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Matthew Taylor: A prescient preseason prediction for the O’s

It’s that time of year when Orioles fans look back on preseason projections and scoff at experts who predicted lots of losing in Baltimore. You might find yourself thinking, “Can you believe they actually wrote that?” as you recall that the Orioles were supposed to be a last-place bunch in the American League East this season. Then again, would you have believed what you were

Opposite dugout: Yanks try to keep Birds out of postseason

Manager: Joe Girardi (9th season) Record: 83-76 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: C Gary Sanchez (.303/.378/.672 with 20 HR, 42 RBIs), SS Didi Gregorius (.275 with 20 HR, 69 RBIs), 2B Starlin Castro (.272 with 21 HR, 70 RBIs), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (14-4, 3.07 ERA), RHP Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.58 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: 8-8 Pitching probables: Sept. 30: RHP Yovani Gallardo

Zach Wilt: The importance of Hyun Soo Kim

You would have a hard time finding a more staunch supporter of Hyun Soo Kim than me. Sure, after his heroics last night, today is an easy day to write that I’m a fan of the guy, but I promise I can back it up. I wrote back in December of last year that I was excited about the Orioles signing Kim because it seemed

Pair of “Postseason Push” rallies announced for this weekend

October is three days away, which means playoff baseball isn’t far behind. As the Orioles continue an important series in Toronto, where they trail the Blue Jays by two games for the first American Leauge wild card spot and hold a one-game lead for the second wild card, the club today announced a pair of rallies to generate excitement back home in Baltimore for

Dillon Atkinson: Ramos’ injury opens the door for Wieters

In very unfortunate news for the player and team, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is out for the remainder of 2016 with a torn ACL. Ramos, 29, was having the best year of his career in 2016, which is his contract year. This season, he slashed .307/.354/.496 with 22 homers in 523 plate appearances and threw out 37.3 percent of attempted base stealers. It was beginning

Ryan Romano: What makes Brad Brach’s fastball so great?

The Orioles bullpen has no shortage of underdog stories. Zach Britton washed out of the big league rotation before transforming into the sinkerballer extraordinaire he is today. Darren O’Day went undrafted out of college and bounced around several clubs until Baltimore snatched him up. And Mychal Givens started his minor league career as a shortstop, converting into a pitcher just three years ago. Brad Brach’s

Opposite dugout: Blue Jays hoping to hold onto top wild card spot

Manager: John Gibbons (9th season) Record: 86-70 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: DH Edwin Encarnacion (42 HR, 126 RBIs); RF Jose Bautista (21 HR, 67 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.284 average with 36 HR, 96 RBIs); RHP Aaron Sanchez (13-2, 3.12 ERA); RHP Marcus Stroman (9-9, 4.34 ERA). Season series vs. Orioles: 9-7 Pitching probables: September 27: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. RHP Aaron

Andrew Stetka: Despite ups and downs, O’s have playoffs in their sights

Fourth place. That’s where I had the Orioles finishing this season. I wasn’t alone. Many so-called experts pegged the O’s for a fourth- or even fifth-place finish in the American League East. All five experts from CBS Sports had the O’s in fifth. Five of six pundits from Yahoo! Sports slotted the O’s in last as well, with the other picking them fourth. Bleacher Report

Orioles hosting Birdland Experience Weekend for disability community

This weekend, during their final home series of the 2016 season, the Orioles will play host to some very special fans. More than 1,000 members of the disability community will be in attendance during Birdland Experience Weekend, which will be held during games Friday through Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camden Yards. Many of these visitors will be making their first trip to Camden

Matthew Taylor: O’s sudden shift hurts more this time around

The Orioles are out of playoff position for the first time all season one week after an improbable division title seemed entirely possible following a Kevin Gausman gem at Fenway Park. An uplifting win that puts the postseason in reach has yielded to listless baseball. This all feels familiar, but worse. After all, we saw the same routine last season. You’ll recall that the 2015

Opposite dugout: Diamondbacks trying to avoid NL West cellar

Manager: Chip Hale (2nd season) Record: 64-88 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 2B Jean Segura (.317 with 17 HR, 59 RBIs, 30 SB), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.298 with 23 HR, 90 RBIs, 27 SB), LF Yasmany Tomas (29 HR, 75 RBIs), 3B Jake Lamb (28 HR, 88 RBIs), LHP Robbie Ray (8-13, 4.66 ERA, 210 Ks) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (3-0

Zach Wilt: On-base percentage the key to wins and losses for O’s

There’s no question that the Orioles have one of the most dangerous offenses in baseball. Opposing starters fear the wicked combo of Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis and Manny Machado, three guys with more than 30 homers. Oh by the way, Adam Jones is two shy of being the fourth Oriole to join that list. With 10 games remaining, the Birds are on pace to hit

Dillon Atkinson: Backsliding bats have been costly to Birds

At the end of June, everything was going right in Birdland. The Orioles were 47-31, holding a five-game lead atop the American League East. The Red Sox and Blue Jays started climbing back in the division, but heading into the All-Star break, the Birds still held a two-game lead over both Boston and Toronto. Heading into tonight’s contest against the Red Sox, the Orioles are

Tour Babe Ruth’s Baltimore on Saturday

If you’re an aficionado of Baltimore baseball history, and you’ve got nothing planned for Saturday morning, have I got something you’ll be interested in. On Sept. 24, 82 years to the day that Baltimore-born Babe Ruth played his last game with the New York Yankees, Baltimore Heritage will sponsor “Babe Ruth’s Baltimore By Bus,” a tour through the Charm City sites that were important in

Ryan Romano: Wade Miley isn’t this bad, but he has struggled

Across April, May, June and July, not a single left-handed pitcher started for the Orioles. The club made sure that would change in August by swinging for the Mariners’ Wade Miley, a veteran southpaw with a history of reliability and durability. Yet while Miley has taken the hill every fifth day for the O’s, he hasn’t pitched very well - opponents have roughed him up

Andrew Stetka: Finishing with non-losing record still an underrated sight

It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day. I suppose I was caught up in the aftermath of a thrilling win that took a perfect relay throw to seal it: Michael Bourn to Manny Machado to Matt Wieters for the tag and win. It preserved Zach Britton’s 44th save of the season and capped a comeback from four runs down. It also

Opposite dugout: Red Sox take three-game lead into crucial series

Manager: John Farrell (4th season) Record: 85-64 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 2B Dustin Pedroia (.324 average with 189 hits); DH David Ortiz (.317 average with 34 HR, 116 RBIs); RF Mookie Betts (.314 average with 30 HR, 106 RBIs); SS Hanley Ramirez (28 HR with 150 hits); RHP Rick Porcello (20-4, 3.12 ERA); RHP David Price (16-8, 3.91 ERA). Season series vs.

Matthew Taylor: On the tortuous nature of September baseball

My wife and I discussed pennant races Thursday night shortly after the Orioles dropped a disappointing 7-6 decision to the Rays. She concluded our brief conversation with this simple truth: “So they’re fun when you’re winning, but they stink when you’re losing.” Truer words were never spoken. Moments later, the Red Sox completed a ninth-inning comeback versus the Yankees with a three-run walk-off home run,

Zach Wilt: As weather cools, O’s starting pitching heats up

Like most people across the country, I updated my phone’s firmware to its fancy new version yesterday evening. I’ve gotta have those updated emojis and goofy message effects that all my friends are talking about. After it completed, I was sure that something went wrong because the calendar app read “September 14,” but according to the Orioles’ matchup against the Red Sox that I was

Opposite dugout: Rays hoping to buck recent trend vs. O’s

Manager: Kevin Cash (2nd season) Record: 62-83 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Logan Forsythe (.279 average with 19 HR, 50 RBIs); 3B Evan Longoria (32 HR, 155 hits); SS Brad Miller (72 RBIs, 122 hits); RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.81 ERA); RHP Chris Archer (8-18 with 217 strikeouts); RHP Alex Colome (2.01 ERA with 32 saves). Season series vs. Orioles: 4-11 Pitching

Dillon Atkinson: Could O’s use four-man rotation in playoffs?

Following Tuesday night’s 6-3 win over the Red Sox, the Orioles are tied for the first wild card spot and second place in the American League East - being just two games back - with the Blue Jays. The Birds, 79-66, face the Red Sox again tonight in the rubber match of a three-game set at Fenway. O’s young right-hander Kevin Gausman will counter Boston’s

Ryan Romano: What’s missing in Britton’s dominating campaign?

Even though Orioles fans get to watch him take the hill constantly, sometimes I think we still don’t truly appreciate how great Zach Britton is. The organization developed him as a starting pitcher, but after flopping in that role, he looked like another bust. Nowadays, he never starts anything - he just finishes things. Since his move to the bullpen in 2014, he’s put up

Andrew Stetka: O’s giving fans something to cheer about in September

It’s the middle of September and you are still watching and enjoying baseball. OK, so maybe you didn’t watch much baseball yesterday with the return of the NFL to your television set. But in general, you are still watching baseball in mid-September, and you’re doing it with a purpose. That’s something that Orioles fans have taken for granted over the last half decade or so.

Opposite dugout: Powerful bats, strong arms have kept Red Sox in contention

Manager: John Farrell (6th season) Record: 80-62 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 2B Dustin Pedroia (.329 with 182 hits), DH David Ortiz (.315 with 32 HR, 110 RBIs), RF Mookie Betts (.314 with 30 HR, 102 RBIs), SS Xander Bogaerts (.299 with 173 hits, 29 doubles), LHP David Price (15-8, 3.87 ERA), RHP Rick Porcello (20-3, 3.1 ERA), RHP Craig Kimbrel (2.78 ERA

Yard Work: Episode 13

Hey, O’s fans. We’re back with another episode of Yard Work. On this week’s edition.... Steve Melewski is in Detroit, ready to follow the Orioles as they get set for a pivotal three-game series against the Tigers. Both teams are fighting for the playoffs and wins and losses during September can make or break the season. Needless to say, this is the biggest series of

Matthew Taylor: Revolving rotation usually doesn’t end well

How many starting pitchers did the Baltimore Orioles use during the 2012 season? That’s the question that came to mind for me this week when I learned that the Los Angeles Dodgers are on course to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season while using 15 or more starters. This year’s Dodgers would join last year’s Dodgers and the 1989 San Francisco Giants as

Opposite dugout: Fast-closing Tigers boast a formidable offensive attack

Manager: Brad Ausmus (3rd season) Record: 75-64 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF J.D. Martinez (.319, 20 HR, 56 RBIs), 1B Miguel Cabrera (.315/.389/.553 with 31 HR, 87 RBIs), DH Victor Martinez (.293 with 25 HR, 75 RBIs), 2B Ian Kinsler (25 HR, 72 RBIs), LF Justin Upton (22 HR, 70 RBIs), RHP Michael Fulmer (10-6, 2.77 ERA), RHP Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.28

Zach Wilt: Bundy’s been solid, but it’s time for a breather

Despite his recent struggles, Dylan Bundy is telling Orioles fans everything they want to hear. He feels fine, his arm isn’t an issue and he’s comfortable pitching every fifth day. Unfortunately, the results just haven’t been there for Bundy of late. He’s pitched to a 6.46 ERA over his last five starts and his fastball velocity has dipped from 95-96 miles per hour to 92-93.

Dillon Atkinson: O’s power bats are surging at the right time

In the month of June, the Orioles had one of the hottest, if not the hottest, offense in the big leagues. However, when the calendar flipped to July, the bats went cold and the club’s top three sluggers weren’t anywhere to be found. For a team that is so reliant on its offense since it has a thin pitching staff, many rightfully assumed success wouldn’t

Ryan Romano: Digging into Kevin Gausman’s clutch season

For a few years now, Chris Tillman has carried the title of Orioles ace, but someone else might have taken his throne. After his third straight shutout start, Kevin Gausman has lowered his season ERA to 3.58, the best mark among Baltimore starters. He has the peripherals to back that up, too - his FIP and xFIP both lead the team, as well. Although it

Andrew Stetka: Orioles’ call-ups leave much to be desired

As I’ve watched a number of players get the call-up across baseball over the last few days, one thing continues to weigh heavily on my mind. The Orioles don’t have anyone in the farm system that really excites you. Sure, there are a few players who may end up being contributors one day. But none of these players really get you excited in the way

Opposite dugout: Rays hoping to spoil hopes of division rival

Manager: Kevin Cash (2nd season) Record: 58-77 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Logan Forsythe (.283 with 17 HR, 46 RBIs), 3B Evan Longoria (.282 with 31 HR, 85 RBIs), SS Brad Miller (118 hits, 26 HR), RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.56 ERA), RHP Matt Andriese (6-6, 4.19 ERA). Season series vs. Orioles: 3-9 Pitching probables: Sept. 5: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez vs. RHP

Dollars for doughnuts: Gausman family doing its part to assist flood victims

Louisiana isn’t home to any Major League Baseball teams. In fact, the closest big league ballpark to the state’s capital of Baton Rouge is a nearly 4 1/2-hour drive to Houston, where the Astros call home. Yet in Baltimore, one pitcher and former Louisiana resident is doing his part do help those affected by the horrific flooding that arrived unannounced on Aug. 12, and left

Matthew Taylor: A trip with my son to remind me what baseball is all about

It’s been a tough week in Birdland. It’s times like these when I think irrational thoughts, like wondering if being a baseball fan is worth the aggravation. The ballpark trip I took with my son last weekend reminds me that it’s about more than the outcome of games. Here’s the story of the first of what I hope will be many annual summer baseball trips

Opposite dugout: Baby Boomers keeping Yankees in contention

Manager: Joe Girardi (9th season) Record: 69-63 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: C Gary Sanchez (.374/.441/.798 with 11 HR, 21 RBIs), SS Didi Gregorius (.286 with 19 HR, 64 RBIs), 2B Starlin Castro (.269 with 19 HR, 64 RBIs), RHP Chad Green (2-3, 4.09 ERA), RHP Dellin Betances (2.12 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) Season series vs. Orioles: 7-6 Pitching probables: Sept. 2: RHP Chad

Zach Wilt: O’s need to finish strong for shot at postseason

This morning we turn the page on our calendars, or simply swipe up on our smartphones, as September begins and we near the finish line of the 2016 MLB season. With 29 games remaining, the Baltimore Orioles sit four back of the first place Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East and tied with the Tigers for the second wild card spot. August marked

Oriole Advocates set annual Cardboard to Leather collection for Sunday, Sept. 4

If you’re a little late on your spring cleaning, or if you’re ready to thin out the baseball and softball equipment you’ve accumulated now that the youth seasons have ended, the Oriole Advocates have a great way for you to help those less fortunate enjoy a game we often take for granted. The Advocates have scheduled their annual Cardboard to Leather collection for Sunday, Sept.

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