Podcast Episode 23: Ravens entering crisis mode, Maryland admin creates crisis at College Park

Image Credit: Boston Globe

Welcome to Episode 23 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

At the top of the show, we dive into the Ravens’ 36-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers (4:12). Ian goes to therapy to vent over Ravens fans already calling for the heads of John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. With the Ravens sitting at 4-4 halfway through the schedule, you’ll hear a lot of midseason assessments and assumptions on what the Ravens will do if they find themselves out of contention before the end of the season.

Also on the Ravens front, we react to the Ty Montgomery trade (24:58), go over Who’s Trending (27:21) and discuss some things to watch for on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers (33:10) in what’s being called a ‘must win’ game.

Up next, we welcome in this week’s guest, Bruce Posner of Terp Talk and CBS AM-1300 Baltimore (40:08). This interview was recorded hours before the University of Maryland Board of Regents announced that football head coach DJ Durkin will return as head coach following his May 29-led practice that left 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair dead from heat stroke. At the time of the interview we had no inclination of what would happen, but Posner had an itch that something was coming.

Following Bruce’s call-in, the guys react to Durkin’s reinstatement (1:02:15). This is a horrible look for the University and the state of Maryland, and it will hurt the school for years to come. The facts are still coming, the backlash has begun, and one thing is certain – this topic isn’t going away anytime soon.

Of course, we had to talk about the results of the World Series that saw Steve Pearce win MVP and left Manny Machado in an unimpressive 4-for-22 slump before he hits free agency (1:09:49). Hear the guys’ thoughts following the Boston Red Sox’ 4-1 series rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 23 (1:15:54).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille. For a limited time only on behalf on Charm City Bird Watch, you can receive a 10% discount off any entree dish when you tell your server or bartender the promo code ‘Charm City.’

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Podcast Episode 22: Justin Tucker’s missed PAT stuns Baltimore and Orioles let international talent slip away

Image Credit: The Forward 

Welcome to Episode 22 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

For the second time in four episodes, our guest this week is an employee from our sponsor, Seven Sports Bar & Grille in New Freedom, PA. This time, we welcome in Camden Williams, who works in the back of the house (3:37). Cam happens to be named after Camden Yards and he’s obsessed with football. We recorded our segment with Cam hours after the Ravens’ soul-crushing 24-23 defeat to the Saints, so you’ll hear plenty of raw emotion and reaction to Baltimore’s second defeat in three weeks. We’ll also go around the NFL to recap the top takeaways from week 7’s action.

Up next, McGraw and Schultz hop on the show to continue our assessment of the Ravens’ latest loss (33:14). Who was to blame – Justin Tucker, the offense, or the defense? Are the Ravens still a legit contender, or are we seeing more of the same from the previous three seasons? How will the Ravens’ defensive line make up for the loss of Willie Henry (45:55)? The Ravens are 4-3, and face a tough schedule ahead. The clock is ticking, and if the Ravens go 1-1 or 0-2 before their week 10 bye, the pressure will keep mounting.

As always, we’ll tell you Who’s Trending (48:32) after the Ravens’ most recent performance, and we’ll go over some things to watch for on Sunday (1:07:32) as the Ravens hit the road for the fourth time in five weeks for a 1:00 pm tilt with the 4-2 Carolina Panthers.

The World Series is underway, and there’s plenty of baseball talk on-tap for episode 22. We begin with the Orioles, who despite leading MLB in international slot money this offseason ($6.5 million), did not land three of the biggest international names in baseball – Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr, and Sandy Gastón. How in the world did the Orioles let this happen (1:15:20)? We then dive into the 2018 World Series, contested between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox (1:19:46). Will Manny Machado spark any drama against his old east coast rival, and who do we think will walk away as champions? All of this and more on this week’s podcast.

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 22 (1:25:07).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

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The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille. For a limited time only on behalf on Charm City Bird Watch, you can receive a 10% discount off any entree dish when you tell your server or bartender the promo code ‘Charm City.’ One possible entree combination, pictured above: Filet Mignon, Mac & Cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and a dinner roll!

 

Orioles extend losing streak to five after getting swept in Houston

The Orioles entered their second series of the 2018 season with a lot to correct but they ended up getting swept by the defending world champion Houston Astros, extending their losing streak to five.

Game 1 (6-1 HOU): After failing to score a run off of a starting pitcher in their opening series against Minnesota, the Orioles stumbled into Houston and embarrassed themselves on national television. The Astros home opener was full of festivities including the unveiling of a world series banner, but the fun didn’t stop there as the home team proceeded to put on a show for their fans.

Chris Tillman took the mound for the O’s and clearly didn’t have the command needed to retire a lineup of this caliber. To Tillman’s credit, he was able to work his way out of a couple jams in the first two innings. Going into the third, Tillman was still a ticking time bomb but the 29-year-old starter managed to instill a false sense of security by retiring Jose Altuve, J.D. Davis, and Josh Reddick on just eight pitches. Considering the environment and the back-to-back lead off doubles he surrendered in the first, Tillman had handled things pretty well. That was great for about 10 minutes and then things got ugly.

The Astros scored three runs in the fourth, exposing Tillman who had pitched a decent three innings despite not having his best stuff. Marwin Gonzalez got the big inning started with a lead off homer. Derek Fisher and George Springer followed that up with an RBI triple and single respectively to give the Astros a more comfortable lead.

With the Orioles bats still ice cold, that four run lead felt more like ten. Unlike this past weekend, there were certainly opportunities for the O’s to score runs and potential come back. Good patience in the second inning resulted in a two out bases loaded situation for the birds, but Caleb Joseph was not able to bring anyone home after lining out to first base.

A solo home run by Trey Mancini in the ninth ended the shutout but that would be the lone highlight for the Orioles in a night full of frustration.

Game 2 (10-6 HOU): Coming off of Monday night’s disappointing performance there was not a lot to be exited about. When you looked at the pitching matchup, things got even more grim. With Alex Cobb still working his way through an extended spring training stint, the Orioles turned to Mike Wright for an early season spot start. Wright had not started a game for the O’s since 2016 and proved to be unreliable in his relief efforts as well. Shaky pitchers are nothing new for the Orioles but with Justin Verlander getting the start for the Astros, there was a clear disadvantage on paper.

However, in true baseball fashion, Wright gave the Orioles a good chance to win by only surrendering three runs in five innings of work. The offense woke up in game two as well with the O’s only finding themselves down by one run at the time of Wrights exit.

The teams continued to trade runs as both managers dipped into their bullpen but a five run seventh inning would end up being the difference maker for the Astros as they picked up a 10-6 win.

A handful of Orioles batters had a great night at the plate that they hope will jump start their season in terms of offense. Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones both went 3-5 and combined to drive in four of the O’s six runs.

Runs were coming at much more of a premium for both teams resulting in a tight contest from start to finish. The Orioles struck first with a run in the first inning thanks to a miss play by Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. The 2017 MVP lost the ball in the sun and allowed Adam Jones to get on base with what should have been a routine out.

The Orioles had to scrap for their second run of the game as well. In the fourth inning the O’s had runners on first and second with Craig gentry coming to the plate. The outfielder proceeded to ground into what looked like an inning ending double play but made up for it by flashing his speed to beat out the relay throw. The lead runner, Danny Valencia, used this opportunity to round third and make a break for home plate, catching the Astros off guard once again.

Houston would tie the game up again in the sixth by getting their second run off of Bundy and then took their first lead the following inning with an RBI single. Miguel Castro entered the game after Bundy for his fourth inning of work this season. The 23-year-old reliever got two quick outs but walked Derek Fisher, who put himself in scoring position with a steal. Alex Bergman brought Fisher home with an RBI single and that would end up being all the offense necessary for the Astros to complete the sweep.

Up Next: Things won’t get any easier for the Orioles as the prepare to face the New York Yankees in a four game series this weekend. This will be the Orioles first look at the new Yankees lineup that features even more power hitters than last year. Certainly not the easiest team to face when you’re looking to correct some pitching issues.

Image credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images