A season-defining road trip for the Orioles is underway

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

You know, it’s been such a long time since the Orioles were in postseason contention late in the season that I kind of forgot how stressful it is. Every play, every pitch of every game represents a potentially momentum-changing shift in the Birds’ playoff hopes. Every win brings the O’s that much closer to the promised land. Every loss feels especially devastating.

It’s exhausting, you guys. And there’s still a month and a half of the regular season remaining.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade it for anything. After five straight years of the O’s being an irrelevant, often painful-to-watch nonentity for one sluggish summer after another, I’m willing to accept a few more gray hairs and chewed-off fingernails if it means we get to watch a legitimate contender in Baltimore down the stretch.

Prepare to be a nervous wreck for the entirety of the Orioles’ road trip, which began last night with a disappointing 5-4 loss in a one-game “series” in Boston. These next six games against the Rays and Blue Jays, each of whom currently hold an AL Wild Card spot, could well make or break the Orioles’ season. There’s no margin for error as the O’s go head-to-head with two of the clubs they’re trying to catch, making a push for Birdland’s first taste of playoff baseball since 2016.

Orioles fans will be hanging on every pitch, nerve-wracking as it may be. It sure beats the alternative.

Links

Orioles rally to tie but fall behind again in 4-3 loss (updated) – School of Roch
A one-run loss to the Red Sox led to some agonizing over missed opportunities. Like I said, that’s the curse of being a good team. When a terrible team loses a one-run game, nobody agonizes. They’re just glad to be one game closer to the end of the season.

John Angelos: My brother has gone ‘nuclear’ with his lawsuit over control of Orioles and other assets of our father – The Baltimore Sun
Whatever ridiculousness is going on with the Orioles’ ownership situation, keep it far away from the good vibes on the field, please and thank you.

The 2022 O’s are crafting a future memorable season – Steve Melewski
This year’s Orioles will always be fondly remembered by fans even if they don’t make the playoffs, Melewski writes. That’s probably true, but it’d be a good idea to make the playoffs anyway.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles were born on Aug. 12, including Chris Owings, who turns 31. Owings played 26 games for the Orioles earlier this season, which feels like a hundred years ago. Also celebrating birthdays today are 1980-83 utility man Bobby Bonner (66), eight-game righty Jhan Marinez (34), and independent league legend Lew Ford (46), who played his last MLB game with the Orioles a decade ago but is still an active player today with the Long Island Ducks. At age 46!

The Orioles’ last win on this date came in Philadelphia in 2020, as Anthony Santander, Rio Ruiz, and Chance Sisco all homered in a 5-4 victory. Starter Wade LeBlanc was chased in the fourth inning, but five Orioles relievers held the Phillies to one run in 5.2 innings.

On this day in 2007, the Orioles’ Kevin Millar blasted a walkoff, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat his former team, the Red Sox. The O’s had trailed 3-1 in the eighth before Miguel Tejada’s game-tying, two-run blast off Eric Gagne.

And on this date in 2015, the Orioles were on the wrong end of a no-hitter thrown by the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma. The former All-Star right-hander walked three and struck out seven during his historic feat, as somehow an O’s lineup that featured Ryan Flaherty, David Lough, Caleb Joseph, and Gerardo Parra failed to scratch a hit across. (The Orioles, though, would eventually get their no-hitter revenge on Seattle.)

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