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Saturday Bird Droppings: Hoping to end the losing streak

It’s only been three games, updates on the IL, and numbers through the season’s first half.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Well, you can’t win ‘em all and, after last night’s 8-1 drubbing at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles have now proven that three games in a row. It matches their longest losing streak of the season (last happened from May 6-8), concluding June on a sour note.

June was the Orioles’ worst month so far. They went 13-11 and saw the deficit in the AL East jump from four games on June 1 to 6.5 games today. Those real numbers reflect the vibe around this team in recent weeks. There is still good baseball in them, clearly, but it’s been obstructed by more frequent implosions by the pitching staff and no-show nights from the offense.

And yet, they still won more games than they lost. They had a big series win against Toronto. They split with the Rays. Jordan Westburg debuted. Cedric Mullins returned. Make no mistake, there were positives in June as well.

Peaks and valleys are normal in a long season. The Orioles have bought themselves wiggle room with a terrific April and solid May. They are still four games clear of the next closest team in the AL wild card race. If the playoffs started today, they would get home field advantage against the Yankees in the opening round.

At the very least, however, the recent regression should serve as a reminder to the front office of what this team is lacking. They need more pitching, both in the rotation and the bullpen. And the lineup is still searching for its ideal set up. The Ryan O’Hearn phase may be nearing an end, which could eventually warrant a Colton Cowser promotion and allow Anthony Santander to play more first base. Just ideas!

These Orioles continue to be a work in progress. Hopefully, their best baseball is ahead of them.


Orioles place struggling reliever Keegan Akin on IL; Brandon Hyde provides updates on Dillon Tate, Austin Voth | The Baltimore Sun
The injury news in the Orioles bullpen sounds bad. Neither Mychal Givens nor Dillon Tate seem particularly close to returning. And even once they do expectations for them need to be tempered.

Mullins offers example to Stowers on overcoming hard times | Roch Kubatko
It is interesting to revisit the Mullins situation from time to time and remember just how insane it is that he’s reached this point in his career. An underwhelming debut, a horrific follow-up season, and now he is one of the most important players on a contending team. It’s incredible.

One number that defines every Orioles player through the first half of the season | The Baltimore Sun
We’re talking numbers, baby! Good, old-fashioned facts and figures. Integers in some cases, decimals in many others. Numbers!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Nelson Cruz turns 43. His ongoing 19-season career included a remarkable 2014 campaign in Baltimore, when he led the league with 40 home runs and finished seventh in MVP voting while helping the O’s win their first division title of the century.
  • Jamie Walker is 52. The southpaw had a three-season stint in the Orioles bullpen from 2007 through 2009.

This day in O’s history

1957 - The Orioles feature the first “Z” battery in big league history as pitcher George Zuverink works with catcher Frank Zupo.

1967 - O’s ace Jim Palmer gives up a grand slam on a minor league rehab assignment. The hurler would famously never give up a grand slam during his two decades in the majors.

1994 - The Orioles and Angels combine to hit a major league record 11 home runs; six for the Os, five for the Halos. Baltimore prevails 14-7.