Good morning, Birdland!
It feels like a broken record to say this again, but man, these Orioles are really humming, huh? After trouncing the Red Sox 11-2 on Friday they have now won six in a row. Their lead in the AL East has grown from 1.5 games at the start of that run to four games now. There is still plenty of work to do in the season’s final 3+ weeks, but you cannot help but feel good about this team right now.
Last night had it all!
Kyle Bradish continues to look like an ace. Each time out you can count on six innings and two runs allowed. That’s game one starter stuff, and it’s beautiful!
The bullpen was good behind him with Jacob Webb, DL Hall, and Jorge López all working scoreless frames. Hall needed just a little help from a Ryan McKenna snag in right field.
That brings up another point. This team has their late game lineup changes in perfect rhythm. McKenna gets his glove and wheels into the game late. Ryan O’Hearn takes a seat after smacking around right-handed pitching early on. Jordan Westburg gets a look once the right-handed starter gets the hook. There is just so much depth and quality.
And that is on top of the everyday guys that continue to impress. You can make a case for a handful of guys as the best hitter on the team. O’Hearn was hot last night, and his .847 OPS leads the team. Then there’s also Anthony Santander and all his homers. But how about Gunnar Henderson? He does everything. And oh yeah, Adley Rutschman is the best all-around catcher in the game, plus he leads off.
Sometimes it helps to stop and take all of this in. This is the best Orioles team of my lifetime, which I admit is not terribly impressive on its face, considering the last 30 years have not exactly been the Golden Era of O’s baseball. But they are outpacing some teams littered with stars. This season and this team have been such a delight.
Injured Orioles closer Félix Bautista plays catch, but Brandon Hyde ‘wouldn’t put any stock into it’ | The Baltimore Sun
This all feels like a stalling tactic to maybe get Félix into a postseason game. But the guy ultimately needs surgery, right? Odd.
Leftovers for breakfast | Roch Kubatko
Kyle Gibson has been a good addition, even if his numbers aren’t sterling. He’s done what the team wanted. It may not get him a playoff start, but he can provide some veteran value regardless.
‘Ready to hit at all times,’ O’Hearn sparks O’s 6th straight win | MLB.com
The Ryan O’Hearn outcome is so absurd in the best way possible. Will he continue to be this good beyond 2023? I have no idea. But it’s a good question to have.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Pat Valaika turns 31. A legend of the recent rebuild, Valaika spent time at all four infield positions, the outfield corners, and even pitched twice for the O’s between 2020 and ‘21.
- Edwin Jackson is 40. The Immaculate Grid cheat code has appeared for 14 different major league teams, including a three-game pitstop with the Orioles in 2017.
- Rhyne Hughes is also 40. The 14 games he played at first base and DH for the 2010 was the entirety of his big league career.
- Kurt Ainsworth celebrates his 45th. The right-handed pitcher came to the O’s in a deal that sent Sidney Ponson to San Francisco. Ainsworth tossed 33 total innings for the Orioles between 2003 and ‘04. But his legacy in baseball lives on as one of the co-founders of Marucci, a baseball equipment company that makes some of the most popular bats in the sport.
- Todd Zeile is 58. His career spanned 16 seasons and 11 different teams. That included a slice of the 1996 season in Baltimore.
- The late Jim Corsi (b. 1961, d. 2022) was born on this day. He spent a decade in big league ball, wrapping things up with 13 games on the 1999 O’s.
This day in O’s history
1979 - The O’s spank the Red Sox 16-4, marking their seventh straight win. Rick Dempsey hits a grand slam and Al Bumbry adds a solo shot as part of a six-run sixth inning.
2009 - Brian Roberts hits his 50th double of the season in an Orioles’ 7-5 loss to the Red Sox. Roberts is only the fourth big leaguer to reach 50 doubles three times in their career.