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Friday Bird Droppings: Another series win in the books

The O’s finish the Jays, Coulombe returns, and other bullpen reinforcements.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

These Orioles just keep on winning. Their 5-3 defeat of the Blue Jays on Thursday night puts them at 79 victories on the season and still more than a month of the regular season left ahead of them.

As someone who grew up during the dark ages of Orioles baseball in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, this run of prolonged successful performance feels so foreign. Those Orioles teams were never the league’s worst. Heck, thanks to the Devil Rays they often didn’t even finish at the bottom of the AL East most years. Instead, they would give you just enough to leave you disappointed. The 2005 season still haunts me to this day. But that era did give us Melvin Mora and Brian Roberts, so it wasn’t all bad.

It’s safe to say that I enjoy the 2023 team a lot more. They won a game last night that looked disastrous on paper. The Jays had a pitcher on the mound that had already dominated the Orioles earlier this year, while the O’s sent out Kyle Gibson, who has had a rough run of form.

So what happens? The O’s offense knocks José Berriós around, the veteran Kyle Gibson goes eight strong innings. and super closer Félix Bautista slams the door shut. Of course! That’s what these guys do. We’re five months in now. This isn’t a fluke. These guys know what they are doing and they are happy to flex their muscle.

Let’s hope they keep on doing that to wrap up August, a six-game run against bad teams. First up is a date with the Colorado Rockies that matches up Kyle Freeland with Cole Irvin.


Orioles enjoying their youth and learning how to work with it | Roch Kubatko
A lot of info in here about how the team is battling the injury bug right now. Honestly, they have navigated things quite smoothly here, and some of the lineup decisions that Brandon Hyde has made recently seem intended to keep guys as fresh as possible. For example, it feels Adley Rutschman is seeing more DH starts than he did earlier in the season.

Orioles newcomer Jacob Webb emerging as a reliable reliever: ‘They wanted me for a reason’ | The Baltimore Sun
Major league bullpens are so weird. The Orioles’ unit was in legitimate disarray coming out of the all-star break last month. Now, things have settled, and there could be even more help on the way in the form of DL Hall and Tyler Wells.

Now fully healthy, ‘pen lefty Danny Coulombe is ready for stretch run | Steve Melewski
Another good example of the relievers coming together at the right time. Danny Coulombe has been immense for this squad as a reliable lefty option late in the game.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Chandler Shepherd turns 31. He pitched in five games for the 2019 Orioles, his only big league experience.
  • Gary Matthews Jr is 49. The outfielder bounced around the league for 12 years, including a year-and-a-half in Baltimore from 2002-03.
  • Albert Belle is 57 years old. He slugged 60 homers for the Orioles between 1999 and 2000 before a degenerative hip ended his career.
  • The late Darrell Johnson (b. 1928, d. 2004) was born on this day. He caught four games for the Orioles in 1962.

This day in O’s history

1961 - Orioles utilityman Dave Philley sets a major-league record with his 23rd pinch hit of the season. He breaks the record of Sam Leslie, set in 1932.

1970 - The O’s top the Red Sox 3-2 in a game that goes 18 innings and takes five hours and 27 minutes to complete. Brooks Robinson knocks in Boog Powell for the winning run.

2014 - For the the first time in team history, the Orioles hit two consecutive home runs and then three consecutive home runs later in the same game. Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce go deep off of Rays hurler Jake Odorizzi in the third, and then Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy, and Chris Davis tee off in the fifth. Young and Hardy’s home runs are also against Odorizzi, but Davis takes reliever Kirby Yates deep.