We are now in the middle of the third separate seven game winning streak that the Orioles have rattled off this season. That is fantastic. Even the 2014 team that ran away with the AL East never won more than six games in a row at any point in time, and they only did that one time.
If you didn't get to see or listen to yesterday's game, or if you haven't yet voted in the Most Birdland Player poll, make sure to get over to the recap and do so.
It was August before those 2014 O's hit the 17 games over .500 mark that the O's of the present now stand upon, in their 115th game. The 2016 O's have gotten there in 77 games. They're on pace to win 99 games at this winning percentage. But tougher times await, including the four game series that begins tonight against the Mariners. Seattle's only won three of their last ten games, but they're better than that and if the O's don't play well, they'll lose some of this cushion they've built for themselves in the division.
On the other hand, if the Orioles happen to win tonight's game for their eighth straight win, they'll also pick up their 20th win of the month of June. The last time the Orioles won 20 games in a month was in September of 1999, and that month included a 13 game winning streak. The Orioles, so far, can win in bunches and they can win consistently. That's how you build a 5.5 game division lead by the end of June. Can they hold it, or even extend it?
Ah, that's the question. It won't be answered in today's links, but here's some other stories of the day.
Around the blogO'sphere
Relentless Orioles hammering home runs at a record pace (USA Today)
Not only have the Orioles tied the record for most home runs hit in the month of June, they could potentially take down the season-long home run record if they keep hitting them at something like this pace.
Showalter, Trumbo, Jones and Gallardo wrap up 12-6 win - School of Roch
My favorite thing about this particular article is imagining the inner - and probably outer - grin made by Adam Jones as he says, "We still have another day in June according to my calculations, right?"
Orioles pregame: O's to get reinforcements in Seattle; Harvey and Bridwell working their way back - Baltimore Sun
Vance Worley is coming. So is Caleb Joseph. That probably means a trip back to Norfolk for Oliver Drake, who was not reliable in garbage time against the last place Padres.
Orioles' Mark Trumbo makes All-Star Game case | orioles.com
Hey, speaking of all of those home runs, Mark Trumbo has 23 of them, and you're running out of time to help him get into the All-Star Game, so if that's up your alley, make sure to have at it.
With Dylan Bundy pitching longer outings, is a spot in rotation in the future? - Steve Melewski
In general, the answer to the question certainly seems to be yes. Less certain is whether he will find his way into the rotation this year, which Melewski tries to answer.
A Very Different Wei-Yin Chen | FanGraphs Baseball
Things aren't going so well for our old pal Chen in Miami - although maybe, as Fangraphs and our SB Nation fellows at Fish Stripes have observed, it's because the Marlins philosophy has ruined him.
How dumb should the American League make me feel? - SBNation.com
SB Nation's Grant Brisbee, who runs the Giants blog, has a tough time predicting the AL each year. Hey, he's not the only one. Enjoy his outlook on why the Orioles have exceeded his preseason guess so far.
A proposed bill would allow teams to continue paying minor leaguers very little – HardballTalk
In the frequently-spoken words of Lt./Maj./Col./Deputy/Commissioner Daniels - and pardon the bad word - This? is BULLSHIT. Pay minor leaguers more!
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 2012, the Orioles traded for Jim Thome. You know, it's still weird that Thome was an Oriole, but he was a lot of fun with his hearty handshakes as home run celebrations. He was a very 2012 Oriole.
And also, in 2009, the Orioles completed the biggest comeback in franchise history by coming back from 10-1 down to beat the Red Sox, 11-10. On Camden Chat, we proclaimed this Birdland Day, because until Sept. 28, 2011 (and of course 2012 and on) we couldn't imagine things getting better than that. The Orioles blew a 5-1 lead in the ninth inning the very next day and went on to lose 6-5 in extra innings.
One thing that has not happened on this day is the birth of anyone who was ever an Orioles player.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You don't really have any interesting historical birthday buddies for today, but there are some people who are still with us who are having a birthday today along with you: Full Metal Jacket actor Vincent D'Onofrio (1959), ear biter Mike Tyson (1966), actress Lizzy Caplan (1982), and rapper T-Pain (1985) as well as Baltimore's own Olympic gold medal collector Michael Phelps (1985).
On this day in history...
In 1906, the United States Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act, which was in part a response to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, which you may recall from school depicted the horrible conditions in meat packing facilities.
In 1908, the Tunguska Event occurred in the middle of nowhere in Siberia - 770 square miles of forest was flattened by what's believed to have been an explosion with the mid-air breaking up of a large falling meteor. There were no known human fatalities although the blast strength is now estimated to be as much as 300 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb.
In 1934, in Germany, the Night of the Long Knives, where Hitler purged his political rivals, took place.
In 1971, the state of Ohio ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, putting it into effect. This amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18 years old. I think Wikipedia might be wrong about this one as the 38th state to pass was North Carolina on July 1 - anyway, Maryland ratified it on April 8 of that year so I don't know what's wrong with these loser states. This was the fastest ratification for any amendment in US history.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on June 30 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!