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Thursday Bird Droppings: Four games to rule them all

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There are now just four regular season games remaining and the Orioles still cling to a one game wild card edge. In today's links, on Kim's clutch homer, Dylan Bundy's spin rate, and the rising stock of Matt Wieters.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Everything is just better the day after the Orioles notch a big victory, and last night's may well have been their biggest victory yet. As the number of games dwindle, each individual one matters more, and to pull a victory out of their butts from what seemed like a lost cause, well, that's huge. It won't mean a whole lot if they don't win at least a couple of their last four games, one of which comes later tonight. But it's better to be up a game with four to play than tied, or down a game.

If you missed the game, well, that's maybe for the best, honestly, because it was pretty miserable for seven or eight innings. Only in the ninth was it indisputably awesome. Make sure to check out my recap of the game and vote in the MBP poll, comrade. Hyun Soo Kim, take a bow. You earned it.

It all leaves the Orioles with a magic number of four with four games to play. That means that unless they win out, themselves, they're going to need other teams to lose as well. It's enough to make you nervous when you consider that the Tigers get to play the Braves for the final three games of the season, while the Orioles get a suddenly-younger Yankees team playing for pride - and they're not even mathematically eliminated yet, either.

But no looking ahead to the Yankees just yet. There's one more game against the Blue Jays remaining, and if the Orioles somehow find a way to win it - a tough task when they've scored more than three runs just once in their last eleven games - they will leave Toronto tied for that top wild card spot. The Jays will have to play the Red Sox, who are fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs and presumably won't just be shutting things down.

How will you be passing the day waiting for the latest massively important O's game? Anxiously, is how I will be passing it.

Around the blogO'sphere

The beauty of Kim - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko is out here trolling all the people who want Hyun Soo Kim in the starting lineup by pointing out that he's 6-9 as a pinch hitter. Roch didn't even make the road trip. That's dedication.

Hyun Soo Kim on pinch-hit homer and other clubhouse quotes - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski, on the other hand, DID make the road trip, and he's got the clubhouse quotes from last night's game. Kim and his teammates were all pretty happy, as you can imagine.

Orioles to hold rallies for postseason | Sports - WBAL Home
I went to one of these two years ago and honestly, it was kind of lame, but maybe one is in your neck of the woods and you'd like to stop by. At least the Orioles have not yet chosen to deploy Larry Bigbie at one of these postseason chase hype rallies.

Myriad O's Thoughts: Gausman's return; Wieters' stock rising; rotation shuffle - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The one of these that interests me is about why Matt Wieters finds his stock rising - and that's because the only other possibly good free agent catcher, Wilson Ramos, just hurt himself. It could hurt the O's efforts to retain Wieters, which if you don't like Wieters you may think is a good thing.

Orioles can't rely on getting any outside help in playoff chase - Baltimore Sun
Peter Schmuck has some real talk for the Orioles and O's fans. The O's are going to have to do some winning, because you can't count on these jabroni teams helping them out.

Spin rates -- How they're useful and the numbers that matter - MLB
Insider is required for this article on ESPN. Sorry. But if you have ESPN Insider you can read a little about spin rate and why it's good. Dylan Bundy is has a very good spin rate, which is also good.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: once-prospect Calvin Pickering from 1998-99, 1992 five-gamer Craig Lefferts, and 1963-64 pitcher Mike McCormick. Mr. McCormick turns 78 years old today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: the Roman general Pompey (106 BC), Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes (1547 AD), British Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758), atomic bomb father and paradox proposer Enrico Fermi (1901), rock and roller Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), and Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa (1943).

On this day in history...

In 61 BC, Pompey, on his 45th birthday, was given the third of his triumphs to celebrate victories against pirates and the end of the Mithridatic Wars.

In 1227 AD, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by the pope, Gregory IX, for failing to participate in the Crusades. As Crusader Kings players know, don't tick off the pope!

In 1789, the United States Department of War first established a regular American army, which at that time had a strength of only several hundred men. In addition, on this day, the 1st US Congress - they're now on the 114th - adjourned.

In 1988, NASA's shuttle Discovery launched mission STS-26, the first mission following the Challenger explosion over two and a half years previously.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on September 29 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!