A few random notes and thanks Bluefield

Some notes to ponder as the O’s and Angels play this afternoon in the final game of the series and the Orioles six-game road trip to Chicago and LA.

*The Orioles today are looking for their fifth series sweep of the year. They swept three from Boston at home at the end of Aprill and took three from the Nats in June. They swept four at Texas right before the All-Star break and took three from this Angel team August 3-5 in Buck Showalter’s first games as manager.

The Orioles have been swept in a three-game series ten times. Seven of those sweeps came vs. AL East opponents.

*O’s pitching has allowed just one run in this series and that was on a first-inning balk Friday by Brad Bergesen. So they take a streak of 17 shutout innings into today’s game. The Angels are batting just .190 in this series at 12 for 63 and are just 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. O’s pitchers have walked just one batter in the series as the team ERA has dropped from 4.92 to 4.85 after these two games.

*That 4.85 team ERA has moved the Orioles out of last in that category in the American League. Kansas City has a team ERA of 5.08, while the O’s are now 13th. They have a ways to go to catch Cleveland, which is 12th, at 4.49.

*It’s strange but true. Over the last two seasons, at Double-A and Triple-A, Josh Bell hit just two homers batting right-handed in 215 total at bats. Now he has three in 31 Major League at bats from the right side. In fact, Bell now has three homers over his last seven games and 24 at bats. Bell is now batting .290 as a righty hitter and .209 as a lefty.

*Mychal Givens and Conner Narron are expected in the starting lineup later today when Aberdeen hosts Vermont at 5:35 p.m. at Ripken Stadium. Givens hit .207-0-2 in seven games in the Gulf Coast League while Narron hit .206-0-4 in 11 games with the GCL club.

Givens is expected to play second base today while Narron starts at DH. Top pick Manny Machado, who hit a two-run homer Saturday in the Gulf League, will join the IronBirds and work out with the team but not play today. Machado is expected to start for the IronBirds on Monday night vs. Vermont.

*Finally, my heart goes out to the fans of the Bluefield Orioles. I have read some heart-felt comments on this blog since I reported yesterday that the O’s are ending their 53-year relationship with Bluefield.

Some of us here in Baltimore can maybe act like it’s no big deal and we don’t have a real sense of it because we are so far away from that park and team, but fans there are hurting over this. Some grew up going to games there and the Bluefield Orioles have been part of their summers there seemingly forever.

I was at Bluefield once in the mid 80’s and fondly remember my visit. Great Orioles like Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray got their starts playing at Bowen Field.

While the O’s made what they felt like was the right decision moving forward and it probably is, this is a sad time for fans there. Any Baltimorean that knows what if felt like when the Colts left town can somewhat relate. While this was not the NFL and no one left town in the middle of the night, it’s still a punch in the gut to fans there.

Bluefield served the Orioles well for many years and fans there should be proud of that. Here’s hoping a new MLB team can replace some of what was lost for them yesterday.

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