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Wednesday Bird Droppings: A crucial win

Managing like it’s already the postseason, Araúz DFA’d, the bullpen gets reinforcements, and a rivalry brewing.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Now that felt like playoff baseball. Neither starting pitcher made it beyond the fourth inning. There were endless calls to the bullpen. There was a fight! And of course it took forever to complete, with a short rain delay pushing the time of the game over four hours. Now if only it could have started at 8:30 p.m. so that almost no one on the east coast got to watch more than half the game. Ah, yes, that would have the executives at MLB and FOX salivating.

In seriousness, this was a monumental game for both teams, but particularly the Orioles. The 9-6 win drew them within 3.5 games of the Blue Jays for that final wild card spot, and it eases some of the pain from the doubleheader sweep on Monday.

Brandon Hyde managed this game with the seriousness it needed. Kyle Bradish was coming off of two phenomenal starts, but was not as sharp last night. If it was June, maybe Hyde lets him work through the difficulties he had early in this one. But it’s September against a team the Orioles need to beat. There’s no time for rookie rough patches. So instead the skipper went to his bullpen, and he pulled out all the stops.

His continued use of the big three (Dillon Tate, Cionel Perez, and Felix Bautista) in outings longer than one outing feels a bit precarious. They rarely look as fine-tuned in inning number two, and it possibly burns them for the next night. But, again, at this point in the season, Hyde needs to go with what works, and a less fresh version of Bautista is a better option than giving Jake Reed or Yennier Cano their Orioles debut in that spot.

The job is not done here. The O’s probably need to nab another victory on Wednesday. That would get them back to where they started the series, 2.5 games back. That’s not a bad place to be with three off days and five games against sub-.500 teams over the next week before taking on these Blue Jays yet again. Keep the chaos comin’!


Ripken becomes Iron Man: An oral history |
It’s been 27 years since Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games planned. Will Ripken’s record of 2,632 ever be bested? It feels unlikely. Last year published a list of each team’s “Iron Man” at the time. White Merrifield topped the list of active streaks with a paltry 347.

Orioles Designate Jonathan Araúz For Assignment | MLB Trade Rumors
Now that Gunnar Henderson is up full-time, there really wasn’t any more room on the Orioles roster for a middle infield option. Hopefully Araúz gets a shot in another organization to fill a utility role.

Orioles add relievers Reed and Cano to active roster | Roch Kubatko
As good as the Orioles bullpen has been this year, you get the feeling that they have been a pitcher or two short for a while now. Perhaps one of these two can provide a little more than the team has gotten from the likes of Rico Garcia, Logan Gillaspie, Louis Head, and Beau Sulser.

After getting ejected, Blue Jays manager Schneider rips Orioles reliever Baker | SportsNet
The makings of an Orioles-Blue Jays rivalry are right there. Both teams are relatively young and should be on the upswing for a few seasons now. It is unclear how long Bryan Baker will be a part of that rivalry, but it is interesting that he has already played for both teams.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Dusten Knight turns 32. The back-flipping reliever appeared in seven games for the 2021 Orioles. He’s now doing his thing in the Rays organization.
  • David Newhan celebrates his 49th birthday. The utility man spent three seasons with the Orioles from 2004 through 2006. His 2004 season was particularly wild as he came out of nowhere to slash .311/.361./.453 in his age-30 season.
  • Willie Morales turns 50. The catcher’s MLB career spanned three games, all with the 2000 Orioles.
  • Wade Rowdon is 62 years old. He played in 20 games with the 1988 Birds, going 3-for-30 in that time.
  • Orlando Sánchez is 66 today. The catcher made his way into four games with the ‘84 O’s.
  • The late Tommy Matchick (b. 1943, d. 2022) was born on this day. The infielder played in three games for the Orioles in 1972.

This day in O’s history

1996 - The Orioles get their first shutout of the season as Mike Mussina tosses a complete game to beat the Tigers 6-0.

2018 - For the third time in franchise history the Orioles have lost 100 games, falling 14-2 to the Rays. It is also the fastest a team has ever gotten to 100 losses in a season, taking just 141 games to do so.