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Thursday Bird Droppings: The longest Orioles road trip of the year begins

The Orioles need to start this trip off strong against a weak Tigers offense

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

The Orioles! After a 6-2 win over the Red Sox yesterday to secure their first series win against an AL East team this season, the Orioles have improved to a 16-8 record for the 2023 season. A year ago, they were 8-16 after 24 games. I submit to you that it is much better to be on pace for 108 wins than to be on pace for 108 losses. The 2022 team, as we know, did turn things around later on. It is great to see this year’s team not digging themselves an early hole.

This was a solid win. The team had 11 hits but only one for extra bases, and they were able to score on three separate sacrifice flies. Tyler Wells tied a career high for strikeouts (7) and set a career high for pitches thrown (102). Speaking of tied records, reliever Yennier Cano tied a club record by retiring the first four batters he faced, joining 1976’s Fred Holdsworth at 24 consecutive batters retired to begin a season. Cano hit Justin Turner right after that, so no sole record for him, but he’s still yet to allow a hit in 26 batters faced and that’s pretty good too.

Check out my recap of the game for more of the lovely totals.

The Orioles will not play another game in Baltimore until May 8. They’ve got four games coming up against Detroit, a day off next Monday before three nights in Kansas City, then a trip to Atlanta for three games after that. These next two series against the Tigers and Royals are important because the Orioles need to bank some more wins. Tougher times are coming before long and they can’t waste many chances against teams who are thus far not succeeding this season.

For today, they only need to focus on today’s game. The Orioles opener against the Tigers will see Kyle Gibson in action against the same team he struck out 11 times five days ago at Camden Yards. That same game five days ago saw the Orioles offense score five runs off of starting pitcher Joey Wentz, who’s lined up again tonight. The Tigers stadium is the opposite of OPACY in that fences were moved in for this season, so I guess we’ll see if that, along with the natural chaos of existence, does much to change the outcome from Saturday to today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Yennier Cano is (Ca)no joke (FanGraphs)
I will never not be delighted when national baseball media outlets notice the Orioles for good reasons.

Ryan Mountcastle is having a weird one (FanGraphs)
Noticed by FanGraphs twice in one day, even! This one is not as good for Ryan Mountcastle, because it’s about how his batting numbers look thanks to his awful luck, which is pretty clearly bad luck even though it’s continuing to stretch into a second season now.

How an at-bat against a position player led to Jorge Mateo’s revitalized swing (The Baltimore Banner)
Co-hitting coach Matt Borgschulte revisited Mateo hitting off a position player last August over the offseason. The result is, maybe, the Mateo we’ve seen for the first month of this season? I’ve heard stranger things.

In one inning, we saw what the Orioles can be when they go small (The Athletic)
“They have five guys who can lay down a bunt whenever needed” ... let’s hope there aren’t many occasions where this is needed. The two sacrifice bunts yesterday did at least result in a run scoring each time.

Orioles waiting to wonder how they make room for returning relievers (School of Roch)
Dillon Tate could be about a week away, with Mychal Givens maybe not that far behind him. A week’s a lot of time for something to happen to change the bullpen mix, but it’s also not that much time, and someone who’s gotten good results could be sent to the minors to make room for these guys.

Red Sox’s Richard Bleier says fans at Camden Yards threw beer, spat into bullpen Tuesday; Orioles ejected 2 fans (The Baltimore Sun)
Shame on whoever did this stuff. There’s no excuse for it.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1968, Tom Phoebus pitched the second solo no-hitter in Orioles franchise history as part of a 6-0 victory over the Red Sox. The Baltimore-born Phoebus walked three batters and struck out nine in his triumphant outing.

There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today. 2019 starting pitcher Aaron Brooks turns 33 years old.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Taj Mahal honoree Mumtaz Mahal (1593), writer Mary Wollstonecraft (1759), Morse code co-inventor and namesake Samuel Morse (1791), Civil War winner and 18th president Ulysses S. Grant (1822), composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891), baseballs Hall of Famer Roger Hornsby (1896) and Enos Slaughter (1916), civil rights activist Coretta Scott King (1927), Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies (1963), and singer/actress Lizzo (1988).

On this day in history...

In 711, the Moors landed at Gibraltar, beginning an invasion and centuries-long conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

In 1521, the explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in a battle against indigenous people in modern-day Philippines. The expedition to circumnavigate the globe continued without him, eventually succeeding the next year.

In 1805, during the First Barbary War, American marines launched an attack on the city of Derna in present day Libya. This is the “shores of Tripoli” reference in the Marine Corps hymn.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 27. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!