Could it have gone any other way than for the Orioles to play a one-run game on the same day that Félix Bautista’s UCL injury was formally acknowledged by the team? Never mind that even if Bautista hadn’t been hurt on Friday, there is no chance that he would have been available on Saturday after also pitching on Thursday. It was tense, as so many O’s games this year have been, but the team came out on top with another comeback win over the Rockies, 5-4. Check out Stacey’s recap of the game.
Last night’s win was win #81. More than a decade ago now, achieving this number seemed like the greatest possible thing that could happen. After the 1998-2011 stretch of losing seasons, just getting that monkey off of the Orioles backs felt paramount. When they finally did it, they blew by it by a wide margin in 2012. It’s not quite the same here, since the O’s did finish 83-79 last year, but it’s a similarly cathartic symbol that they have blown past the tanking/rebuilding era by having such a great record for so much of this year.
And they hit that milestone on August 26! There is to be no counting of chickens before they hatch, but still, this much is true: With two more wins in their four remaining August games, the Orioles will equal last year’s win total before September. If they somehow manage to win three of these next four games, they’ll have more wins than last year before it is even September. That would really be something.
The Orioles were not able to gain any ground on the Rays yesterday. The Rays beat the Yankees, 3-0, with the Yankees collecting just two hits in the whole game. That is about what we should expect from this year’s sad Yankees team. It was a gift that they managed to beat the Rays on Friday.
The Orioles will have to win to fend off the Rays on their own. Their lead in the AL East remains at three games, but season’s end is now one game closer. The win dropped the magic number to clinch the division down to 30, and any postseason spot down to 23. At 81-48, they are 33 games above .500 for the first time since 1997. They are on pace to win 102 games. Really.
A sweep of the Rockies would really help them stay ahead. Are the Orioles up to this task? We’ll find out this afternoon. Jack Flaherty returns to the rotation after being pushed back for a few days with what was apparently general soreness. Former Oriole Ty Blach is the Rockies starting pitcher for the 1:35 game. For the scoreboard watchers, Yankees-Rays gets under way at 1:40.
Around the blogO’sphere
Elias, Hyde, and teammates talk about losing Bautista to injury (School of Roch)
Like every quote here is a sad one. These guys will all be missing The Mountain! They’re not the only ones.
Orioles who could be in conversation for BBWAA awards (Orioles.com)
Hyde for Manager of the Year and Henderson for Rookie of the Year sure seem like things that ought to happen, if the voters are paying attention. Which can never be guaranteed, unfortunately.
A fun quote for the Heston Kjerstad fans of Birdland:
Mike Elias said Heston Kjerstad is among the Orioles' options to add when rosters expand: “He has entered the conversation about the major league roster in a legitimate way and is certainly a candidate for any part of the stretch run here coming up should we decide he's the guy.”— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) August 26, 2023
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
The most recent Orioles victory on this date occurred just last year. The 2022 team rode home runs by Anthony Santander and Austin Hays to a 3-1 victory over the Astros in Houston. Dean Kremer pitched 7.2 innings with only a run allowed, and Félix Bautista got the final four outs for the save. This improved the Orioles to 67-59 and brought them within 1.5 games of a playoff spot.
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2021-22 pitcher Spenser Watkins, and baseball Hall of Famer and 2012 Oriole Jim Thome.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore (1637), philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770), novelist Theodore Dreiser (1871), 36th president Lyndon B. Johnson (1908), actor Aaron Paul (1979), and singer-songwriter Kim Petras (1992).
On this day in history...
In 1776, the 1st Maryland Regiment covered the retreat of George Washington and the Continental Army during the Battle of Long Island by making numerous charges against the British force that outnumbered the Americans. 256 of the 400 Maryland soldiers were killed in the battle. Maryland’s nickname of The Old Line State is in reference to this regiment’s deeds in the war.
In 1883, the volcano Krakatoa, which had been erupting steadily for about three months, unleashed four massive eruptions that essentially destroyed the island it sat on; the volcanic island collapsed into a caldera.
In 1955, the first edition of the Guinness Book of World Records was published.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 27. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!