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Twelve Orioles Thoughts following series loss to Milwaukee

With the Orioles dropping two out of three games to Milwaukee at Camden Yards over the weekend, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Though the real streak ended in Arlington last October, Baltimore avoided being swept to continue a regular-season stretch that began in mid-May of 2022. It wasn’t a pretty weekend with the Brewers outscoring Baltimore by a 26-12 margin, but salvaging the final game of a series always brings an exhale. 

2. Jackson Holliday could finally breathe after collecting his first major league hit in the midst of the seventh-inning rally on Sunday. Am I concerned that he started 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts? Not at all. Let him get these struggles out of the way now rather than later in the season. 

3. Look no further than Colton Cowser as the reason why as he concluded a white-hot week with a home run off lefty Hoby Milner in the eighth inning on Sunday. After collecting just two extra-base hits in 77 plate appearances last season, Cowser has eight over his last six games. 

4. Corbin Burnes wasn’t his best against his old club as he allowed another first-inning homer and labored through five innings, but he gave the Orioles a chance to win. He wasn’t overly sentimental talking about facing the Brewers before they fouled off pitches and disrupted him on the base paths. 

5. Burnes took accountability for his own shoddy defense, which continued a choppy overall start for the Orioles in the fielding department. The defense should only get more consistent as Holliday settles into second base and Jordan Westburg plays more at third, so there’s no major concern at this point.  

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6. In the process of praising his former team, Burnes compared Milwaukee to Kansas City, who also gave the Orioles everything they could handle in the first homestand of the season. The Brewers have some pitching questions, but they hit the baseball all weekend even without Christian Yelich. 

7. After beginning the season 4-for-30, Cedric Mullins has eight hits in his last 16 at-bats, which included a home run and a double on Sunday. It’s great to see Mullins healthy again after last year’s groin injury, and he’s such a valuable player when the bat is clicking. 

8. While the spotlight’s been on Austin Hays, Anthony Santander went hitless against Milwaukee and has gone 8-for-53 since driving in seven runs over the season’s first two games. Cowser has earned the right to play every day until proving otherwise, but these are the ebbs and flows of a season.

9. Saturday’s fun matchup between Dean Kremer and ex-Oriole DL Hall crumbled quickly with both pitchers getting battered and failing to see the fifth inning. Understandably, the Brewers want to see if Hall can stick in the rotation, but everything is screaming reliever, including his diminished velocity as a starter.

10. Tyler Wells was understandably frustrated after Friday’s outing as subsequent starts have been worse since a solid but unspectacular season debut on Easter. Especially with John Means building up more and more at Triple-A Norfolk, Wells and Cole Irvin are both on notice for their rotation spots. 

11. Speaking of rehab assignments, Kyle Bradish is set to begin his with a start for Double-A Bowie later this week. He told reporters his velocity is normal and he’s feeling good, but pitching in an uncontrolled live-game setting figures to be critical in truly gauging the health of his elbow. 

12. After getting off to a brutal start wearing the City Connect uniforms last year, the Orioles suffered their worst loss of the young season donning them on Friday. At least their City Connect threads aren’t as bad as the Phillies’ version? 

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