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Saturday Bird Droppings: Back into a tie atop the AL East

A key series continues, Mr. Angelos goes to Washington, and Bautista is a Cy Young candidate.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles are back into a virtual tie with the Rays for first place in the AL East after their 3-0 loss on Friday night, but the percentage points still favor our Birds. So, take that, Tampa!

Whomever wins today’s matchup will reclaim the crown as their own, at least through Sunday, when the series concludes. It’s entirely possible we end up right where we started, in a deadlock.

That outcome would probably be fine from the Orioles’ perspective. Splitting a four-game road series against the league’s best home team is nothing to sneeze at. And it would leave the O’s in complete control of their own destiny with 2+ months of regular season left.

After this weekend, these two teams play just once more, another four-gamer, this time at Camden Yards from September 14-17. Now that has already got my blood pumping. Mid-September, the AL East on the line, a key series at Oriole Park, pumpkin spice goodies on store shelves. It’s got it all!

It would also be completely acceptable for the Orioles to go a serious run and blow the rest of the division out of the water between now and then. I don’t need any additional drama in my life. An easy walk into the postseason is good with me.

For now, we’ll focus on the immediate. That’s a showdown between Grayson Rodriguez and Shane McClanahan at 4:10 this afternoon.


Lobbyists, Washington meetings reflect Orioles chairman John Angelos’ push for ‘second Baltimore renaissance’ | The Baltimore Sun
Look, a renaissance of Baltimore city sounds great, but acting as if improving the sports stadiums and the nearby Inner Harbor is the best way to do that feels vastly out of touch to me.

Coulombe on Bautista: “What he’s doing is honestly historical” | Roch Kubatko
It feels like the murmurs of if Félix Bautista deserves Cy Young votes have gotten louder since the All-Star break. He is the best reliever in the sport, and he has gotten to the point where he transcends the traditional definition of the award, so heck yeah he should be under consideration.

Shintaro Fujinami is ‘nervous’ after joining the Orioles. Teammates who’ve been traded before say that’s normal. | The Baltimore Sun
His debut with the O’s was not exactly ideal in that his first pitch was smacked for a home run. But Fujinami showed off his top-tier velocity. Even if he isn’t going to crack into the A-team that pitches when the O’s are up in close games, he has value eating innings or keeping his team within striking distance late.

Top 60 MLB prospects 2023: Keith Law’s rankings has Jackson Holliday vs. Jackson Chourio | The Athletic
Now this is an encouraging list for us. In case you don’t have a subscription, I will spoil it for you: Holliday at 1, Basallo at 34, Ortiz at 36, and Kjerstad at 56. This Orioles minor league system just doesn’t quit.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Tanner Scott is the only former Oriole born on this day. He’s 29 today. From 2017 through 2021, the hard-throwing lefty had a 4.73 ERA working out of the bullpen before he was dealt to the Marlins in April of 2022.

This day in O’s history

1996 - Eddie Murray returns to the Orioles roster after being acquired from Cleveland the day before. The legendary slugger receives a standing ovation at Camden Yards and hits a home run on his third at-bat of the game. Unfortunately, the O’s lose 9-5 to Cleveland, who happened to be their opponent that day.