Friday Bird Droppings: Orioles starting pitchers are on a roll
Kyle Bradish came one out shy of throwing the Orioles’ second straight complete game. Turns out this team can still be a lot of fun.
Good morning, Camden Chatters.
It may be too late for the Orioles to jump back into postseason contention. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have some fun before the season wraps up.
And it’s been particularly fun to be an O’s starting pitcher the last two nights. First, Jordan Lyles stymied the Tigers with a dominant, 94-pitch complete game in which he threw just 22 balls, the Birds’ first complete game of the season and Lyles’ first in a decade.
Last night, Kyle Bradish raised the bar with one of the most sensational performances in recent Orioles memory. Against a red-hot Houston team that had won nine of its last 10, Bradish utterly flummoxed a tough Astros lineup for the second time this season, surrendering only one baserunner until the ninth inning. On a night when nine-time All-Star and 2022 Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander was his opponent, Bradish outdueled the future Hall of Famer. Check out Mark Brown’s recap of Bradish’s unforgettable night.
Bradish came one out shy of a complete game when Jeremy Pena singled on his 100th pitch, prompting skipper Brandon Hyde to pull him with two outs in the ninth, much to the consternation of some O’s fans. Felix Bautista struck out Aledmys Diaz to finish things off.
The two brilliantly pitched efforts helped erase some of the sting of the Orioles’ series loss to the Tigers. The Birds are now just four wins away from clinching a winning record, which would put an impressive exclamation mark on an O’s season that has already exceeded all expectations.
Bradish blanks Astros for 8 2/3 innings and Orioles win 2-0 – School of Roch
Orioles fans got to celebrate Trey Mancini’s return to Camden Yards and then got to watch the O’s beat his new team. Pretty much a perfect scenario.
Mancini takes unfamiliar route to familiar place as he faces Orioles as a visitor – BaltimoreBaseball.com
Trey Mancini was thrown off by coming back to Camden Yards and having to go to the visiting clubhouse. I’d imagine it’s kind of like staying in the guest room of your own house.
Connolly’s Tap Room: Would you want Trey Mancini back with the Orioles in 2023? – The Athletic
Could a Mancini/O’s reunion be in the cards after this season? As Dan Connolly notes, the sentimentality factor is off the charts, but there doesn’t seem to be a spot for him in the lineup. Unless the Orioles make an unexpected Ryan Mountcastle trade.
Aberdeen’s quest for the SAL championship comes up a few runs short – Steve Melewski
The IronBirds may have lost their championship game because starter Peter Van Loon developed an ill-timed blister. A bit reminiscent of the “Why Not?” 1989 Orioles losing a pivotal game to the Jays because Pete Harnisch stepped on a nail.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Three former Orioles were born on this day: right-hander Pete Harnisch (56), utility man Willie Greene (51), and the late righty Marcelino Lopez (b. 1943, d. 2001).
On this day in 1958, Orioles pitcher Jack Harshman truly did it all, not only throwing a complete game to beat the Senators, but also hitting two home runs and a double for good measure. Incredibly, it was the second time that season Harshman had mashed two homers in a game. Harshman was a decent hitter for a pitcher, bopping 21 homers in his 10-year career.
On this date in 1999, the O’s split a doubleheader against the Athletics. The Birds’ loss in the opener snapped their 13-game winning streak, and…hold up, the 1999 Orioles had a 13-game winning streak?? They weren’t even good! The Orioles got back on the horse in the nightcap with a 12-4 blowout win, with Albert Belle collecting four doubles in a game for the second time that year.
And Sept. 23 was a particularly rough day for the Orioles in 2013. The O’s, who had been just two games back of a wild card spot less than a week earlier, suffered their fifth consecutive loss, a 5-4 walkoff to the Rays that dropped them an insurmountable six games off the pace. Adding injury to insult, Manny Machado stepped awkwardly on first base and suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgery, ultimately costing him the first month of the 2014 season as well.
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