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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles head west with an annoying loss stuck in our minds

The Orioles lost a game of their AL East lead yesterday when the Rays beat the Marlins.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The worst thing about a loss like the Orioles suffered on Wednesday afternoon is that it’s going to linger with us for a while. Today’s off day while the team travels to the west coast for the start of its three-city road trip means there’s something like 53 hours between the last out of the 10-5 defeat at the hands of the White Sox yesterday and the start of the next Orioles game in Arizona. The wait will not be fun.

If you missed it, check out the gruesome totals in Andrea’s recap of the game. Hard as it is to believe, the Orioles led this one by a 4-0 score early on, but unfortunately, Kyle Gibson set himself to the task of absolutely blowing that lead promptly and then things got worse from there. If the Orioles are fortunate enough to play in a best-of-five (or dare anyone hope, best-of-seven) series in October, it is hard to see how you fit Gibson into a start unless some disaster befalls someone else.

For those who are inclined to try to look for the bright side, yesterday’s result left the Orioles with a 6-3 homestand. Absent any other context, winning two out of three for a stretch of games is not bad. They took two of three from a decent team in the Jays, and they won their two series against bad teams, the Rockies and White Sox. That is what they need to do. They remain on a 101-win pace even after the setback yesterday.

I left this space blank for hours after writing the above paragraphs, hoping that later in the evening on Wednesday, the Marlins would do us a solid and take a game out of the Rays. This hope was in vain. Although the Marlins did, in fact, keep the Rays off the scoreboard through nine innings, the Marlins themselves did not score. Their trade deadline acquisition David Robertson was knocked around in the tenth inning as the Rays scored three runs in the top half. The Marlins went down in order in the bottom half. So much for that.

The Rays winning on Wednesday means they’ve shaved the AL East deficit to just 1.5 games. Like the Orioles, the Rays are off today. They’ll be in Cleveland this weekend while the Orioles are in Arizona. Tampa gets an easier on-paper opponent for its own road series. The Orioles will have to do everything in their ability to overcome that disadvantage.

It’s the proximity of the Rays in the standings that makes games like yesterday’s so frustrating. Yes, you can be happy about the 6-3 homestand, and about the team’s 18-9 record in August. Both of those things are great. But the Rays went 17-8 in August, so for as well as the Orioles did, they’re in the same place they started this month. No ground was gained. Another equally excellent September feels like it may be necessary.

The path to the bye would have been easier if Gibson had pitched better yesterday after the Orioles staked him to a decent lead, if he had been capable of keeping the White Sox asleep. He was not capable of that. His ERA for the season is up to 5.15. He should not be counted for much the rest of the way, but he’ll be having a big part to play in whether the O’s win one in six of their remaining games.

There is nothing that they can do to change their position today. Well, unless they put in waiver claims on one of the players who’s been waived by the Angels or a different team, and somehow manage to win the claim. Those are expected to be awarded today. However, it’s unlikely the Orioles would get the claim on any desirable player. Waiver priority is reverse order by record, so the O’s are near the very bottom, behind only the Braves and possibly the Dodgers if they won after I went to sleep. The wild card contenders, ahead of the Orioles in priority, will probably gobble up anyone interesting.

Around the blogO’sphere

Gunnar Henderson’s first year demonstrates just how good the Orioles can get. (The Baltimore Banner)
Jon Meoli’s latest focuses on Henderson as a success story for Orioles player development, because if they can repeat that kind of thing, the sustained great Orioles we’re dreaming of should be able to happen.

Notes on expanding roster, closer situation, injury updates for Hays and Hicks (School of Roch)
As is often the case, there is a lot for manager Brandon Hyde to be juggling right now. The expansion of the roster on Friday will give him even more to juggle, but hopefully relieve some of the pressure on the pitching staff.

Kyle Bradish reflects on growing up in Arizona (
The best Orioles starting pitcher to date this season is going to make a start in his home state during the next series.

Moore says Orioles talks can produce a plan to redevelop Camden Yards, as well as a stadium lease (The Baltimore Sun)
We’re all tired of hearing lease comments that aren’t just “The lease has been signed!” But until it’s signed, these kinds of interim comments are all we’ve got.

We tried the food from Oriole Park. Again. (The Baltimore Banner)
Some Banner staff members returned to the scene of earlier disappointment to see if things had gotten any better with food service and quality at Camden Yards. The results probably won’t surprise anyone who’s purchased concessions at the stadium this year.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2007, the Orioles traded Steve Trachsel to the Cubs for Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry. It’s a trade memorable mostly for the name Rocky Cherry, since its positive impact to the Orioles was minimal.

There are a number of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: Maryland native and 2012-15 pitcher Steve Johnson, 2010 five-game pitcher Armando Gabino, 2014 one-game pitcher Ramón Ramírez, 2001-04 outfielder Tim Raines Jr., 1995 three-game pitcher Mike Hartley, 1971 reliever Tom Dukes, and baseball Hall of Famer and 1966-71 slugger / 1988-91 manager Frank Robinson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Along with that assortment of former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Roman emperors Caligula (12) and Commodus (161), baseball Hall of Famers Eddie Plank (1875) and Ray Dandridge (1913), actor James Coburn (1928), violinist Itzhak Perlman (1945), actor Richard Gere (1949), and author G. Willow Wilson (1982).

On this day in history...

In 1535, England’s Henry VIII was excommunicated by the pope of the time, Paul III, for his variety of actions that asserted Henry’s primacy over the church in England.

In 2006, the original of the painting The Scream by Edvard Munch was recovered by police in Norway after having been stolen two years previous.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 31. Have a safe Thursday.