Good morning, Birdland!
It took the offense some time, but they eventually piled on with eight runs in their final two innings to beat the White Sox 9-3 on Tuesday night. That win gives them 83 on the season, matching their 2022 total with a month’s worth of games left to play.
It truly is remarkable how good this team has been despite entering the season with rather modest expectations. The general vibe from analysts in the spring was that the team over-performed in 2022 and was likely to suffer a setback in 2023, although their long-term prognosis remained stable. I won’t pretend as if I was some Nostradamus here. My best guess was they would be as good as a season ago. These guys have made many of us look foolish, and I am thankful for that.
If the Orioles match their current winning percentage for the rest of the season, they will end up as the fifth-best regular season team in franchise history. The four teams above them all went to the World Series. The playoff formats are a bit more complex—and therefore random—than they were in the 1970s, when the O’s dominated the AL. But a team that flirts with 100 wins must be in the conversation as a Fall Classic contender.
And yet, it doesn’t feel like the Orioles are viewed that way at large. The Dodgers and Braves get plenty of airtime, regarded as the two best teams in the sport. The Astros are the defending champs, so the AL “runs through Houston.” But you won’t find a more steady team than these O’s. They have been a game-winning freight train for five months now, and they show no signs of slowing down. No losing months. Never getting swept in a series. Just as good on the road as they are at home. The picture of consistency.
There is reason for even more optimism. Obviously, the loss of Félix Bautista stings, but the team is expecting to welcome back a few other arms that should make the team better overall. John Means at his peak was no joke. His return will be very welcome. Tyler Wells may be a weapon out of the bullpen. And that’s on top of recent activations to Austin Voth and Danny Coulombe, plus the promotion of DL Hall. They may not be household names, but the Orioles pitching situation feels much better than it did six weeks ago.
At the same time the offense just keeps chugging along. Gunnar Henderson is only getting stronger. Anthony Santander is playing like someone worth of MVP votes. And Ryan Mountcastle has become a destroyer of baseballs ever since his return from the IL.
All I want from the final month of the season is to see them stay as healthy as possible. Let’s make sure the team that has been buzzsaw all summer long is the same one to take the field in October. If that happens, we should be having ourselves a pleasant fall.
Angels Place Lucas Giolito, Matt Moore, Reynaldo López, Hunter Renfroe, Randal Grichuk On Waivers | MLB Trade Rumors
This was wild development yesterday, and it’s one that has playoff implications. Now, all of these players are available because the Angels have stunk since the all-star break. That means that most of these guys have stunk since the all-star break. However, most of them have had solid seasons overall, and they will make some of the contending teams just a touch better.
Making another run at Orioles roster expansion | Roch Kubatko
No big nuggets here. Roch isn’t expecting any of the top prospects to breakthrough next month, unless you consider the possible return of Colton Cowser significant. His ability to play center field puts him into the conversation, but I have a tough time seeing them pick him over a more dependable option. Obviously, the upside could be worth the risk considering how the team has seen other rookies struggle and then explode later on.
With eyes on ‘playing an extra month,’ Orioles’ six-man rotation exceeding expectations | The Baltimore Sun
This experiment seems to have worked out for everyone except Jack Flaherty. The newest member of the Orioles rotation has had a tough time in orange and black, but the sample size is small.
O’s aren’t content after 83rd win matches last season’s total | MLB.com
Quotes and other goodies from yet another Orioles victory in this magical season.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Kris Foster turns 49. He pitched in seven games for the 2001 Orioles, his only MLB action.
This day in O’s history
1958 - Dick Williams plays every outfield position for the Orioles in a 7-2 win over the Red Sox but does not make any put outs or assists.
1969 - The Orioles beat the Angels 6-3, including a final run that comes home on a Brooks Robinson single followed with three consecutive passed balls by Joe Azcue, an AL record.
1996 - Eddie Murrays hits his 499th career home run, and newbie Pete Incaviglia hits a grand slam to beat the Mariners 5-2.