Welcome to the Show, Cedric Mullins.
Adam Jones had his replacement in center field lead the Baltimore Orioles onto the field at Camden Yards Friday night. Mullins took things from there compiling the first three-hit night by an Orioles player making his MLB debut.
As the Baltimore Sun notes, 20 O’s players have had multi-hit games in their first big league game starting with Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson in September 1955.
Eleven Orioles players have played their first game in the show during the 2018 season: Austin Wynns, Steve Wilkerson, Engelb Vielma, Yefry Ramirez, Mullins, Ryan Meisinger, David Hess, Paul Fry, Nestor Cortes, Cody Carroll, and Pedro Araujo,
The Baltimore Orioles have been a comedy of errors in 2018. Just this week the team managed to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 in spite of its defense, which produced five errors and other missed opportunities that didn’t show up in the box score.
Berry Epley (@apps94) hit the mark on Twitter when he commented that the team could use the Benny Hill theme music as its soundtrack for the 2018 season. (Said song is “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph.)
As the Baltimore Sun and many other outlets reported, the last time the O’s won while committing five or more errors was with a much better team, the 1983 World Series champions, on June 9, 1983.
The Orioles currently have the third-most errors in the American League behind the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox. Tim Beckham leads the team in errors with 17, three fewer than American League leader Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox. It’s worth noting that Devers has played 36 more games than Beckham.
Errors can be misleading when considered in isolation as some of the names mentioned later in this post demonstrate. With that consideration in mind, put on your thinking cap with the smiling bird on the front and riddle me this:
Which two Orioles players have led the American League in errors?
(Hint: One name you would expect; however, some viewed the latter player as being among the all-time great shortstops in baseball.)
The 2010 Baltimore Orioles weren’t much better than the 2018 team record-wise at this point in the season; however, things sure felt differently on this day in Orioles history, Aug. 9, 2010.
A Soon-to-Be Orioles Hall of Famer
Brian Roberts‘ first home run of the 2010 season was of the walk-off variety as the Orioles defeated the American League Central leading Chicago White Sox by a score of 3-2 in 10 innings. Ty Wiggington, the O’s lone All-Star Game representative, also homered. The win was the Orioles’ sixth in seven games under new manager Buck Showalter.
Showalter led the O’s to a 34-23 record down the stretch to avoid what had appeared to be a certain 100-loss season in Baltimore. Prior to Showalter’s debut on Aug. 3 the team stood a season-worst 41 games below .500 with a 32-73 record. Six of the 34 victories to close out the 2010 campaign came by way of a walk-off hit.
Roberts will be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on Saturday. As noted by MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, “Roberts is the all-time leader in virtually every major offensive category among Orioles second basemen.”
Fresh off his lone career All-Star nod, Gregg Olson tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his 26th save and preserve a 4-1 win against the powerhouse Oakland Athletics on this day in Baltimore Orioles history, Aug. 8, 1990.
Ben McDonald got the win versus the A’s, who won 103 games and appeared in the 1990 World Series where the Cincinnati Reds swept them in four games. It was the fourth of five consecutive wins McDonald earned after moving into a starting role in late July. He ended the season 8-5 with a 2.43 ERA (3.58 FIP) and finished eighth in Rookie of the Year voting won by Cleveland’s Sandy Alomar.
Olson compiled a career-best 37 saves during the 1990 season, which stood as the Orioles’ team record until Randy Meyers topped the mark with 45 saves in 1997. Olson was coming off his 1989 Rookie of the Year campaign where he bested the likes of Tom Gordon, future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., teammate Craig Worthington, Jim Abbott, and Kevin Brown.
Thanks to Jim Johnson and Zach Britton, Meyers and Olson currently rank fourth and fifth, respectively, among single-season saves leaders for the Orioles.
The Orioles’ strange ability to compete with the New York Yankees has been one of the few highlights of a 2018 season when the O’s seem best at beating themselves. You know what’s even more fun? Beating the Yankees with something on the line.
The O’s defeated the Yankees 2-0 behind 6.2 innings of shutout work by Steve Barber to reclaim first place in the 10-team American League on this day in Orioles history, Aug. 7, 1964.
Barber, who allowed seven hits, struck out three, and walked one, went head-to-head with Jim Bouton, who completed seven strong innings but allowed a first-inning RBI single to Brooks Robinson. Barber was coming off his best season as an Oriole when he finished 20-13 with a 2.75 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 1963.
The Orioles tacked on an insurance run on a rare Jerry Adair home run in the eighth inning off of the Yankees’ Bill Stafford. Adair totaled 43 home runs in nine seasons in Baltimore.
The win upped the O’s record to 67-42 while dropping the Yankees to 64-41. New York got the last laugh, however, as the 97-win Yankees claimed the American League by one game over the Chicago White Sox and two games over the 97-win Orioles. That’s three teams with 97-plus wins and only one who advanced to the postseason. The Yankees lost the 1964 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
The Orioles lost 17-8 to the Texas Rangers on Thursday night and a position player pitched. It harkens back to another lopsided O’s loss against Texas, but I’m not talking about 30-3.
This week’s Flashback Friday looks at the O’s game versus Texas on April 19, 1996, a 26-7 loss that saw Manny Alexander take the mound.
Alexander was no Danny Valencia, who struck out Joey Gallo in Thursday’s brief mound appearance. Instead, Alexander issued four walks, allowed five runs, and gave up one hit – a Kevin Elster grand slam – in two-thirds of an inning of work.
Alexander’s efforts were part of a 16-run eighth inning in which the Rangers totaled eight hits and eight walks versus him, Armando Benitez, and Jesse Orosco.
Alexander reportedly stated “I hate this” when asked about his cameo on the mound, and with good reason.
Harold Baines‘ second-inning home run was all that the Orioles got and all that the Orioles needed as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 on this day in Orioles history, Aug. 2, 1995.
The win gave the O’s a 44-44 record, which was typical of the strike-shortened 1995 season when they flirted with .500 before finishing 71-73. It was the team’s only losing effort in the six seasons between 1992 and 1997.
Toronto rookie Paul Menhart took the loss despite allowing only one hit in eight innings of work at Camden Yards. Mike Mussina got the win for the O’s with a complete-game shutout. Mussina allowed four hits, struck out six, and walked two in upping his record to 13-5 on the season.
Mussina ended the 1995 season with a major-league best 19 wins. It was one of seven seasons in which the Moose had between 17 and 19 wins before finally reaching the elusive 20-game mark with the Yankees during his final year in 2008. Mussina would lose his next three outings following the complete-game effort before running off seven wins in his final nine starts.
The 36-year-old Baines totaled 24 home runs in 1995, the third-largest total of his 22-year career. He left Baltimore to sign with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent following the 1995 season but returned to Charm City in a trade-deadline move during the Orioles’ wire-to-wire run in 1997.