Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that the first month of the 2023 season went quite well for the Orioles.
As the calendar turns to May, the O’s are 19-9, the third-best record in the majors. They set a franchise record for wins in April. They’ve won six consecutive series for the first time since 2014, completing a resounding 6-1 season series win over the Tigers with yesterday’s 5-3 victory.
You could hardly ask for anything better as an Orioles fan. So far the O’s have made good on Mike Elias’s promise of “liftoff,” building on last year’s surprise success with a scalding start to the season. And while they’ve had their flaws — with the starting pitching, in particular, experiencing some bumps in the road — this team as a whole has looked like one of the most well-rounded groups in recent Birds history.
Now comes the tricky part: trying to keep it going for another five months. It’s no secret that the Orioles achieved their April success against a bevy of bad teams, which certainly doesn’t invalidate their winning ways, but does mean that they’ll face a tougher task as the schedule gets more difficult. It’s happening very soon. After opening May with one more series against a last-place club (the Royals), the Orioles will face an unforgiving gauntlet of 22 straight games against teams that currently have winning records. That includes three consecutive first-place teams — the Braves, Rays, and upstart Pirates — from May 5-14. The latter two hold the two best records in baseball at the moment.
That incredible April showed what the Orioles are capable of when they’re clicking on all cylinders. Now, here in May, it’s time for them to test their mettle against the best of the best. One month from now, we should have a clearer idea of whether the 2023 Orioles are truly a force to be reckoned with.
Yennier Cano continues his dominance for the Orioles - MLB.com
Yennier Cano did it again, y’all. I don’t know how to explain his dominance, but I’m going to enjoy the ride for however long it lasts.
Stowers talks about his return to Orioles - School of Roch
The Orioles not only brought Kyle Stowers back to the majors but they immediately put him in the starting lineup. Clearly the O’s brain trust follows Orioles fans on Twitter.
‘I’m just an unlucky guy’: Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle wonders what he did to deserve this – Baltimore Sun
After two doubles and a much-needed RBI yesterday, perhaps Mountcastle’s luck is finally starting to turn for the better. Maybe he helped an old lady cross the street after all.
Sunday Notes: Bill Haselman Recalls the Brawl That Almost Broke Cal’s Streak | FanGraphs Baseball
I don’t remember a lot of the baseball games I attended as a kid, but I sure as heck remember attending this one. Bill Haselman’s name will forever be etched into my memory, and not for good reasons.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 29th birthday to Dillon Tate, who emerged as a late-inning force in the Orioles’ bullpen last year. He has yet to pitch this season after opening on the IL with a right elbow flexor strain, but he’s made two appearances on rehab so far and should be back in the O’s ’pen soon. Also celebrating a birthday today is right-hander Allan Ramirez (66), whose entire MLB career consisted of 11 games for the 1983 Orioles.
On this day in 2012, O’s skipper Buck Showalter earned his 1,000th career win, and it happened against the Yankees, the team with which he began his managerial career 20 years earlier. Showalter’s Orioles cruised to a 7-1 win at Yankee Stadium, with Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy each homering and Brian Matusz working 6.1 strong innings. After the game, Buck “was encircled by his players, received some hugs and some head rubs, as if he had just hit a walk-off homer,” according to the Baltimore Sun, which the always non-self-promoting Showalter called “kind of embarrassing.”
Random Orioles game of the day
Random number generator, do your thing: 2009.
On May 1, 2009, the Orioles lost to the Blue Jays, 8-4, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The O’s jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the game on a Nick Markakis two-run homer off Hall of Famer Roy Halladay, but — shockingly! — the O’s pitching tandem of Mark Hendrickson, Dennis Sarfate, Jamie Walker, and Chris Ray couldn’t keep the Jays lineup in check. The Blue Jays rattled off 14 hits in the blowout victory, with Halladay working eight strong innings. The Orioles fell to 9-14, six games back of the division-leading Jays.