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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles aced the toughest part of their schedule

In their 22-game gauntlet against winning teams, the O’s went 13-9. These guys are for real.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
Félix Bautista and Adley Rutschman are getting used to striking this pose.
Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Twenty-three days ago in this space, I wrote about the Orioles’ impending 22-game stretch of potential doom, in which they would face nothing but winning clubs for more than three weeks: the first-place Braves, the MLB-best Rays, the (then) first-place Pirates, the Angels, the Blue Jays, the Yankees, and the Rangers. It was an unrelenting gauntlet that easily could have short-circuited the Orioles’ promising start to the season. I concluded, “By the end of May, if we look back and the O’s have managed to hover around .500 for this unforgiving stretch, Orioles fans should be more than happy.”

Well, the gauntlet is over. The results are in. And the Orioles passed with flying colors.

With their victory over the Rangers yesterday — which averted what would’ve been the Orioles’ first sweep of the season — the O’s finished that 22-game stretch with a more-than-impressive 13-9 record. So much for just hovering around .500! As they’ve done all year, the Orioles delivered beyond expectations. They won four of the series, split one, and lost just two. They began the gauntlet with the third-best record in baseball and finished it with the second-best, despite the high quality of their opponents. It’s hard to overstate how huge that was. This Orioles team really can beat anybody.

Today the O’s face their first sub-.500 opponent in more than three weeks, opening a three-game series with the 23-29 Guardians. Not that they should get complacent, of course. The Guardians, despite their struggles, are the reigning AL Central champs and boast a decent pitching staff, which could offer some trouble to an O’s offense that struggled to score runs in the Rangers series.

So, Orioles, take a moment to bask in your success. And then let’s get right back into the grind.


Levelheaded O’s complete another dramatic win to avoid sweep -
It’s nice that the Orioles never seem to panic when they lose a couple games in a row, unlike some of their fans on Twitter. I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that fans on Twitter aren’t the most level-headed folks.

Means on pitching in 2023: “Yeah, absolutely” - School of Roch
John Means thinks he could be back in the big leagues by August. Eh, no need to rush, the Orioles will have already clinched a playoff spot by then. YEAH, I SAID IT.

Once a promising rotation prospect, Mike Baumann is now finding MLB success in the bullpen - Steve Melewski
Baumann is still a little erratic for my tastes, but he has the stuff to become a late-inning reliever. The sooner the better. Yennier Cano can’t pitch every day.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Five former Orioles were born on this day: infielders (and sons of big leaguers) Tyler Nevin (26) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (47), outfielder Eric Davis (61), and right-handers Dyar Miller (77) and Fred Holdsworth (71). Holdsworth was in the news recently when Yennier Cano tied his club record of retiring the first 24 batters he faced in a season.

On this day in 1965, the Orioles’ club president, Joe Inglehart, sold his stake of ownership in the team to silent partner Jerald Hoffberger, making Hoffberger the Birds’ majority owner. He remained in that role until 1979, presiding over the club’s first two World Series championships.

Random Orioles game of the day

On May 29, 1993, the Orioles suffered a late loss to the Angels, 6-3, at Anaheim Stadium. The O’s carried a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh, with starter Rick Sutcliffe seemingly cruising along, until pinch hitter (and current Diamondbacks manager) Torey Lovullo swatted a two-out, two-run home run to make it a one-run game. The Orioles’ bullpen then fell apart in the eighth, with Todd Frohwirth, Brad Pennington, and Gregg Olson combining to give up four runs on two hits and three walks. David Segui homered in the losing effort for the Birds. The loss dropped them to 20-28.