The Orioles! They sure don’t know how to make it boring for us, do they? On Wednesday night, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it took an eight-run seventh inning rally for the team to storm back and take a lead to make things interesting. Even after that rally and grabbing a four-run lead, we still had to sweat, since the tying run came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but the bullpen held on this time. The Orioles won a wild one, 9-5.
For all of us out there who have yet to fully absorb that there’s something different about this year’s team compared to some Orioles we’ve seen in the recent past, the Wednesday win was yet another reminder that they can do things we’ve not used to them being able to do.
It doesn’t have to be over if a starting pitcher sucks, as long as he doesn’t suck too much. Which is good, because Tyler Wells wasn’t very good last night. And again: The Orioles won anyway! They did this even though the Yankees starting pitcher, Nestor Cortes, is a guy who’s dominated them - and even though Cortes dominated them through the first six innings last night. Four of the eight runs scored in the seventh were charged to Cortes.
We all even got the benefit of a little bit of redemption for Félix Bautista, who was right back on the saddle a day after blowing a one-run lead in the ninth. Bautista was protecting a three-run lead this time, and although he wasn’t able to strike out Aaron Judge to end the game, instead walking the slugger, he still got the third out without letting the tying run come to the plate. It’s in the win column even though the Yankees had a 96% win expectancy in the sixth inning.
Wednesday’s win makes it official that the Orioles will, at worst, have a record of .500 through the 22-game gauntlet of winning teams they’ve played for the bulk of May. Winning one or two more would be nice, but closing out a road series win of the Yankees will be tough, and so will be a whole weekend against the Rangers, who’ve gone on from the last time the O’s faced them in April to be one of baseball’s most prolific offenses. Nothing can come easy for these guys, but they’ve been up to winning the hard ones and that’s great.
The Orioles remain three games back of the Rays after Wednesday’s win. Their 32-17 record is a full season pace of 106 wins. We’ll see if they can add one more as the series closes out tonight. Kyle Gibson and Clarke Schmidt are the scheduled starting pitchers for the 7:05 finale. Schmidt has a 6.00 ERA, so hopefully the Orioles offense can take advantage - and hopefully Gibson can pitch at least six innings to give a rest to the poor O’s bullpen.
Around the blogO’sphere
Jackson Holliday has managed to be perhaps the best hitter in all of minor league baseball (The Baltimore Banner)
Jackson. Holliday. is the perfect thing to talk about after last night’s Orioles game if you want to get even more excited for the future of the team. He extended his season-opening on-base streak to 37 games yesterday by reaching base in both games of a doubleheader. This article includes some quotes from his big leaguer dad.
Yennier Cano’s incredible rise: Delivery tweak, confidence boost, and ‘dad strength’ (The Athletic)
I hope that stories about how amazing Cano is continue on through the whole rest of this season too.
The Orioles play more close games than anyone else. That could mean more close losses. (The Baltimore Sun)
It’s not just your imagination! The Orioles have literally played more games with a final margin within the range of a grand slam than any other team has done. Last night was only the latest.
Gunnar Henderson is off to a slower start than expected (FanGraphs)
Would have been a lot more fun to get more positive late May articles about Henderson than this. But hey, he’s got himself above the Mendoza Line and hopefully can keep climbing from here.
Decision pending on Orioles reliever Dillon Tate (School of Roch)
Yesterday was the last day of Tate’s 30-day minor league rehab assignment, so they’re going to have to decide today whether to either activate him or option him to the minors. Based on how the rehab has gone, I’m hoping for the option.
Tyler Wells thankful for LaTroy Hawkins’s advice (Orioles.com)
Hawkins, while working for the Twins front office, suggested that Wells needed to lose weight in 2017 to help him get through a full season, and that seems to have been a message he needed to hear at that time. Maybe somebody can tell him how to stop giving up homers now.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
The most recent Orioles victory on this date was four years ago. The 2019 team beat the Rockies, 9-6, during a visit to Colorado. No player who appeared in the game for the O’s remains in the organization. Andrew Cashner got a win despite giving up five runs in five innings. Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar each homered for the O’s, and some guy named Josh Lucas, of whom I have no memory at all, got a three-inning save. The win gave the team a 16-36 record.
There are a number of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2000-02 catcher Fernando Lunar, 2004-07/2010 infielder Miguel Tejada, 1997 four-gamer Melvin Rosario, 1976-78 outfielder Andrés Mora, 1967 pitcher Bill Dillman, and 1958 first baseman Jim Marshall. Today is Marshall’s 92nd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: poet/politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803), poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803), actor Ian McKellen (1939), puppeteer Frank Oz (1944), actress Octavia Spencer (1970), and gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman (1994).
On this day in history...
In 240 BC, the appearance of a comet has been recorded in a Chinese chronicle from the time. This is recognized as the earliest noted appearance of what we now call Halley’s Comet.
In 1738 AD, the colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania reached a cease-fire in Cresap’s War, a conflict waged in then-unsettled parts of present-day York County, to which both colonies had a claim due to conflicting charters. Nearly 30 years after this cease-fire, the Mason-Dixon Line establishing the border was surveyed.
In 1925, science teacher John T. Scopes was indicted in the state of Tennessee for the crime of teaching evolution to his students.
In 1977, Star Wars was first released in theaters.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 25. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!