Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22 at the Royals

Opponent: Kansas City Royals
Outcome: L
Score: 1-13
Streak: L16
Record: 0-16
Rank: 7th
GB: 13.0

This one was over quickly.  Mike Morgan started for the Orioles and he gave up singles to the first six Royal batters.  Dave Schmidt relieved him and promptly gave up yet another single.  After finally getting an out (Mike Macfarlane grounded out) Schmidt then gave up back to back triples to Kurt Stillwell and Willie Wilson - a throwing error by Cal Ripken allowed Wilson to score as well.  The Royals sent 12 men to the plate in the bottom of the first and scored nine runs on nine hits with two Orioles throwing errors.  The Orioles offense was anemic that night as well - they only got three hits and one run against Royals starter Mark Gubicza who pitched a complete game.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: L
Score: 1-7
Streak: L15
Record: 0-15
Rank: 7th
GB: 12.0

The Orioles never really were in this game.  Scott McGregor made his third start of the season.  After giving up a couple of walks in the first two innings he ran into problems in the bottom of the third.  After getting Jim Gantner to line out to start the inning he gave up three consecutive singles to Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Glenn Braggs to give up a run.  Rob Deer and Glenn Brock then hit back to back doubles to bring in three more runs.  After Joey Meyer ground out to third Bill Schroeder then knocked McGregor out of the game with a two run home run.  Oswaldo Peraza struck out Dale Sveum to end the inning but the Brewers scored six runs.  They would score a seventh and final run in the bottom of the fourth when Gantner scored on a wild pitch by Peraza.  The Orioles scored their lone run in the top of the eighth when Terry Kennedy doubled and Rene Gonzalez knocked him in with a single.

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: L
Score: 6-8
Streak: L14
Record: 0-14
Rank: 7th
GB: 11.5

Another game that had promise and that tantalized a vision of the team winning.  The Brewers struck first with a three run home run by Glenn Braggs putting them up in the bottom of the second.  But the Orioles immediately came back and tied it up in the top of the third with five singles from Jeff Stone, Bill Ripken, Eddie Murray, Fred Lynn and Larry Sheets bringing in three runs.  They took the lead in the top of the fourth on a Bill Ripken sacrifice fly and increased the lead in the top of the fifth on a solo home run by Sheets.  But in the bottom of the fifth the Brew Crew came up with four runs on a solo home run by Robin Yount and singles by Greg Brock and Rob Deer, a walk to Ernie Riles, and two more singles by Jim Gantner and Dale Sveum.  An RBI single by Brock in the bottom of the sixth capped the scoring for the Brewers.  The Orioles got their sixth and final run in the top of the eighth when Dan Plesac committed a balk while pitching to Bill Ripken with Terry Kennedy on third.

With this loss, the Orioles broke the record for most losses at the beginning of the season that had been held by the 1904 Senators and the 1920 Tigers.  The new question was how much further would they take the record?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 19 at the Brewers

Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers
Outcome: L
Streak: L13
Record: 0-13
Rank: 7th
GB: 10.5

For a very brief time this evening, it looked the Orioles were going to be able to avoid tying the record for longest losing streak to begin a season.  The team "exploded" for three runs in the top of the first with back to back doubles by Eddie Murray and Rick Schu bringing in the Ripkens (and Murray).  The Brewers however came back with two in the bottom of the first and then took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the second courtesy of Paul Molitor's first home run of the season.  Another future Hall Of Famer Cal Ripken hit his first home run of the season in the top of the fourth to bring the Orioles within a run but a three run rally by Milwaukee in the bottom of the fifth (aided by errors by Joe Orsulak and Eddie Murray) but the game out of reach.  The teams traded single runs late in the game to bring the final score to 9-5.  And with that loss the Orioles had tied the record.

At 5:30 that morning in Baltimore, WIYY (98 Rock) morning DJ Bob Rivers went on the air like he usually did.  He announced that he would remain on the air until the Orioles won.  He thought it would only be a day or two.  He was wrong.

As you might expect, the Orioles losing streak had become a national story at this point.  I found a compilation of newscasts about the streak on YouTube.  The earliest newscast in the video covers today's game so don't watch it if you don't want spoilers for the next week or so's games.  The last segment on the video features Bob Rivers getting interviewed by Harry Smith and Mark McEwen of CBS This Morning.  McEwen's younger brother Kirk appears in the clip as he was the evening DJ on 98 Rock at the time.  Kirk would later be part of the morning team on 98 Rock as part of first Kirk, Mark and Lopez and later Kirk, Mark and Speigel before leaving the Baltimore market for a few years.  He's back on 98 Rock now as the afternoon drive time DJ.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18th - Off Day

The Orioles had the day off on April 18th before embarking on their longest road trip of the season - a 13 day, 12 game, four city trip that would take them to Milwaukee, Kansas City, Minnesota and Chicago.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17 vs the Indians

Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Outcome: L
Streak: L12
Record: 0-12
Rank: 7th
GB: 10.5

A fairly unremarkable game.  The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Dave Clark singled Brook Jacoby in.  The Orioles tied it up in the bottom of the third (a Joe Orsulak ground out scored Terry Kennedy) but the Tribe went ahead for good in the top of the fourth by scoring two more runs (Mel Hall knocked Jacoby in on a ball Fred Lynn misplayed in right - Hall got credit for a double and went to third on the error and then scored on Cory Snyder's sacrifice fly).  They scored another run in the seventh when Jay Bell brought Hall in with a groundout.  

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16 vs the Indians

Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Outcome: L
Streak: L11
Record: 0-11
Rank: 7th
GB: 9.5

This was an incredibly frustrating game.  Mike Morgan pitched an absolutely beautiful game.  He scattered two hits and two walks in nine innings.  No Indian batter made it to second base while Morgan was on the mound.  Unfortunately the Orioles batters couldn't do much better against Greg Swindell.  They rallied in the bottom of the ninth when Fred Lynn and Eddie Murray hit back-to-back singles to start the inning.  But the inning ultimately ended with the winning run stuck on third as Rick Schu flew out for the third out.  The Indians took the lead in the top of the eleventh when Cory Snyder (who had reached on a walk) scored on Willie Upshaw's single off Dave Schmidt. 

The Orioles made it interesting in the bottom of the 11th.  Bill Ripken led off the inning with a single off of Swindell who was still in the game after 10 innings(!).  Swindell got lifted for Doug Jones who got Jim Traber to hit into a fielder's choice for the first out.  Eddie Murray followed with a double to right field that Traber stopped at third on.  Frank Robinson inexplicably did not pinch run for Traber until after Murray's double, bringing in Rene Gonzalez who could not help but be faster than Traber.  After Cal Jr lined out to Jones for the second out, Larry Sheets was intentionally walked to load the bases.  Terry Kennedy came in to pinch hit for Rick Schu and struck out to end the game.

That's three straight nights of one-run losses that the Orioles simply could not get a break in.  It would be another week before they'd get that close again.