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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles’ first home series could have gone better

The Birds followed up their spirited win in the home opener with a pair of lackluster losses to the Yankees.

MLB: APR 09 Yankees at Orioles
Ramón Urías sums up how we’re all feeling.
Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If the Orioles are intent on making some real noise in the postseason race this year, they’re going to have to start beating their AL East foes. So far, they’ve made little progress in that department.

The O’s dropped two out of three to the Yankees this weekend after doing the same in Boston a weekend earlier. The positive vibes and winning atmosphere that permeated the Orioles’ thrilling home opener win on Friday all but dissipated for the remainder of the series. As a largely pro-Yankees crowd cheered in the Camden Yards stands, the O’s scored just four runs total in losing the final two games, including a 5-3 defeat in yesterday’s rubber game. Tyler Young recapped the action.

The Orioles dropped back below .500 on the young season, to 4-5, and currently sit in last place in the AL East, five games behind the still-undefeated Rays. Losing to division rivals, unfortunately, is a familiar sight for the Birds, who haven’t won a season series against any AL East opponent since 2017.

Even with MLB’s newly balanced schedule in effect this season, which reduces the number of games between division opponents from 19 to 14, the Orioles are still going to see plenty of their AL East competitors this year. It would behoove them to start winning more of those games than they lose.

The season is not even two weeks old, of course, and anything that’s happened so far is barely a blip in the bigger picture. But there are expectations for the Orioles to take a step forward this year, and we’re still waiting for some signs that it’s going to happen. Perhaps the next 12 games — in which the Orioles will face four losing teams in the Athletics, White Sox, Nationals, and Tigers — can help them bank some much-needed wins before their next date with an intradivision foe.


Orioles pitcher Tyler Wells wants the challenge of being a starter: ‘That’s what makes it so fulfilling’ – Baltimore Sun
If Wells continues to pitch well as a starter, who gets bounced out of the rotation when Kyle Bradish returns? Grayson back to the minors? Another starter to the bullpen? I guess that’s a problem for the two-weeks-from-now Orioles.

Kjerstad tries hand at first base in Double-A -
So far this season the O’s have given Heston Kjerstad some reps at first base and Jordan Westburg in the outfield. A little versatility never hurt a prospect’s status, even if it might not stick once he gets to the majors. (Remember when Ryan Mountcastle was an outfielder?)

McCann on his return, Hyde on decision to option Stowers, and more Orioles notes - School of Roch
Part of the Orioles’ reasoning for demoting Kyle Stowers was that the O’s are going to be facing a lot of left-handed starters this week. Yeah, and...? Have they seen Stowers’ numbers against lefties in the minors last year?

Orioles lose to Yankees, 5-3; Judge hits 2 homers; Hyde wants Stowers to get playing time at Norfolk -
This just in: Aaron Judge continues to be better than Orioles pitchers.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Five former Orioles were born on this day, including O’s Hall of Famer Mike Devereaux, who turns 60 today. Devereaux spent seven seasons with the Birds, collecting 94 home runs, 403 RBIs, and making one of the most spectacular catches in the history of Camden Yards. Other ex-Orioles born on April 10 include outfielders Lee Lacy (75) and Chris Dickerson (41), and right-handers Wes Stock (89) and Alberto Reyes (53).

Random Orioles game of the day

And now for a new feature! I’ll have a random number generator spit out a number between 1954 and 2022, and then look up the Orioles game from that year on today’s date. Today’s random number is...2006.

On April 10, 2006, the Orioles snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the then-Devil Rays, 6-3, in Tampa. O’s lefty Erik Bedard, well on his way to becoming the Birds’ ace, pitched an absolute gem, twirling seven shutout innings and striking out five. He gave up only four hits, all singles, in the 108-pitch effort. The Orioles scored four runs in the third to jump out to an early lead and held on from there, though things got dicey enough in the ninth that they had to call on closer Chris Ray, who struck out the side. Miguel Tejada went 3-for-4 and Jay Gibbons homered.

The Devil Rays’ starter that day was right-hander Seth McClung. Fun fact: back when I was just a know-nothing kid writing O’s recaps on the internet — as opposed to now, when I’m a know-nothing adult writing O’s recaps on the internet — I made some snarky comment about how “Seth McClung” sounded like a made-up name. The actual Seth McClung later emailed me and assured me that it was his real name, and thanked me for the publicity. That was the first real interaction I’d ever had with a professional athlete. I just wish it had happened for a better reason than my being a smarmy dork.

And this has been the Random Orioles Game of the Day.TM