Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Can’t we just have one nice, stress-free Orioles win? Is that too much to ask?
We’re just four games into the season, and it seems like one calamity or another keeps befalling the Birds. They blew a winnable series in Boston because every single outfielder forgot how to play defense, and a change of scenery to Texas last night brought a well-played victory but another potentially ruinous development for the Orioles.
First the good news. The Orioles’ pitching staff, which had allowed nine runs each in its first three games, surprisingly twirled a shutout against a Rangers offense that had scored 29 runs in three games. You really can’t predict baseball. The Oriole who stood head and shoulders above the rest — both literally and metaphorically — was 6-foot-8 righty Tyler Wells, who gave a truly heroic effort in long relief. Wells worked five dominant innings of no-hit, shutout baseball to guide the Birds to victory — and all this from a guy who wasn’t even supposed to pitch (he was originally scheduled to start tonight’s game). Clutch.
Now for the bad news. The reason Wells was forced into emergency relief duty is because O’s starter Kyle Bradish, in his season debut, took a 104-mph line drive off his right leg in the second inning, knocking him flat on the ground. It took Bradish just one warmup pitch to realize there was no way he could continue. The Orioles announced Bradish’s diagnosis as a right foot contusion and said his preliminary x-rays were negative, but he’ll need to undergo further testing before he’s out of the woods.
Let’s hope a contusion was the worst of it and that the follow-ups reveal nothing more severe. If Bradish — who has perhaps the biggest upside of any current O’s starter — has to miss extended time, it’ll be a huge blow for him as well as the already thin Orioles pitching staff. Fingers crossed.
The Orioles could be on the playoff margin all season. Their first series showed how thin it is. | ANALYSIS – Baltimore Sun
Nathan Ruiz points out that the O’s aren’t a strong enough team to endure many catastrophic losses like Saturday’s. My stomach isn’t strong enough for that, either.
Orioles Run All Day, Run All Night | FanGraphs Baseball
Michael Baumann (not that one) writes about the speed demon Orioles, who lead the majors in steals. And oh by the way, Cedric Mullins got another steal last night, his fourth. My prediction that he'll have a 30 HR/40 SB season is right on track.
Kyle Bradish hit by liner, leaves game in the second inning (O's win, 2-0) - Steve Melewski
In addition to all those steals, the Orioles have had eight different players hit a homer after Gunnar Henderson and Jorge Mateo both went yard last night. Speed AND power? I’m liking this offense so far.
Blood says Orioles’ minor leagues’ talent is deep - BaltimoreBaseball.com
You might say the Orioles’ talent runs deep...in their Blood.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! A whopping eight players in O’s history were born on this day. The best of the bunch was right-hander Eddie Watt, a mainstay out of the O’s bullpen for eight years, who won World Series with the clubs in both 1966 and 1970. He posted a 2.74 ERA in his Birds career and was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2000. Mr. Watt turns 82 years old today. Enjoy your day, Eddie.
Other Orioles born on April 4 include righties Conner Greene (28), Odrisamer Despaigne (36), and Jim Dedrick (55); infielder Renato Núñez (29); outfielder Brad Komminsk (62); first baseman Mike Epstein (80); and the late right-hander Tom Fisher (b. 1942, d. 2016), whose MLB career consisted of two games for the 1967 Orioles.
On this day in 2001, in just their second game of the season, the Orioles got no-hit by Boston’s Hideo Nomo at Camden Yards. It was the first — and still only — no-hitter ever thrown in the now 30-year history of the O’s ballpark. Nomo, the former Dodgers sensation and Rookie of the Year, was making his Red Sox debut that night. Pretty good first impression, I’d say.
And on this date in 2016, the O’s kicked off their season with an Opening Day walkoff victory over the Twins in Baltimore. Matt Wieters’ RBI single in the ninth capped a two-out rally to clinch a 3-2 victory, nearly six hours after scheduled first pitch. The game was delayed an hour and 45 minutes before it even began because of an ominous forecast — even though it didn’t rain during that delay — and then was delayed for another hour-plus when the downpour did arrive after the second inning. Long day at the ballpark.
That game was also notable for some dumb O’s fans booing Hyun Soo Kim during pregame introductions, after he’d had a rough spring training but wouldn’t accept a minor league assignment. I fear that some of those same dumb-dumbs will boo Ryan McKenna at this year’s home opener.