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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles offense currently cannot be found

After a loss last night, the Orioles are 4-7 over their last 11 games

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Milwaukee Brewers
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

This is not the most fun stretch of the 2023 Orioles season so far. After getting figuratively kicked in the face repeatedly in a 10-2 loss to the Brewers last night, the O’s are now 4-7 over their last 11 games, going back to the May 26 game where the Rangers beat the stuffing out of them. They’ve given up double digit runs in three of those games.

If you need some more about the not-so-lovely totals from last night’s game, in which the Orioles offense made Corbin Burnes look like the recent Cy Young winner he hasn’t been pitching like this season, and Dean Kremer was dunked on, check out John Beers’s recap of the game. The team is now 6.5 games back of the Rays in the AL East, as the Rays once again beat the Twins last night.

Where do the Orioles go from here? In a literal sense, they are not going anywhere until after they play the finale of this series against the Brewers, set to begin at 2:10 this afternoon. We can only hope that the O’s offense finds a way to do something against a thus-far not good pitcher in Colin Rea - and then, that Kyle Bradish is able to pitch well enough to make a lead stand up if the Orioles are actually up to building one. The Orioles need a win today to avoid their first sweep of the season.

In a more broad sense, the question remains: Where do the Orioles go from here? The team, though they do still have the third-best record in all of MLB, has some downsides to the current roster that are proving durable. The starting pitching has occasionally run into issues that are increasingly taxing the bullpen. The Orioles offense has been held to three or fewer runs eight times during this 4-7 stretch. It’s fortunate they managed to win the four.

Cedric Mullins getting hurt has not helped this, but it’s a bigger problem than just his absence. A number of batters have stunk over the last couple of weeks. Adam Frazier, Jorge Mateo, Ryan Mountcastle, and Ramón Urías are culprits. Gunnar Henderson’s still waiting to launch. That’s an entire infield and then some! Anthony Santander is now in an 0-22 slump with no walks over that hitless stretch.

Every game that the team-wide slump drags on only increases the clamoring for either or both of Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg to be right here, right now, rather than putting up numbers at Triple-A. Adding either one is going to require the Orioles to make a real tough choice about who does not deserve to be on this roster right now. And perhaps a nearly as tough choice as to who deserves to be on the roster but get less playing time.

If you’re looking for some better Orioles-related news, check out our daily recap of some of the good stuff that happened on the farm last night, today provided by Tyler Young. Just to get you started: Jackson Holliday homered. His team lost, but that part’s not as important.

Around the blogO’sphere

Heston Kjerstad is ready for Triple-A, a symbolic milestone (The Athletic)
The much-awaited Norfolk debut for Kjerstad has been put off for two days due to the same wildfire smoke that’s afflicted the Maryland area.

Urías on playing in same game as brother, Hyde on Mountcastle starting on bench last night (School of Roch)
One problem with the Orioles lineup right now is that there are a number of players who could use “a nice work day.”

Orioles players use rare off day to find tranquility - and a few fish - on Lake Michigan (The Baltimore Banner)
Maybe they need to go back and see if that’s where to find the offense.

IronBirds outfielder Jud Fabian is learning to find the zone (The Baltimore Sun)
At one time, one of my way-too-early tanking slogans for the 2021 draft was “Dud for Jud!” He didn’t sign after that 2021 draft after all, and the Orioles got him the next year. Things have been going well for Fabian with Aberdeen.

Updated 2023 MLB Top Prospects (Baseball America)
The full list is subscribers only, but I can tell you that there’s eight Orioles on it, Jackson Holliday is at #2, and Samuel Basallo has arrived at #81. Pretty good.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1986, the Orioles scored an 18-9 victory over the Yankees, in the process setting an American League record for longest time of a nine-inning game. It took 4:16 to finish. Lee Lacy hit three home runs for the Orioles. Tippy Martinez got a 3.1 inning save. Tommy John - yes, that one - pitched three innings for the Yankees. The win improved the O’s to 33-20, though the ‘86 team unfortunately went 40-69 from that point on.

The record today belongs to a 4:45 Yankees/Red Sox game from 2006 where the final score was 14-11. How typical. The longest nine-inning game played by the Orioles this year was a 13-10 win over the Royals on May 4, which took 3:24. The pitch clock!

Several former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2013-16 reliever T.J. McFarland, 1980-85 infielder/emergency catcher Lenn Sakata, 1965-81 shortstop Mark Belanger, and 1963 reliever George Brunet.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Robert Schumann (1810), architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867), and actress Julianna Marguiles (1967).

On this day in history...

In 793, the first recognized Viking attack on the British isles took place with a raid on an abbey at Lindisfarne.

In 1191, the arrival of Richard I of England in Acre marked the beginning of the Third Crusade.

In 1789, the series of amendments that we now know as the Bill of Rights was introduced by James Madison into Congress. Ten of the twelve proposed amendments were ratified in the initial wave. An eleventh remained in limbo until 1992; this one, the Twenty-seventh Amendment, which prevents any pay increase for members of Congress until after the next election, is the most recent ratified amendment to the Constitution.

In 1949, the novel 1984 by George Orwell was first published.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 8. Have a safe Thursday, especially if you’re anywhere the wildfire smoke is lingering. Go O’s!