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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles bullpen crisis edition

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The good news is that the Orioles are still tied for first place. In today’s links, Castillo gets closer to coming back, Melvin Mora becomes an American, and more.

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day dawns with the Orioles in first place of the American League East - though they’re sharing it with the Yankees, and if you count percentage points they’re actually in second place. My general rule is to count percentage points when it helps the Orioles and ignore them when it doesn’t, but I leave it up to you.

The Orioles find themselves in that position after a rather gruesome loss last night against Washington, one of those ninth inning blown save monstrosities where you could tell within about five pitches that the closer, in this case Brad Brach, had nothing. It was like being dragged over hot coals until it was finally, almost blessedly, over.

My recap of the not-so-lovely totals can be found here, if you missed the pain. You’re probably better off if you missed the pain - although if you missed it because you were watching hockey or basketball, you still got some of that pain after all. Sports suck sometimes, you know?

The O’s will close out the home-and-home series against their southern neighbors tonight. They’re already guaranteed at least a split of the four games. A win would be nice, if only because the Yankees remain in “almost never lose” mode - though the Yankees will be about to play the Astros, so maybe the O’s will have a chance to make some hay this upcoming weekend.

Around the blogO’sphere

Castillo: "I think this weekend would be good" - School of Roch
Beef is on his way back - he’s talking about starting his rehab this weekend so he can make his return soon. Get well soon, Beef!

Well, the Orioles Are Doing it Again | FanGraphs Baseball
Last night’s painful loss notwithstanding, it’s nice to know that the Orioles are once again generating confused “How are the Orioles doing this?” articles from baseball writers - at least, the ones who are willing to acknowledge they were wrong in the first place.

Official 2017 MLB Frustration Rankings - DRaysBay
Our friends over at the Rays blog compiled a very serious and scientific ranking of how frustrated each team’s fans should be feeling right now. Again, last night’s loss aside, the O’s are actually pretty not-frustrating, so far.

Orioles Hall of Famer Melvin Mora on becoming a U.S. citizen: “I finally did it” - Baltimore Sun
I like any story that has a happy Melvin Mora, though I do find myself wondering what the brothers McNulty have to say about this development.

Five Orioles stats that stand out: Regression candidates at the plate - Baltimore Sun
That demon regression could mean good news for Mark Trumbo, but not so good news for Trey Mancini.

Marlins Place Adeiny Hechavarria on DL, Designate Joe Gunkel For Assignment - MLB Trade Rumors
This is the third time that The Gunk has been designated for assignment in the last month, so the O’s clearly weren’t the only team that just didn’t have room for him.

Birthdays and anniversaries

A few former Orioles have birthdays today. They are: 2003 bullpen guy Kerry Ligtenberg, 2000 short-timer Trent Hubbard, 1989 eight-gamer Mark Huismann, and 1957-65 Orioles pitcher Milt Pappas, who might be best remembered for being traded for Frank Robinson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Hieronymus Karl Friedrich von Munchhausen of Baron Munchhausen fame (1720), baseball Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer (1903), and painter Salvador Dali (1904).

On this day in history...

In 330, the city of Byzantium was renamed Nova Roma - though its popular name, Constantinople, is one that made it into the history books before it, too, was changed.

In 1846, President James K. Polk asked for and received a declaration of war against Mexico, kicking off the Mexican-American War.

In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi who had been hiding in Argentina, was captured by four Mossad agents, to be taken back to Israel to stand trial.

In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg, who released The Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War, were dismissed.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 11 - or at least, until something happens later, which it should, since the Orioles are playing later. Hopefully that something is good. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!