Ryan McKenna! I’ll be perfectly honest: I assumed that McKenna was heading back down to the minors the minute that Cedric Mullins returned to the Orioles roster and was kind of annoyed along with my surprise yesterday to discover that Josh Lester was optioned instead. I’ll go ahead and eat just a little crow about that one, because it was McKenna, batting in Anthony Santander’s spot in the lineup after having replaced him on defense in later innings, who delivered the extra-innings walkoff homer for the O’s yesterday.
This one really could have been a horrible Orioles loss to go along with the different kind of horrible loss they suffered on Friday night. There was stupid baserunning all along the way. There was an agonizing robbed home run by the other team. There was Mike freaking Ford hitting two home runs, including a game-tying home run off of Félix Bautista.
It could have turned into a loss. Instead, it was a 6-4 win in ten innings. Check out Tyler’s recap of the game for the lovely totals. The streak of the Orioles not being swept continues until at least Wednesday.
What’s even more fun about the Orioles winning on Saturday is that the Rays lost to the Royals for the second time in three games. The Rays turned out to be the team to take the burden of being on the wrong end of former Oriole Jordan Lyles’s first win of the season. Lyles stunk yesterday, giving up four runs in six innings, but his offense did enough to bump him up to 1-11. And the 46-29 Orioles are back to two games behind the Rays in the loss column - though still 4.5 games in the games back column.
Can the Orioles carry the fun vibes from this walkoff win into today’s series finale? It’s set to get under way at 1:35 this afternoon. Kyle Bradish is the scheduled Orioles starter, with George Kirby set to pitch for Seattle. Kirby is notable for having walked just six batters in 87.2 innings this season. It won’t be easy, but we know the Orioles are good enough to win it. They just need to, you know, actually do that.
Around the blogO’sphere
Adley Rutschman hopes to add All-Star to list of honors (Orioles.com)
MLB’s new gimmick for All-Star voting is to have a “second phase” with the top two vote-getters to decide who’s the starter. Rutschman will have to beat former Orioles prospect Jonah Heim to get named as the AL catcher.
Here’s why Austin Hays should be an All-Star (The Baltimore Banner)
On the MASN broadcast yesterday, they noted that the American League leader in batting average has never failed to make the All-Star team. (It’s happened six times in the NL.) Hays took an 0-4 yesterday to drop to .318. Toronto’s Bo Bichette is right behind him at .317 after a two-hit game yesterday.
Updating Orioles rotation, plus Mountcastle’s rehab (School of Roch)
The Orioles announced yesterday that Cole Irvin is being reinserted into the rotation to make the start against the Reds on Monday. Good luck. As for Mountcastle, manager Brandon Hyde said that “taking good at-bats is going to be important, and hopefully he does that here coming up.”
Two farm pitchers taken down the draft board that are having big seasons in 2023 (Steve Melewski)
Steve wants to make sure that no one forgets about either Justin Armbruester or Alex Pham.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2008-11 slugger Luke Scott, and 1977 reliever Dick Drago. Today is Drago’s 78th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: five-star Army and Air Force general Henry Arnold (1886), novelist George Orwell (1903), musician Carly Simon (1943), chef Anthony Bourdain (1956), and basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo (1966).
On this day in history...
In 1876, the 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer fought, and lost, the Battle of Little Bighorn, with nearly 300 of the American soldiers, including Custer, killed in the fighting against Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribesmen.
In 1906, a shooting soon after dubbed “the crime of the century” took place: A Pittsburgh millionaire named Harry Thaw shot and killed an architect named Stanford White in front of hundreds of people on the rooftop theater of Madison Square Garden, New York. Thaw’s wife had previously been in a relationship with White.
In 1947, The Diary of a Young Girl, written by Anne Frank before her death, was first published.
In 1978, San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade saw the first flying of a rainbow flag to represent gay pride.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 25. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!