Sunday, August 19, 2018

Friday August 19 vs the Angels

Opponent: California Angels
Outcome: W
Score: 3-1
Streak: W2
Record: 41-80
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

Kind of an odd first inning tonight - both teams scored a run with only getting one hit and neither hit was a home run.  Devon White led off the game for the Angels with a double and went to third on a fly ball by Mark McLemore.  This allowed him to score on Wally Joyner's ground out.  In the Orioles half of the inning they got a lead off triple by Joe Orsulak.  A fly ball to center from Brady Anderson was not deep enough to score him but a ground ball by Cal Ripken that Jack Howell couldn't handle at third did allow him to score the tying run.

The Orioles went ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth.  Orsulak doubled to start the inning and Anderson put down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third.  After a walk to Cal Ripken Eddie Murray singled to bring in Orsulak with the Birds' second run of the night.  Mickey Tettleton walked to load the bases and Fred Lynn followed with a ground ball to first baseman Joyner that the Angels were not able to turn a double play on although Tettleton was forced at second.  On the play Cal scored to put the Birds up 3-1.

The Angels had their only other threat of the game in the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs on a Thad Bosley double, a Dick Schofield walk and a Darrell Miller hit-by-pitch.  But Mark Williamson came in to relieve Orioles starter Dave Schmidt and struck out White to end the threat.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Thursday August 18 vs the Athletics

Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Outcome: W
Score: 10-1
Streak: W1
Record: 40-80
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

I was at this game - it was "Three Buck Night" after all - but I don't have a scorecard from it.  I have no idea why not.

It was a good night to be out at the stadium.  The Orioles got off to a roaring start, scoring five in the bottom of the first of Oakland starter Bob Welch.  Welch was having issues with his command this evening as he walked Brady Anderson and Fred Lynn to start the game.  Cal Ripken followed with a double to knock both of the base runners in.  Welch then walked Eddie Murray and gave up a single to Jim Traber to load the bases.  Ripken scored on a sacrifice fly by Larry Sheets and a single by Terry Kennedy brought Murray in.  After Rene Gonzales struck out Bill Ripken lined a single to left that brought Traber in with the fifth run but Kennedy was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Oakland got on the board in the fourth on a solo home run from Mark McGwire but the Birds buried the A's in the bottom of the inning.  With one out Lynn launched a solo home run.  Cal Ripken followed with a single and Murray then walked.  Traber hit an RBI double scoring Ripken and knocking Welch out of the game.  Rick Honeycutt came into pitch and he got Sheets to ground out for the second out.  But Kennedy singled to score both Murray and Traber and after Gonzales drew a walk Bill Ripken singled to score Kennedy with the tenth run of the game.  Anderson, who had flown out to start the inning, struck out to end it.

Meanwhile Orioles starter Jeff Ballard was throwing a pretty good game.  He held the potent A's lineup to only four hits although he walked five and hit a batter.  He ended up with a complete game victory, his second consecutive one after beating Milwaukee on the 13th.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Wednesday August 17 vs the Athletics

Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Outcome: L
Score: 4-10
Streak: L3
Record: 39-80
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

This was a game that the Orioles had a lot of opportunities in.  They outhit the A's 14 to 11 but only scored 4 runs.  They left 11 men on base and went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.  On the other hand Oakland had several opportunities to blow this game open that they didn't take.  They had at least one baserunner on in every inning until the ninth.  They ended up leaving 10 men on base and were only 3-12 with runners in scoring position.  Orioles pitchers issued 10 walks to Oakland hitters this evening - four of those walked batters came in to score.

The Birds got on the board in the bottom of the first.  Singles by Pete Stanicek and Eddie Murray and a walk to Mickey Tettleton loaded the bases with two outs and a single by Ken Gerhart brought in Stanicek and Murray to put the O's up 2-0. 

Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second but didn't score.  In the third however with one out Dave Henderson drew a walk.  Jose Canseco then tied the game up with a two run home run, his 32nd of the season.  The Orioles went back ahead in the bottom of the inning when Jim Traber had an RBI single that scored Cal Ripken.

The Athletics went ahead for good in the fifth.  Canseco doubled to lead off the inning and Mark McGwire knocked him in with a single.  Orioles pitcher Doug Sisk (who had relieved starter Gordon Dillard a couple batters after Canseco's home run in the third) then loaded the bases by walking Terry Steinbach and Don Baylor.  Glenn Hubbard then doubled, scoring McGwire and Steinbach and putting Oakland up 5-3.  Orioles manager Frank Robinson made his second pitching change of the game, bringing in Mark Thurmond who gave up a sacrifice fly to Luis Polonia that not only allowed Baylor to score but allowed Hubbard to move up to third.  After Walt Weiss grounded out for the second out, Tony Phillips walked and Henderson doubled, bringing in Hubbard to make the score 7-3 A's.  Finally Thurmond got Canseco, who had led off the inning, to fly out to end the damage.  Oakland sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs on four hits and three walks.

A solo home run by McGwire leading off the sixth inning extended Oakland's lead to 8-3.  They added a couple more in the seventh.  With two outs, Phillips tripled and Henderson walked.  Stan Javier came in to pinch run for Henderson.  Canseco hit a ground ball back to Thurmond who threw the ball down the right field line while throwing to first.  Phillips and Javier both scored and Canseco ended up on third.  It was now 10-3 in favor of the A's.

The O's got their first two runners on in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back singles from Murray and Tettleton - Murray going from first to third on Tettleton's hit.  Murray scored the Orioles fourth run of the game on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Larry Sheets but the Birds were not able to score any further runs.

I'm fairly confident that I must have flown home from Massachusetts this evening but I honestly have no memory of doing it.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tuesday August 16 vs the Athletics

Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Outcome: L
Score: 3-6
Streak: L2
Record: 39-79
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

This was one of those game that there's not a whole lot to say about it.  Oakland got on the board in the second by loading the bases on a single and a pair of walks and then scoring on a sacrifice fly, a single and another sacrifice fly.  They added two more in the fifth on a Dave Henderson single, a Jose Canseco double and a Mark McGwire single.  The A's added one more run in the ninth on Dave Henderson's leadoff solo home run.

Meanwhile Oakland's pitchers - starter Storm Davis and relievers Greg Cadaret and Dennis Eckersley - were holding the O's offense in check.  The Birds only got six hits and two walks all night.  Half of those hits and walks came in the sixth inning.  After Bill Ripken's leadoff single was erased on a ground ball double play off the bat of Joe Orsulak, Fred Lynn walked and Cal Ripken doubled.  Eddie Murray then hit a three run home run for the Orioles only runs of the evening.

I was still up in Massachusetts and spent the evening in the right field bleachers at Fenway Park with my friend Jeff.  Unfortunately the Mariners beat the Red Sox that evening 7-0

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Monday August 15 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: L
Score: 1-4
Streak: L1
Record: 39-78
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

This was one of those frustrating games that given a couple of breaks the Orioles could have won but breaks for the Birds were hard to come by in 1988.

Early on it looked like things might be going the Birds' way this evening despite them not scoring in the first inning for the first time in the four game series in Milwaukee.  Paul Molitor lead off the bottom of the first with a triple but the Orioles managed to keep the Brewers from scoring in the inning.  With one out Molitor tried to score on a ground ball from Robin Yount to Rene Gonzales at third but Gonzales threw him out at the plate.  Orioles starter Jose Bautista struck out Greg Brock to end the inning.

The bottom of the fourth however showed that it would not be the O's night.  Jeffrey Leonard and Yount hit back-to-back singles to start the frame.  Greg Brock hit a ground ball to Bill Ripken at second that he couldn't field properly - once the dust settled Leonard had scored and Yount and Brock were safe at second and first respectively.  Bautista got Rob Deer and BJ Surhoff to fly out for the first two outs of the inning but Jim Adduci hit a double that knocked in Yount and Brock before Jim Gantner grounded out to end the inning.  3-0 Brewers.

Meanwhile Ted Higuera had been pitching an outstanding game through the first six innings, giving up just one hit (a single to Joe Orsulak in the third) while striking out six.  Since Orsulak had been thrown out attempting to steal, Higuera had only faced the minimum number of batters in the first six innings.  He ran into some issues in the seventh however.  Pete Stanicek led off with a single and Bill Ripken got some redemption for his earlier error when he hit a ground ball that Milwaukee first baseman Brock misplayed, allowing Ripken to reach and Stanicek to make it to third.  Cal Ripken followed with a single, scoring Stanicek and putting runners on first and second with no one out for Eddie Murray.  But Higuera got Murray to ground into a double play and then struck out Mickey Tettleton to end the inning.  3-1 Brewers.

The Orioles mounted another threat in the eighth.  With one out Orsulak and Gonzales hit back-to-back singles which put the tying runs on base.  But Higuera got Ken Gerhart and Stanicek to fly out to end threat.

The Brewers would pick up another run in the bottom of the eighth.  Molitor reached on a throwing error by Cal Ripken to lead off the inning and two batters later he moved to second on a fly out by Yount.  Brock was intentionally walked to set up a force but a wild pitch to Deer allowed both runners to move up.  Deer then singled to score Molitor with Milwaukee's fourth and final run.  Mark Thurmond came on in relief of Bautista to get Surhoff to ground out to end the inning.  The Orioles went quietly in the ninth against Brewers reliever Dan Plesac and Milwaukee wrapped up the 4-1 victory.

I passed the evening in an interesting manner.  I was still in Massachusetts for training and I had discovered that Ellis Burks and Kevin Romine of the Red Sox would be signing autographs at a car dealership just over the state line in Nashua, New Hampshire that evening.  I went over, stood in line for about an hour talking to other Red Sox fans and got a baseball autographed by the two players.  I still have it:


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sunday August 14 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: W
Score: 11-9
Streak: W2
Record: 39-77
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

This was a wild one.  The Orioles took a commanding early lead but the Brewers fought back late and came close to tying it up.

For the third day in a row the Orioles took a lead in the first inning.  An RBI double by Eddie Murray and a two run home run from Joe Orsulak gave them a three run lead after the first.  A second two run shot - this time by Murray in the third - put the Birds up 5-0.

The Brewers scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third when an error by Cal Ripken allowed Robin Yount to reach base instead of being the third out - Dale Sveum scored from third on the play.  Ripken atoned for the error with a solo home run in the fifth to make the score 6-1.  The Birds added a couple more in the sixth on an RBI single by Rene Gonzales and an RBI ground out by Bill Ripken.  A two run home run by Jim Adduci in the bottom of the inning made the score 8-3 after six.

Things started to get interesting in the eighth inning.  In the top of the inning the Orioles added two more runs on a Bill Ripken RBI double.  But in the bottom of the inning the Brewers got four consecutive one out singles from Rob Deer, BJ Surhoff, Adduci and Jim Gantner to bring in a couple runs.  The Orioles replaced Doug Sisk (who had relieved starter Dave Schmidt the previous inning) on the mound with closer Tom Neidenfuer.  Neidenfuer gave up a run scoring single to the first batter he faced (Sveum) before getting Paul Molitor and Jeffrey Leonard to each ground out to end the inning.  The Orioles still had a comfortable 10-6 lead.

They padded the lead a little in the top of the ninth.  Mickey Tettleton and Larry Sheets hit singles to start the inning and Orsulak hit a ground ball to third baseman Molitor who threw to shortstop Sveum at second to force Sheets but Sveum made a bad throw to first which allowed Tettleton to score and Orsulak to reach second.  The Birds might have been able to get more that inning but Orsulak was thrown out trying to steal third and Gonzales struck out to end the inning.  The score was 11-6 Orioles.

Neidenfuer got Robin Yount to ground out to open the bottom of the ninth but ran into issues immediately after that.  Greg Brock doubled and Deer hit a two run home run to make the score 11-8.  Surhoff singled and then stole second, putting him in position to score when Adduci singled.  Gantner followed with a double to move Adduci to third.  Gantner represented the tying run on second with only one out.  Orioles manager Frank Robinson decided that after five consecutive hits it was time to relieve his closer and brought in Mark Thurmond.  Thurmond got Sveum to pop out and Molitor to fly out to end the game.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday August 13 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: W
Score: 5-0
Streak: W1
Record: 38-77
Rank: 7th
GB: 30

It was a somber day for the Orioles - Edward Bennett Williams, who had been the owner the team since 1980, passed away from cancer at age 68.  Williams was a high profile Washington lawyer who had represented many big name clients.  His connections to the powers-that-be were so numerous that at one point he was rumored to be Deep Throat, the source of information for Woodward & Bernstein in "All The Presidents Men" (which turned out to be Mark Felt).  Willams had been part owner of the Washington's NFL team from the 1960's to 1985 which was the source of some consternation in Baltimore.  It was feared that he would move the team to Washington, especially as he had removed "Baltimore" from the team's away jerseys.  As it turned out one of his last acts as owner was to sign a long term lease for the new ballpark that the state was building for it in in downtown Baltimore - what would become Oriole Park At Camden Yards.

Meanwhile in Milwaukee the Orioles shut out the Brewers 5-0 behind the pitching of Jeff Ballard.  Ballard threw a complete game shut out, holding the Brewers to just three hits (although he gave up seven walks!).

For the second day in a row the Orioles took a lead in the first inning - tonight Eddie Murray had an RBI double that scored Cal Ripken from first.  A sacrifice fly by Cal in the third scored his brother Bill with the second run and a Joe Orsulak three run home run in the seventh completed the scoring.

I was still up in Massachusetts for training.  I had finished the first class which had been Tuesday through Friday of the past week and had a second class that would be from Monday to Wednesday of the following week.  I spent the day bumming around Boston with my friends Chuck and Jeff (Jeff lived in the area but Chuck had come up from New Jersey for the weekend).  I don't remember completely what we did but I know that we went to the New England Aquarium and the Computer Museum.