There is nothing quite like the Orioles facing a top team to truly illustrate the path they have to travel to reach the top. Monday’s series opener against the Astros was quite a reminder. The O’s combined bad throws, bad shots and bad defense to add another loss to the season tally. Check out Tyler’s game recap for not-so-good totals. (For the early morning crowd, I promise there will be a bond after breakfast.)
One of the many things that emerges from comparing the two teams is that Houston fielded a line-up Monday night where seven of their nine batters brought in .800 or better OPS into the game. Seven! The Orioles entered Monday’s game with two hitters above that level – Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini.
The difference in quality is glaring, and it really shows in the performance of the O’s offense against Houston’s worst-performing starting pitcher, Jake Odorizzi. The former Ray entered the game with a 5.68 ERA for the 2021 season to date. Odorizzi had a perfect game in the fifth inning after striking out the first 13 Orioles in a row, and left the game after five due to the number of shots with a hitter intact. Just awful!
Things got worse as the Orioles still had no touchdown by the time last night’s torrential downpour resumed in the eighth inning and the game had to be delayed again. It was only after incompetent referees waited five minutes too long to claim the time limit, so the pitch was destroyed. By the time the O’s finally got a hit, it was three minutes to midnight. Thank you, Maikel Franco, for taking us away from history. Stevie Wilkerson also got a hit, which was a lot less dramatic. Nobody really cares when a single combined hit becomes a double combined hit.
What the game ALSO showed in the way this high powered attack played out against one of the Orioles pitchers that fans were hoping could be part of a good future rotation. Keegan Akin was wrecked. It wasn’t all his fault. He had some bad luck and his defense made a few bad plays, and then he gave up a three-run homerun. It was reminiscent of the Orioles version of Jake Arrieta.
It was the 17th time this year that the Orioles have lost five or more points. That is, they have suffered a staggering loss in almost a quarter of their games to date. There’s a lack of different ways of saying it’s not very fun. Record beaten or not, it’s still not much fun.
The world of baseball will be in turmoil for a completely different Franco today. The Tampa Bay Rays are calling the game’s No.1 prospect, Wander Franco, who would become the first player born in 2001 to make his MLB debut. Yes, we all steadily walk towards obsolescence.
Not so much excitement for the game in Baltimore tonight. The Orioles will take another chance at the Astros. Jorge López will try again to find his Dulcinea in the sixth round. Nobody will probably have very high hopes against this formation from Houston. Zack Greinke is expected to pitch for the Astros, which, you know. The guy has a 3.74 ERA in 15 starts so far in 2021. He’s probably a lot better than the Orioles roster. Hopefully they break the hitless before the eighth inning this time around.
Around the blogO’sphere
Valdez on injured list, Santander updates ankle and more (Roch School)
Anthony Santander had a night off last night to rest his injured ankle. He told reporters through an interpreter that it was improving. I don’t know if it’s visible in the results yet.
What O fans should expect in the 2021 draft (Orioles.com)
Pundits will be less surprised this year than last year if the Orioles go under the window, but they don’t think it’s a certainty yet.
On the steep climb to Reconstruction, every setback for the Orioles is significant. This week was full of them. (The Baltimore Sun)
The Sun’s Jon Meoli has taken a ruthless look at the Orioles rebuilding project on several occasions. Here is another one.
Westburg sees future as Orioles shortstop (Baltimore Baseball)
There appears to be some decent competition for the Orioles shortstop two or three years into the future and beyond. Hopefully a good number of competitors stay in the game as they continue to climb the minor league ranks, as Jordan Westburg has already done this year.
O’s Matt Blood on the rise of Gunnar Henderson and more on the farm (Steve Melewski)
And speaking of people vying to be the three-year shortstop into the future and beyond, Gunnar Henderson is moving to Aberdeen, where he will join Westburg until one of them (presumably Westburg ) goes up again. Farm manager Matt Blood said the team “is just trying to move the players to where they are going to be challenged in a proper way.”
Are the high draft picks coming faster than ever to the majors? (Athleticism)
Some interesting general baseball stuff here, with this specific conclusion that is relevant to Orioles fans after the last two years of draft pick: “If a varsity player hasn’t made his debut within three years of his date In draft, the odds of him becoming a solid regular are pretty slim, and the odds of him becoming a star are close to zero.
To what extent pandemic delays alter that calculation, but I think we’ll see Adley Rutschman anyway before next June. Heston Kjerstad, on the other hand, is not expected to make his MLB debut until June 2023.
Birthdays and anniversaries Orioles
Today, in 1962, Boog Powell hit an equalizer home run that cleared the center field hurdle at Memorial Stadium, the first time anyone has done so. The Boog Homage, estimated at 469 feet, was part of an Orioles 4-3 win in the nightcap of a doubles program against the Red Sox.
There are a few ancient Orioles who were born on this day. They are 2018 six-game infielder Engelb Vielma, 2001 nine-game outfielder Willie Harris, 1996-97 seven-game pitcher Esteban Yan, 1996 three-game pitcher Brian Sackinsky of the 1978 outfielder Mike Anderson and 1961-67 outfielder Russ Snyder. Today is Snyder’s 87th birthday, so another happy birthday for him.
Is it your birthday today? Happy birthday to you too! Your birthday friends for today are: Pacific Northwest explorer George Vancouver (1757), soldier and author Erich Maria Note (1898), masking tape inventor Richard Gurley Drew (1899) , Baseball Hall of Fame Carl Hubbell (1903), author Octavia Butler (1947), actress Meryl Streep (1949) and Basketball Hall of Fame Clyde Drexler (1962).
On this day in history …
In 1633, Galileo Galilei was forced by the Catholic Church in Rome to recant his position that the Sun, rather than the Earth, is the center of the universe.
In 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the Soviet Union, which opened the Eastern Front in Europe during World War II. Historical estimates are that 30 million people died in and around the fighting on the Eastern Front at the end of the war.
In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire.
And that’s how it is at Birdland on June 22. Have a good Tuesday. Come on the O’s!