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Bird Watching - O's Beat Up The Sox, Tillman Gets Hit Hard, And The Indians and Rangers Are Coming To Town

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You know the drill, when the weather warms up, so do the Birds. 33-17 last year in June and July, and it looks like they’re on their way to making a run like that again this season. Since they dropped a game to the Astros on June 3rd, the O’s have been playing some of the best baseball in the league, going 15-5. Injuries to some key guys slowed them early in the season, but now with most of their guys healthy, they are hitting their stride. The Rays are staying hot too and holding their spot atop the division, but the O’s are slowwwwly inching their way up there. They are currently 38-34 and just two games back.

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Toronto/Red Sox Series

The O’s went into Toronto, dropped the first game behind a disgusting, terrible start from Mike Wright, but won the second game thanks to a fantastic performance from Darren O’Day. With the game tied in the 8th, O’Day loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, and it looked like the Jays would get at least one run and take the lead. Wrong. O’Day worked his magic and struck out the side to escape. The O’s went on to get three in the top of the ninth- game over. It’s unbelievable to see a reliever be so calm and collected under pressure with the bases loaded late in the game. Just take a look at this stat, and tell me it’s not insane.

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Are you kidding me? Darren O’Day is one of the best relievers in the game, and he showed why.

The rubber match started out great, with the O’s shelling the Jays and putting up a 7 spot in the second. But unfortunately Chris “I can’t hold a lead” Tillman couldn’t get out of the second inning, WITH A 7 RUN LEAD. Tillman gave up 6 in 1 inning and 1/3 and was yanked. The Jays eventually went up 9-7 on a Jose Bautista home run. The O’s had enough after that, came through with some big hits, the bullpen was awesome, and the O’s pulled out the win, 13-9. A terrible, ugly win, but hey, a win is a win.

The O’s then traveled to Boston where they seem to just win two out of three every time now. Since 2012 they are 23-12 in Camden North. Used to be a house of horrors for the O’s, not anymore. This Boston team just isn’t good. Ortiz is washed up, he’ll hit a bomb or two and take his sweet time rounding the bases, but he’s also hitting .230 and only cares about himself. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him do the sad Charlie Brown walk to the bench after a strikeout. Certified bum status now. They rocked Eduardo Rodriguez in the finale yesterday, nice to shake up the rookie a bit.

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Chris Tillman

Talked about it a little above, but what is wrong with Chris Tillman this year? He’s been garbage. 50 earned runs in 14 starts!!! 50! Opposing batters are hitting .287 off of him in 72 and 1/3 innings, he has a 1.60 WHIP, an ERA of 6.22, and a 5-7 record. Not what the O’s are looking for from their “ace” who before the season they were discussing a long term contract extension with. The way he’s pitching now, I wouldn’t give him a dime. His short start in Toronto was his fifth start where he went less than five innings. Compared to last year, his hits per 9 are up, HR per 9 is up, walks per 9 are up, and Ks per 9 are down.

I’m not sure if he’s hurt, if its something with his mechanics, or if he just isn’t good anymore, but he for sure is hurting the O’s right now. How you can be confident that the O’s are going to go out and win if their #1 can’t protect a seven run lead? Wouldn’t surprise me to see a DL stint in the future, give him some time off, and let Gausman start in his place. I hope he doesn’t see the Jays the rest of the year, as they beat him up pretty good. When facing Toronto, he’s 0-3 in four starts, Blue Jays hitters are hitting .391, he’s given up six home runs, and his ERA is 15. Whatever is going on with him, he has to figure it out.

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Adam Jones missing time/More injuries

-As soon as you think the O’s are getting healthy, another star is sidelined. Adam Jones hasn’t played in the field in over a week, and has missed the last four games. If he’s hurt, put him on the DL, let him rest. I don’t get him not being on the DL if he can’t play, or at least DH if he can hit. It’s the right shoulder of Adam’s that is bothering him. The O’s cannot afford to be without the heart and soul of their team, so AJ needs to be back soon. I’d hate to see this injury linger on for a few weeks and him miss some major time. He said he expected to be back tonight, but from listening to Buck, it doesn’t sound like that.

-Minor league pitchers Hunter Harvey, and Dylan Bundy are BOTH scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews again. Bundy has some lingering shoulder inflammation, and Harvey had a PRP injection, and 6 weeks of rest. Who knows what this means, or the next time we see them on the mound. Sucks that 1/3 young pitchers the O’s drafted int he top rounds has made an impact. Have to wonder if we ever see Bundy make an impact like we thought he would. That guy was the number 1 prospect, now it’s not clear if he’ll ever see the majors. Sucks.

-Jonathan Schoop has hitting the cover off the ball in his rehab starts, and could be on his way to Baltimore pretty soon. Just another piece that will make this lineup better. Excited to see Schoop back up.

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Upcoming

Cleveland is free falling in the standings, and they are in town for three. The O’s have a great chance to take two of three or the sweep. They face Kluber (3-9), Cody Anderson (2nd career start), and Trever Bauer (6-4). Kluber isn’t the Cy Young winner he was last year, and the O’s should be able to get to him. They play very well at home, and have been on fire lately, so look for that to continue. The Rangers don’t really scare anyone either. 1 game above .500, and 4-6 in their last 10. O’s take this series too, I’d love to see a sweep here.

Make sure you come out to the Yard on Saturday and pick up this sweet Buck Showalter Garden Gnome, I hate the whole gnome shtick, but I need to have this one. Hit me on up the twitter if you’ll be there.

Buck Gnome

And congrats to O’s minor leaguer/ND baller Pat Connaughton for getting drafted #41 overall last night. You don’t want to play in Portland,  so see you in Bowie soon.

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