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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles will meet the Rangers in the ALDS

The two AL Wild Card series ended in sweeps on Wednesday. It’s gonna be Texas for the O’s.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

We finally got a game time for Saturday. Game 1 of the ALDS is scheduled to begin around 1pm, the Orioles announced yesterday. As yet, this is the only game for any series in the division round to have a start time. That’s probably owing to the complications of having to juggle the Billy Joel concert in Baltimore on Saturday night. An early afternoon game was really the only choice for the O’s. We don’t have to be concerned about that. The team was 35-22 in day games this year.

Wednesday also brought the Orioles an opponent for their series. The Rangers put away the Rays with a second straight victory to seal a sweep of the wild card round. Texas held Tampa Bay to just one run in the two games, with the Rays coming one out shy of tying an all-time record for consecutive postseason innings without scoring a run. The Rays 13-0 start to this season ended up with them recording zero postseason wins. I don’t feel too bad for them.

The outcome of that series was a disappointment for me mostly because I wanted to see the losing team tire the winning team out. The Rays, uh, they just didn’t do that. They might have won 99 games in the regular season but it seemed like they had nothing left to offer in the postseason. At no point were they really threatening during the two games. They were lucky to score one run. Texas gets a couple of days off before continuing its postseason journey. Too bad. As it turned out, all four wild card series ended in two-game sweeps. There will be no MLB-level games today. If you really need a fix, you’re going to have to follow box scores from the Arizona Fall League. Orioles prospects on the Mesa Solar Sox will be in action at 6:30pm Arizona time.

What do you think about the Orioles drawing the Rangers in the division round? I’m still a little annoyed about the way the seeding is arranged, such that the Orioles and their top seed had to play what’s probably the superior wild card round winner in Texas. The AL’s most prolific offense is a tough draw.

Then again, maybe it’s not so bad to avoid the Twins, for all that they looked weak with only 87 regular season wins in a division where every one of their opponents finished below .500. They finally exorcised their postseason demon and I wouldn’t feel any better facing a team that is fresh off of doing that. For the division round at least, this is the problem for the Astros. The Orioles are three wins away from potentially worrying about that, or three losses away from all of us worrying about what they’ll be doing in the coming offseason.

Around the blogO’sphere

Notes on the simulated game at Camden Yards (School of Roch)
The Orioles played a sim game in front of a nice little crowd with the stadium opened for an interested public.

Mike Elias felt ‘uniquely qualified’ to resurrect a ‘fragile’ club back to the top of the AL East (The Baltimore Sun)
The 101-win regular season offers no guarantees for the postseason but this is sure feeling like a successful effort up to this point, even if it didn’t always feel two years ago like it ever would be.

Why DL Hall could be the Orioles’ most dangerous bullpen weapon in the playoffs (The Baltimore Banner)
Having a guy with the potential to come out of the bullpen and strike out guys is huge. With no Félix Bautista, the best version of Hall could be what they need. If the best version of Hall can appear over the next six to nine days.

A look at the defenses of postseason teams (FanGraphs)
Jay Jaffe’s analysis of public defensive metrics puts the Orioles as the fifth-best defensive team overall. The top five, including the O’s, all made the postseason. Three of the teams ahead of the Orioles have already been eliminated in the wild card round.

Playoff experience comes in all forms for young Orioles (The Baltimore Banner)
Hall summoning the energy from getting a bases loaded strikeout against a Clemson-bound senior in the state playoffs when Hall was only a freshman is fun stuff.

After winning the Jim Palmer Award, Chayce McDermott eyes big league job in ‘24 (Steve Melewski)
Jim Palmer Award winners are not guaranteed big league success. Hopefully McDermott can find some in his future. Sustaining this thing that has emerged this season is going to require some pitching.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1966, the Orioles beat the Dodgers to take a 1-0 lead in the World Series. Future Hall of Famers Frank and Brooks Robinson hit back-to-back homers in the first inning of the game off fellow future HOF Don Drysdale. Moe Drabowsky relieved a wild Dave McNally in the third inning and pitched the final 6.2 innings, striking out 11 Dodgers while allowing just one hit. The final score was 5-2.

In 1971, the Orioles advanced to the World Series as they completed a sweep of the Athletics with a 5-3 victory in Game 3. Future HOF Reggie Jackson homered twice off future HOF Jim Palmer, but three solo homers were all Palmer allowed in a complete game and the Orioles never trailed in the third game on the way to the sweep.

In 2014, the Orioles also completed a sweep, in that case of the Tigers. A two-run home run hit by Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning was the difference in a 2-1 win. Bud Norris pitched 6.2 scoreless innings. And then the rest of the postseason was canceled.

There is one lone former Oriole who was born on this day. 1996-1998 reliever Terry Matthews was born in 1964. He passed away in 2012 at age 47.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: philosopher Denis Diderot (1713), 21st president Chester A. Arthur (1829), rocket scientist Robert Goddard (1882), Czech statesman Václav Havel (1936), actress Karen Allen (1951), famous smart-aleck Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958), basketball Hall of Famer Grant Hill (1972), actress Kate Winslet (1975), Food Network competition host Jesse Palmer (1978), and current pop star boyfriend Travis Kelce (1989).

On this day in history...

In 1143, the Kingdom of Portugal gained recognition in the Treaty of Zamora, in which King Alfonso VII of León and Castille signed his willingness to acknowledge his cousin Alfonso I of Portugal as king of a separate kingdom.

In 1789, one of the key moments of the French Revolution took place as women protesting the price of bread eventually grabbed weapons and marched on the Palace of Versailles and made demands of the king. This event is recognized as pivotal as it marked the end of the king’s independent power.

In 1962, the first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” received its release in Britain.

In 1970, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) was founded.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 5. Have a safe Thursday.