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Wednesday Bird Droppings: John Means nearing a return

A tough loss, we want Kevin Brown, and MLB releases the playoff schedule.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Baseball is long season. You’re going to win some games you should probably lose, and you’re going to lose some games you should have won. Last night was an example of the latter.

If you give the Orioles a three-run lead heading into the ninth inning with a fresh Félix Bautista ready to go, you expect them to win that game nine times out of ten. We had to witness the one time on Tuesday evening. There is no shame in it. The Astros are defending champs for a reason, and it feels like these two teams could see each other again in October. Hopefully the outcome is different when the time comes.

There are still plenty of positives to take from the loss, including the way in which the Orioles knocked around Framber Valdez. This is the second time they have done this against the Cy Young candidate in the last two seasons. That’s nowhere near enough data to say there is a trend, but it feels good anyway!

Ryan Mountcastle remains a force post-vertigo. He had a 1.094 OPS since the IL stint going into last night’s game. That didn’t go up after his 1-for-4 game, but the long home run he hit is still encouraging. Mountcastle is arguably the team’s biggest power threat when healthy, and he adds such depth to the lineup.

And of course there is Grayson Rodriguez. His start last night wasn’t exactly dominant, but the stuff was good, and he battled against a very good lineup. It remains unclear if the Orioles have an innings limit on the rookie this season. If they do, it’s probably getting close. That will be a shame since he has been so darn good since being recalled in July.

Losses like last night hurt, but in baseball all things are temporary. They have a chance to bounce back tonight, and their track record indicates they will do exactly that. You can’t keep these Birds down for long.


Orioles left-hander John Means to begin minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Bowie | The Baltimore Sun
This could be huge! The odds of John Means returning as the staff ace this season are low, but there is plenty of reason to believe he can provide some crucial innings to a pitching staff that has started to look somewhat thin. Will he go to the bullpen? Or will be push someone currently in the rotation—like Grayson Rodriguez or Dean Kremer—to a relief role instead? We have a month to figure that out.

Baltimore Orioles Fans Go Viral For Chant Supporting Broadcaster Kevin Brown |
It would be cool to hear ownership just admit they did something stupid rather than continue to be radio silent on this.

MLB announces 2023 Postseason schedule |
While the Orioles’ potential seed in the playoff picture is very much up in the air, their odds of making the tournament in some way, shape, or form are quite good. The Wild Card series begin October 3 while the Divisional Series gets underway on October 7. The World Series is slated to wrap up just slightly earlier than a season ago. If a Game 7 is necessary it would take place on November 4.

The Orioles want to keep Jorge Mateo for one reason: Speed. | The Baltimore Banner
And I think I agree with them? Mateo is one of the 10 fastest runners in baseball, and that is a skillset that every team wants come October, when runs are at a premium. But his work at the plate this year is making any future with the Orioles beyond this postseason seem unlikely.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Chuck Essegian is the only former Oriole born on this day. The outfielder played in one game for the Os in 1961, a season in which he suited up for three different big league squads. He turns 92 today.

This day in O’s history

1968 - Three Orioles are hit by Angels pitchers in one inning, an AL record for one frame. The O’s win the game 3-0.

2010 - Brian Roberts hits his first home run of the season, walking off a 3-2 Orioles win over the White Sox. It’s the team’s sixth win in seven tries with Buck Showalter as manager.