The Orioles played “Catch Me If You Can” last night with the Rangers. Thankfully, the Rangers couldn’t. Birds win 10-9.
The O’s find themselves two games up on the Yankees, three games up on the Red Sox, and trailing the Blue Jays by a half game. It feels like 1989 all over again. If only these standings could hold for, say, another 155 games.
In other MLB news, Nick Swisher took the mound for the Yankees on Monday night and recorded a scoreless eighth inning in a 15-5 loss to the Rays. Was anybody else thinking about Manny Alexander and his O’s pitching debut?
While the Yankees had a chuckle about Swisher’s performance, Alexander’s two-thirds of an inning against the Rangers in 1996 was less of a laughing matter. Alexander surrendered five runs, four on a grand slam by Kevin Elster, as the O’s lost 26-7 to the Rangers in the early season contest. (What is it about bullpen implosions against the Rangers?) Somehow, the O’s went on to earn the Wild Card that season.
Meanwhile, in the NL on Monday, the Dodgers’ Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle against the rival Giants. Aubrey Huff was the last Oriole to do so, on June 29, 2007, against the Angels. The only other Birds to have hit for the cycle are Cal Ripken (May 6, 1984, against the Rangers) and Brooks Robinson (July 15, 1960, against the White Sox).
Finally, as if Red Sox fans needed any assistance in taking over Camden Yards, BWI has announced plans to offer nonstop service from Baltimore to Boston starting in August. Rumor has it that Stan Kasten will pilot the planes.