Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! And what a happy day it is, with the Orioles spending the weekend sweeping their division rival Blue Jays. If the sweep had gone the other way, the Orioles and Blue Jays would be tied in the division and we’d all be feeling so blue.
Instead, the Blue Jays are in last place, six games behind the Orioles and 8.5 games back in the division. People can say that it’s too early to be watching the standings closely. I’m not saying those people are wrong. But I am saying that it’s a heck of a lot more fun to be the team in second place than the team in last place.
Sweeping the Blue Jays in their house in front of 40K+ every game was incredible! And it was something we haven’t seen since 2005. Wild! The Orioles have had a handful of good teams since then, seems like they could have backed their way into a sweep in Toronto at least once in the last 18 years.
On Friday night, the Orioles had their easiest win of the three, though it came thanks in part to a performance from Kyle Gibson that no one saw coming. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the Orioles played some of their most exciting baseball this season.
They stormed back from a deficit on Saturday with a surprise three-run home run from Ryan O’Hearn and a gutsy two-inning performance Félix Bautista. It was inspiring baseball in a game that ended with Bautista hugging everyone in sight.
Then yesterday, up against former Oriole and Jays’ ace Kevin Gausman, Dean Kremer battled through 5.1 innings against a tough lineup, holding them to just one run. In the late innings, Brandon Hyde used every bench player and every bullpen arm available. He even pinch-hit for James McCann, which put DH Adley Rutschman at catcher for the last inning.
After the offense exploded for five runs in the 11th inning, Rutschman was behind the plate to give the last pitcher standing, Big Mike Baumann, the patented Adley hug to celebrate the win. And let me tell you, Baumann was excited to get it. Look at that grin!
Our guys pic.twitter.com/UizYix21eD— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 21, 2023
The Orioles are now 10-6 in their 22-game gauntlet against winning teams, and today they have a well-deserved day off. Hopefully the whole team, especially the bullpen, gets some good rest so they can put up a strong showing against the Yankees starting tomorrow.
MLB Power Rankings for Week 8 - MLB.com
MLB.com's updated power rankings dropped last night and the Orioles are up to fourth. Not bad!
A scout's take on Orioles and their prospects - MASN Sports
Observations on the team's current composition from an unnamed veteran scout.
Orioles' Ramón Urías: Testing hamstring Sunday - CBSSports.com
If everything goes as planned, Ramón Urías will be ready to join the Orioles by the end of the month. Interesting decisions will have to be made when he's ready to be activated.
Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 1 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you want Rich Dubroff's thoughts on the trade deadlines, minor leaguers, and if Dan Duquette will ever get the credit he deserves, this is the article for you.
Blue Jays swept by Orioles as offensive woes continue in homestand finale - Sports Net
A look at the sweep from the perspective of Blue Jays media.
Birthdays and History
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, the most recent of whom is Rio Ruiz, who turns 29 years old today. Ruiz played for the Orioles from 2019-2020. He could never really hit, but he had just enough promise to keep us all hoping for a while. Not to mention his great head of hair.
Also celebrating today are Rick van den Hurk (38), John Bale (49), and José Mesa (57). Mesa kicked off an impressive 19-season career with 49 games with the Orioles but it wasn’t until he converted to relief pitching with Cleveland that he really blossomed. His final games in the majors came with the Phillies in 2007 at the age of 41.
On this day in 1959, Hoyt Wilhelm pitched a one-hitter in an Orioles win 5-0 win over the Yankees. He did walk six, which you can get away with when the only hit is a single. Knuckleballers, am I right? Six days later Wilhelm pitched another complete games shutout against the Yankees.
In 2021, the Orioles lost their 10th game in a row. When I read that I thought, “Oh yeah, that 19-game losing streak was horrible.” But I was wrong! The loss they had on this day two years ago was the 10th in a row of their 14-game losing streak. The 19-gamer wasn’t until August. Let’s never go back to those days.