What a difference a Colton Cowser makes, huh? The Orioles still have not lost a game since the outfield prospect arrived, now 4-0 after beating the Twins by a 6-2 score on Saturday afternoon. It was something of a strange game as the O’s went hitless in eight of the game’s nine innings, but they packed six hits and six runs into the second inning and Tyler Wells added a great (and homerless!) six inning start. Check out Alex Church’s recap of the game for the lovely totals.
In beating the Twins on Saturday, the Orioles improved their record to 53-35 for the season. They’re 4.5 games ahead of the nearest wild card competition, the Astros, and five games ahead of both the Yankees and Blue Jays. Also, the Orioles are now tied with the Rays in the loss column! Both teams have 35 losses. The Rays have played four more games and won them, so in terms of games in the standings, the O’s are two back of Tampa.
On top of everything else that will be going on today, tonight marks the start of this year’s edition of the MLB Draft. Unlike the past few years, we’re going to be waiting quite a while after the start of the event to find out who the Orioles pick. They’ve been in the top five every year since 2019 and this year are not picking until #17.
Check back here on Camden Chat later for coverage of the draft and the players who the Orioles pick tonight. A second round pick and competitive balance pick are also to be selected by the Orioles on Day 1. The Pirates, who sit at the top of the draft, will be on the clock at 7pm Eastern, or whenever after that point that boo magnet and bad idea factory Rob Manfred proclaims them to be so.
Maybe your favorite of the plausible O’s pick candidates will make it to their spot at #17, maybe they’ll actually take that player, and maybe he’ll turn out to be a good prospect and Oriole. It’s a lot of maybes. I’m still hoping for high school shortstop Arjun Nimmala, although I’ve got a lot of faith in Mike Elias and company’s ability to scout for good first round talent and develop that talent no matter who they choose.
The Orioles also have a chance to sweep their way into the All-Star break today! They’ll be playing the finale of their series against the Twins starting at 2:10 Eastern. Kyle Gibson is set to start for the O’s, looking to reverse a pattern of three straight clunkers that have kicked his ERA from 3.94 up to 4.73. The no-longer-division-leading Twins send out Joe Ryan, who sports a 3.42 ERA (125 ERA+) in 17 starts this year.
This afternoon’s game is the last Orioles game until Friday, so hopefully they don’t play a stupid one that leaves us annoyed at them all week.
Around the blogO’sphere
What changes are coming to the Orioles? (School of Roch)
Roch is wondering what will be happening to the roster after the All-Star break, starting with Ryan Mountcastle’s injury rehab ending.
Top Orioles moments from memorable first half (Orioles.com)
Beat writer Jake Rill is here with a list of ten. Are there any big ones you think are missing? I wish I could be more excited at this moment about Grayson Rodriguez’s MLB debut, which doesn’t feel like it belongs with the rest of this list.
What are the Orioles getting in the No. 17 draft pick? A look at the history, by the numbers. (The Baltimore Sun)
One thing that could stop anyone’s excitement for the Orioles top pick tonight in its tracks is the reality that since 1965, only 11 players picked at #17 have mustered double digit WAR. The two biggest success stories: Hall of Famer Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.
Five players the Orioles could take with the 17th pick in the MLB draft (The Baltimore Banner)
The Banner’s Paul Mancano has a list that includes a couple of players who seem destined to be taken before the Orioles choose, but they do sound like guys the O’s would like if the chance presented itself.
Heston Kjerstad got a hit in the All-Star Futures Game last night. It looked like this:
All Heston Kjerstad does is hit pic.twitter.com/46jUkQ01bU— Orioles Player Development (@OsPlayerDev) July 9, 2023
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There is one lone former Oriole with a birthday today. Happy 74th birthday to Steve Luebber, who pitched in seven games for the 1981 O’s.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: sewing machine inventor Elias Howe (1819), longtime Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor David Zinman (1936), actor Tom Hanks (1956), musician Jack White (1975), and Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar (1987).
On this day in history...
In 1540, the marriage between Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII of England was annulled by Henry, ending his fourth marriage.
In 1762, Russia’s Catherine the Great became empress in a coup against her husband, the dynastic ruler, that she instigated.
In 1850, President Zachary Taylor died of illness believed to be caused by his either eating raw fruit or drinking iced milk. This led to Millard Fillmore becoming the 13th president of the United States.
In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified upon approval by South Carolina. The amendment enshrined birthright citizenship in the Constitution as well as a prohibition against states depriving any citizen of rights.
In 1943, during World War II, the Allied armies launched Operation Husky, a naval invasion of Sicily. The island was captured within six weeks, during which time Italian dictator Mussolini’s regime collapsed and a planned German offensive in Russia was canceled as manpower was shifted to defend Italy.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 9. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!