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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles still haven’t lost a series

Are you in the mood for shrimp? The Orioles were last night! In today’s links, the starting rotation surprises, the roster merry-go-round turns, and more.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another morning has dawned where the Orioles have the best record in the American League. Did anyone see this coming? Probably not, but it’s great. They’re off to one of the best starts in team history and they have yet to lose a series this season. That’s just wild.

Speaking of wild, how about that game last night? The Orioles ended up winning, 4-3, in a game that included Seth Smith hitting a Little League home run and later standing at the plate while Rays reliever Danny Farquhar threw four straight pitches out of the strike zone when the bases were loaded. A walkoff walk! Make sure to check out Donovan’s recap of the game and vote in the Most Birdland Player poll.

An off day awaits the Orioles today before they start a weekend series against the Yankees. Wave good-bye to Hyun Soo Kim for a while because four of the next six opposing starting pitchers are expected to be left-handed. Maybe he’ll at least get to pinch hit at some point? I don’t know.

Before moving on to today’s links, best wishes to the many folks who were laid off by ESPN yesterday. Although there are frustrating things about ESPN’s baseball coverage, none of those things involve Jayson Stark, a great writer who never makes his job seem like a job. Stark was among those laid off. The baseball media landscape is diminished until he lands somewhere else!

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles' Jonathan Schoop's physical maturation stands out as power continues to show - Baltimore Sun
Schoop hit a deep fly ball with the bases loaded in the eleventh inning last night, good enough to bring home the tying run on a sacrifice fly. More home runs will probably be more exciting.

Orioles' home run reliance keeping them afloat again offensively in April - Baltimore Sun
Guess who didn’t need to hit any home runs to win last night’s game? The Orioles! But it did show that they have big problems when they aren’t hitting home runs. So hopefully they solve the problems, hit more home runs, or both.

Early notes on Britton, Tillman, Rickard and upcoming starters - School of Roch
The various injured Orioles are coming back soon - as soon as Friday, in Joey Rickard’s case. Get ready for another spin of the Dan Duquette roster merry-go-round.

How do you keep a five-man bench? Rev up the Norfolk pitching shuttle and let it ride -
Dan Connolly is expecting the Orioles to go all-in on the roster moves thanks to a host of optionable relievers giving them a lot of bullpen flexibility. Probably sucks to be one of those relievers.

After rare bullpen appearance, Alec Asher hopes to stick on O's roster - Steve Melewski
Speaking of those relievers, here’s an article about Alec Asher! He didn’t make a strong case to stick on the roster in last night’s win. No one should be judged based on one inning in one game, though.

The Orioles’ rotation has been surprisingly awesome - Beyond the Box Score
Our friends over at SB Nation’s Beyond the Box Score took a look at the Orioles rotation this week, wondering who can improve and who’s maybe been lucky so far.

Kevin Gausman’s very bad week - Beyond the Box Score
One guy who needs to improve is Kevin Gausman, and here, BtBS tackles Gausman’s struggles in greater detail. What’s wrong with him? Read and find out!

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1968, Orioles pitcher Tom Phoebus tossed a no-hitter against the Red Sox. Brooks Robinson drove in three runs as the O’s won the game, 6-0.

In 2015, the Orioles scheduled game against the White Sox was postponed as the city of Baltimore erupted following the earlier death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

Not a single former Oriole has a birthday today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: historian Edward Gibbon (1737), philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft (1759), Morse code inventor Samuel Morse (1791), President Ulysses S. Grant (1822), composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891), baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby (1896), and car-jumping baseball player Joey Gathright (1981).

On this day in history...

In 711, the Moors, led by Tariq ibn Ziyad, landed at Gibraltar and began their conquest of Hispania, later setting up realms that would last until 1492.

In 1805, as part of the First Barbary War, United States Marines attacked the city of Derna in Tripoli, a line (“the shores of Tripoli”) that is, to this day, commemorated in the Marine Corps hymn.

In 1861, President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

In 1981, Xerox subsidiary Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) introduced the first computer mouse.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 27 - or at least, unless something happens later, which, you never really know, Duquette being Duquette. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!