In Tampa Bay, the Orioles’ winning streak faces its toughest test yet
Hello, Camden Chatters.
We’ve come to the final series before the All-Star Break, as the Orioles head to Tropicana Field to take on the Rays for three games. This is the Orioles’ first visit to Tampa Bay since the opener of this 2022 season, and boy, is there a different vibe around the team now than there was then.
April, which feels like forever, doesn’t it? — the Orioles were heading into what was to be another hopeless and uncompetitive season, another slow march down the road to rebuilding without expecting to be relevant in the hunt for this year’s playoffs. And indeed, the O’s were swept away in this opening series, quickly dropping them below the 0.500 mark that few expected them to return to.
Three months later, the Orioles return to the Trophy as baseball’s hottest and most surprising team, with an incredible 10-game winning streak that propelled them over the .500 mark at 45-44. The O’s can secure a .500 record by the All-Star break if they can win at least one game in this series.
Dare we dream the Orioles will pull off their fourth straight sweep and head into the break with a 13-game streak? The way the O’s are playing right now, you can’t doubt that. But the Rays will be the toughest test yet for the Orioles, who — aside from a win at Minnesota to start the streak — have racked up all of their wins in this streak against sub-0.500 ball clubs. The AL East, which now has five winning teams, is a different animal from the AL West or the NL Central. The O’s are ready for a tooth-and-nail battle with the No. 2 Rays, who are coming off a four-game sweep over the Red Sox.
Whether or not the Orioles’ winning streak survives this weekend, they are currently playing must-see baseball. What a refreshing change of pace from years past.
How the Orioles – yes, the Baltimore Orioles – became the hottest team in MLB – ESPN
Jesse Rogers delves into the reasons for the Orioles’ turnaround, including the comprehensive analytical tools implemented by the Mike Elias regime. Remember when the O analysis department was made up of one guy? It really is a new era in Birdland.
The Orioles are good again, and their elite defense is a big reason (you read that right) | Sports News
Another reason for the success of the Orioles? Their defense, as Jason Foster writes. It’s amazing what a team can accomplish when they have players playing in the positions they’re supposed to play, instead of the “square peg in a round hole” strategy that previous O teams used. .
Baltimore Orioles are on a 10-game winning streak and we’re talking about baseball – Forbes
Larry Fleisher explains how far the Orioles have come from the depths they’ve fallen to. Trigger warning: This story mentions the 2016 generic card game.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday today? Happy birthday! Only one Oriole in history was born that day: 2005 right-hander James Baldwin (51). A major league pitcher and a prodigious author! He was really versatile.
The Orioles have an incredible all-time record of 36-16 on July 15, including a memorable performance by Brooks Robinson that day in 1960. The Hall of Fame third baseman became the first Oriole to hit for the cycle, going 5-for-5 in the Birds’ 5-2 win at Chicago. After tallying two singles, a double and a home run, Robinson saved the toughest part for last, scoring a two-run triple in the top of the ninth. It gave Brooks hits on eight straight at bats, as he had been one homer in the cycle in his previous game.
On this day in 1996, manager Davey Johnson decided to move Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. to third base after 2,216 consecutive games at shortstop. The move was intended to open up a spot for shortstop prospect Manny Alexander, but Johnson scrapped the idea after six games, in which Alexander went 1 for 18. Ripken returned to shortstop for the remainder of that season, but moved permanently to third base the following season.
And on this day in 2005, Rafael Palmeiro of the Orioles collected his 3,000th hit, an RBI double in the top of the fifth inning at Seattle. It was a good time back then, as the game was stopped so Palmeiro’s teammates could celebrate with him on the pitch. Less than three weeks later, however, Palmeiro would test positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol, earning him a 10-game suspension from MLB and forever tarnishing his accomplishments.