The Orioles! They’re now 11-7 after pulling off back-to-back shutouts in a short sweep of the encroaching Nationals, riding a streak of scoreless innings that dates back to the second inning of Sunday’s game. They needed to take care of business against a bad, poor-hitting team, and that’s exactly what they did. They remain 4.5 games back of the division-leading Rays. Check out Alex’s recap of the game for more of the lovely totals.
Through 18 games played last season, the Orioles had a 6-12 record. A very simplistic plan for improvement in 2023 could simply be: Don’t suck in April! They did not have a roster to not suck in April last year, but it seems they may have one this year. There’s still a lot of April left, of course, and there are challenges that the Orioles will need to overcome if they will continue to experience success in the win-loss department.
Their defense has had some problems, the sort of problems - especially in the outfield - where it feels like they might just need different personnel. That’s a problem for the later Orioles, because at least for now, things are going fine. Kyle Bradish pitched well in his return from the injured list last night. The starting rotation is perhaps closer to stable for the time being, although again, they had two games against one of MLB’s worst offenses to get right here.
One thing to keep an eye on going forward from Wednesday’s game is the injury that led to Jorge Mateo leaving the game very early on. Mateo exited with what was called right hip discomfort immediately after grounding out. After the game, the team said he was day-to-day.
That’s good news for the Orioles with an off day here on Thursday, so maybe one of the hottest bats in the league early on can get right back into the lineup without interruption, or without much of one. An injured list stint would be an unfortunate development, but at least initially it doesn’t seem like that should be necessary.
No Orioles game awaits tonight. I know, it’s always annoying to have the “off day Monday and off day Thursday” weeks. I thought maybe the new schedule with every team playing every other team every year would squash those, but no. Hopefully the players are able to enjoy the free time. The team will be back in Baltimore to play the Tigers on Friday, so there’s not much traveling to do to get home.
Seven of the team’s next ten games are against a 7-10 Detroit team that, in terms of runs scored, is even worse than the Nationals have been. The Orioles need to make some hay against these guys as well. Hopefully they prove to be up to the task.
Around the blogO’sphere
Canó becoming new source of relief for the Orioles (Orioles.com)
He did it again last night, coming in to a situation with two men on and only one out and getting out of it without allowing any runs. Canó! Who would have guessed?
Injury updates on Mychal Givens and Dillon Tate (Steve Melewski)
The two Orioles relievers on the injured list could be heading out on rehab assignments as soon as next week.
Jackson Holliday hasn’t been challenged by Low-A pitching, so he’s finding ways to grow (The Baltimore Banner)
Get this man to Aberdeen already, Elias!
Orioles hitters strategize use of limited pitch clock timeouts (The Baltimore Sun)
The quickly-evolving strategy seems to be to call timeout once you get to two strikes.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1988, the Orioles were beaten by the Brewers, 8-6. The loss dropped them to 0-14 on the season and set a new MLB record with that season-opening futility. As we all know, they had seven more losses in them before finally winning a game.
Of all of the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one has been born on this day.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: baseball Hall of Famer Dave Bancroft (1891), longtime Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (1920), actor George Takei (1937), model Carmen Electra (1972), and rapper Killer Mike (1975). You probably also know about a more infamous one, whose name I shall not utter here.
On this day in history...
In 1792, France’s Legislative Assembly, a body that existed for only about a year in the midst of the French Revolution, declared war against who they called the “King of Hungary and Bohemia” (actually Holy Roman Emperor Francis II), launching a five-year conflict now known to history as the War of the First Coalition, during which Napoleon Bonaparte rose to prominence. It took until the Seventh Coalition to beat Napoleon for good.
In 1972, the Apollo 16 mission landed on the moon, with astronauts John Young and Charles Duke becoming the ninth and tenth men to walk on the moon’s surface the first of three different moonwalks they performed over 71 hours. Not all of those hours were on this day, obviously.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 20. Have a safe Thursday.