Another series win is in the books for the Orioles. They followed up on a win on Friday night with a 6-1 victory over the Royals yesterday afternoon, a game that they were able to win without using either of Yennier Cano or Félix Bautista. That’s as close to comfortable as any game can get in 2023. It wasn’t a cruise the whole way kind of game, as the O’s only put it beyond save range in the bottom of the eighth inning, but it was a nice win anyway. Check out Andrea’s recap of the game for the lovely totals.
In winning Saturday’s game, the Orioles became the third MLB team this year to reach 40 wins. With the Rangers beating the Rays, the O’s even pulled a game closer within the AL East. They now stand 5.5 back of Tampa. That’s a ways up there, but it’s not hopeless as long as the Orioles keep up their winning ways themselves. The 2023 Orioles are on pace for 101 wins after 40% of the season is in the books. It is pretty cool.
Can the Orioles pull off the sweep in today’s game? Even against a team that’s below a .300 winning percentage, you can’t take a sweep for granted. O’s fans know this as well as anyone, since even the losers of 2018 managed to win 47 games. They got swept plenty, but they also didn’t get swept plenty, too. For a more recent example, the Orioles did not sweep the Oakland Athletics, who still have MLB’s worst record. The A’s are catching up to the Royals, though, and perhaps will get closer if the Orioles do good things today.
It’s not like the Royals have been playing like a sub-.300 winning percentage team in this series. They’ve had some traffic on the bases. They’ve made some nice defensive plays. They just have not been able to get the really big hit.
Day games are not when the Orioles have been making their hay this season. They’re not bad in the daytime, but the 14-12 day split is sure a lot worse than the 26-12 night split. They have won a lot of games in spite of what probably felt like forfeit lineups when the lineup card graphics were posted to Twitter. Can they grab another one today? They’ll turn to veteran Kyle Gibson in the 1:35 finale. Carlos Hernandez will try to pitch to help KC avoid the sweep.
Whatever the outcome today, the Orioles will have the day off tomorrow to think about it. Tomorrow’s their second Monday off in a row - to be followed by a third Monday off next week.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles option Vespi to make room for Irvin (School of Roch)
Nick Vespi arrived for Friday’s game and departed before Saturday’s game. I think it must not be very fun to be a player on the MLB/AAA fringe.
Orioles recount their first big league hits (Orioles.com)
Beat writer Jake Rill took a recent survey of what some Orioles remember about their own first MLB hits. Two players have collected their first hit this season.
Cole Irvin tries to stay in rotation with Saturday outing (Steve Melewski)
Irvin’s 5.1 inning outing yesterday should certainly be enough to keep him around in the big league rotation for a little while. I would have gone with him for longer, even, since he was only at 72 pitches.
Orioles coaches immediately noticed a way to get Aaron Hicks swinging his best again (The Baltimore Banner)
“One weird trick that improved a struggling Oriole” articles have not had very much staying power so far this season. Previous ones that didn’t last included Jorge Mateo’s revamped swing and Grayson Rodriguez’s mechanical adjustment. Maybe Hicks will break the pattern. He has reached base in nine straight games, anyway.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
The most recent Orioles victory on this day happened just last year. The O’s beat the Royals, 6-4, in a game where Tyler Nevin hit a go-ahead home run and Adley Rutschman had three hits. Last year’s O’s were 25-35 after the win. Let’s roll “beat the Royals on June 11” forward another year, team.
Of all the players to ever play for the Orioles, not a single one has ever been born on this day.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Richard Strauss (1864), first American woman to hold federal office Jeanette Rankin (1880), novelist Yasunari Kawabata (1899), football coach Vince Lombardi (1913), actor Gene Wilder (1933), and basketballer Diana Taurasi (1982).
On this day in history...
In 1509, England’s Henry VIII married the first of his eventual six wives, Catherine of Aragon.
In 1776, a committee of five men was appointed by the Continental Congress to draft a declaration of independence from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson was on the committee, though he ended up doing the writing himself.
In 1955, a collision at the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race led to the death of 83 spectators, with over 100 more suffering injuries.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 11. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!