Steve Melewski)
One noteworthy thing yesterday is that Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and Kyle Stowers all being in the same lineup marked the same time the Orioles ever had their top three picks from one draft class in the same lineup. Another: Robinson Chirinos hit the 10 years of MLB service time mark.
Brandon Hyde should lock up AL Manager of the Year (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly thinks that there’s nothing left to decide for manager of the year. I hope the Orioles keep playing in such a way to make that a no-brainer by season’s end.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2002/04 infielder Luis López, 1972-76 pitcher Doyle Alexander, and 1954-55 first baseman Eddie Waitkus.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Anton Bruckner (1824), actress Khandi Alexander (1957), actor Damon Wayans (1960), singer-songwriter Beyoncé (1981), and wrestler Xavier Woods (1986).
On this day in history...
In 1666, the five-day Great Fire of London suffered what turned out to be its worst day, destroying St. Paul’s Cathedral and jumping outside of the medieval walls, where it had been contained up to that point, and across the Fleet River.
In 1781, Spanish settlers founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles. The city that remains around the spot chosen by those 44 people today has since dropped a lot of the words and is now simply Los Angeles.
In 1870, France’s Emperor Napoleon III, nephew of the most famous Napoleon, was deposed following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, after which the Third French Republic was proclaimed. This republic lasted until France fell to the Nazis in World War II. They’re on the Fifth French Republic now.
In 1972, The Price is Right premiered. Four years ago, this became the longest-running game show in America. The next-closest to Price is Wheel of Fortune, which has been running continuously since 1983.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 4. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!