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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Back on track

A bounceback win, building a buffer, minor league pressure, and more!

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

You can’t keep these Birds down for long. The lineup getting dominated on Sunday followed by Grayson Rodriguez struggling on Monday was not the most enjoyable start to the week. But everyone bounced back in last night’s 7-3 triumph.

It was a team win that saw contributions from all over. Dean Kremer had his third straight decent start, which has gotten his ERA back into an acceptable range. Gunnar Henderson had a walk, a double, and a run scored. Terrin Vavra drove in a run. The bullpen was great, as always. All three Ryans did their thing. It was just one of those complete victories.

The Orioles have a three-game lead atop the AL Wild Card standings. That hasn’t changed much this month despite the O’s pace of wins slowing slightly. But that’s fine! This team had a special April where they won two-thirds of their games. Replicating that across a whole season probably isn’t happening. And it doesn’t need to.

There are 120 games left in the season. If the Orioles were to go exactly .500 in those games they would finish the year with a record of 87-75. The Rays made it into the postseason last year as the final wild card team going 86-76. Maybe that won’t be quite good enough this year with a stacked AL East and an AL West that is picking apart the bottom-feeder A’s. But you get the idea. The O’s have already built up such a buffer that there is some room for error.

Of course, that room can collapse quickly, especially if the Orioles sit on their hands for the rest of the season. Reinforcements from Triple-A and even outside the organization will be needed at some point. But for now, the O’s are in a good spot.


Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg present Orioles a new prospect promotion puzzle | The Baltimore Sun
A good problem to have. Perhaps we see something similar to how the Orioles handled the promotions of Henderson and Adley Rutschman. One of them will be up earlier (probably Westburg), and then the other gets a shorter cameo towards the end of the year.

‘Can’t argue with it’: O’s nine-hole gambits pay off in a big way |
Ryan O’Hearn has done a nice job in his fringy role with the Orioles this year. It has to be tough to stay sharp when bouncing between Norfolk and Baltimore so frequently, but the veteran lefty does put together competitive at-bats and has given the Orioles the sort of first base depth they desperately wanted back in the spring.

Cole Irvin on Triple-A time and his return to the Orioles | Steve Melewski
I had completely missed that Irvin was recalled yesterday. He did improve some things down in Norfolk, but his lack of strikeouts is concerning. A long relief role seems perfect for him for now.

This, that and the other | Roch Kubatko
The other end of the Irvin recall, Logan Gillaspie jumps back on the shuttle to Harbor Park.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Jack Voigt turns 57. He played first base, third base, right field, and left field for the Orioles from 1992 through 1995 before he was dealt to the Red Sox.
  • Ozzie Virgil is 91 today. He made one plate appearance for the O’s in 1962.
  • The late Billy Hoeft (b. 1932, d. 2010) was born on this day. The southpaw spent parts of four seasons in Baltimore from 1959 through ‘62.
  • A posthumous birthday for Jim McDonald (b. 1927, d. 2004). He pitched for the O’s during the 1955 season.

This day in O’s history

It’s been a slow day in Orioles’ history, according to Baseball Reference. So, here are some things that have occurred beyond Birdland:

1875 - The first Kentucky Derby is run and won by Aristides, jockeyed by Oliver Lewis.

1900 - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is first published in the U.S.

1939 - The first televised sporting event in the United States takes place. Columbia hosts Princeton at Baker Field for a collegiate baseball game. It is viewed by a handful of folks on W2XBS in New York City. Princeton wins 2-1.

1954 - A unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas is handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, outlawing racial segregation in public schools.

2004 - The first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. are performed in Massachusetts.