clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles’ magic number is down to 3

An O’s win and Rays loss yesterday has the club primed to clinch the AL East in Baltimore this week.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Guardians
The Orioles’ magic number is Jorge Mateo.
Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

This is starting to feel real, isn’t it?

By this time next week, the regular season will be over, and there’s an increasingly likely chance that it’ll finish with the Orioles at the top of the AL East and holding the best overall record in the American League.

The Orioles sliced their magic number by two yesterday with the perfect combination of a breezy O’s victory and a Rays loss, increasing their division lead to 2.5 games. The Birds’ magic number to win the AL East is just three. They need to win just half the games on their season-ending six-game homestand to clinch the AL East crown. Even if they win only two, the Rays would have to go a perfect 5-0 to surpass them.

The Birds overcame a three-game losing streak to finish with a 4-3 record on their road trip through Houston and Cleveland, finishing their 2023 away schedule with 52 wins. That matches the wire-to-wire 1997 club for the most road wins in O’s history. Their rotation is back on track with back-to-back 7+ inning outings from starters John Means and Kyle Gibson, and their offense, which couldn’t buy a clutch hit for a few games, showed signs of life in yesterday’s win. And the O’s at last are able to give their beleaguered bullpen a much-needed break, thanks to a long-awaited idle date tonight after an arduous 17-games-in-17-days schedule.

The Orioles are in a good spot for their final six games against the non-contending Nationals and Red Sox. Both the Birds and Rays are off today, but the O’s theoretically could clinch as early as Wednesday. And then the fun really begins.


Orioles cut magic number to 3, match franchise record for road wins with 5-1 victory over Guardians - Baltimore Sun
A Kyle Gibson note: he’s now thrown the most innings in a season for an O’s pitcher since 2015. The guy takes some heat, but he has certainly delivered on being the innings-eating veteran mentor the Orioles signed him to be.

Gibson on Henderson: “He’s going to be a leader on this team for a long time” - School of Roch
Just a reminder that every team in baseball had the chance to draft Gunnar Henderson before the O’s got him in the second round, and none of them did. You love to see it.

Hyde says Orioles’ bullpen could look different in postseason -
Different will include Félix Bautista, perhaps?? A guy can dream.

O’s international program was big as club had four top prospects in the FCL - Steve Melewski
It’s been a long time since the Orioles had multiple bona fide international prospects in their system, but now the first wave of amateur signings from the Elias era has arrived stateside. I’ll say it again: you love to see it.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Three former Orioles were born on this day, all right-handed pitchers who played within the last 15 years: Tyler Wilson (34), Vance Worley (36), and Brad Bergesen (38).

On this date in 1983, the Orioles clinched the AL East pennant with a 7-1 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee. Homers by Jim Dwyer and Joe Nolan put the game well in hand by the fifth inning, and Storm Davis and Tippy Martinez took care of business on the mound, giving the O’s an insurmountable 7.5-game division lead with seven games to play. It marked the Orioles’ eighth league or division pennant in their history, something they’ve accomplished only twice more since. By the end of this week, it might be thrice.

And on this date in 2014, the Orioles were on the wrong end of Derek Jeter’s storybook moment, as the Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop delivered the walkoff hit in his final game at Yankee Stadium. The Birds, trailing 5-2 in the ninth, tied the game on home runs by Adam Jones and Steve Pearce, only for mop-up reliever Evan Meek to allow a leadoff baserunner in the bottom half. One sac bunt later, Jeter stepped to the plate and sent the Yankee Stadium crowd of 48,613 into a frenzy by poking a game-winning single to right.

Random Orioles game of the day

On Sept. 25, 2019, the Orioles suffered their 107th loss of the year, falling to the Blue Jays, 3-2, at Rogers Centre. The Jays scored all three of their runs on solo homers, including a pair of Rowdy Tellez homers off Gabriel Ynoa and Paul Fry. Someone named Jacob Waguespack pitched six scoreless for Toronto. On that date three years ago, the Orioles had only 52 wins all season. This year, the Orioles have 52 wins just on the road.