Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tuesday July 19 vs the White Sox (2)

Opponent: Chicago White Sox
Game 1
Outcome: W
Score: 6-4
Streak: W1
Record: 30-63
Rank: 7th
GB: 25.5
Game 2
Outcome: L
Score: 0-2
Streak: L1
Record: 30-64
Rank: 7th
GB: 25.5

For the second time in less than a week the Orioles were playing a twi-night doubleheader to make up an earlier rain out.  This time it was to make up the game that had been rained out on May 6th.  And for the second time in less than a week Mike Boddicker started the first game and came away with the victory.  And once again the team that won the game had fewer hits than the team that lost.

The White Sox got on the board first in game one when Steve Lyons hit an RBI double in third inning to score Gary Redus.  It looked like Chicago was going to blow the game open in the fourth when they loaded the bases with nobody out but Boddicker got Fred Manrique to line out for the first out and then got Redus to hit a sacrifice fly for the second out.  After walking Lyons to reload the bases he got Harold Baines to fly out to end the inning.  The White Sox now led 2-0 though. 

The Orioles came back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring their first run on three consecutive singles by Ken Gerhart, Pete Stanicek and Cal Ripken.  After Eddie Murray grounded into a double play it looked like White Sox starter Jerry Reuss was going to get out of the inning with only giving up the one run but Mickey Tettleton clubed a two run home run to put the Birds up 3-2.  Baltimore added three more runs in the sixth inning on a three run shot by Jim Traber.

The White Sox added solo home runs by Redus and Daryl Boston in the seventh and eighth innings respectively but that was all they got against Boddicker and Tom Neidenfuer.  Chicago had 12 hits to the Orioles 9 but the Orioles scored five of their six runs on home runs.  This would be Boddicker's final start at home for the Orioles and his final victory in a Baltimore uniform.

The nightcap didn't go as well for the Birds.  The Orioles batters could get nothing going against White Sox starter Bill Long, who held them to four hits and two walks.  Only one Baltimore base runner made it into scoring position - Murray singled in the fourth with one out and moved to second on a ground out by Larry Sheets - Jim Traber left him stranded there when he flew out to end the inning.

Meanwhile the White Sox were only faring a little better against Orioles starter Jay Tibbs.  Lyons reached to lead off the fourth on an error by Traber at first base.  Baines singled to move Lyons to third and Lyons came in to score when Dan Pasqua ground into a double play.  The White Sox added a second run on a solo home run from Baines in the ninth, the only extra base hit of the game for either team.  Final score was 2-0 White Sox.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Monday July 18 - Off Day

The Orioles were off on July 18th before starting a series against the Chicago White Sox.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sunday July 17 vs the Twins

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Outcome: L
Score: 2-7
Streak: L4
Record: 29-63
Rank: 7th
GB: 25.5

The long balls kept coming in this game, at least for the Twins.  Gene Larkin hit a solo home run in the second inning to start things off and Greg Gagne added a two run shot in the third inning to run the score to 3-0.  When Kirby Puckett hit a two run shot in the fifth for the Twins' third home run of the day and sixth of the last two games the score was now 5-0.

The Orioles got a threat going in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with no outs on a Larry Sheets single, a Rick Schu walk and a Bill Ripken single.  But Pete Stanicek grounded into a double play although Sheets did come in for the Orioles' first run.  Cal Ripken hit a single to bring in Schu for the second run of the inning before Twins starter Frank Viola got Eddie Murray to fly out to end the inning.

The Twins added two more runs in the sixth without the benefit of a home run - the first time they'd done that since Friday night.  Al Newman and Dan Gladden started the inning with back to back singles and after being moved up by a Gagne sacrifice bunt both came in to score on a Randy Bush RBI single.  That made the score 7-2 which was how it ended.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Saturday July 16 vs the Twins

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Outcome: L
Score: 3-4
Streak: L3
Record: 29-62
Rank: 7th
GB: 25.5

Tonight almost all the runs were scored on home runs - three by the Twins and two by the Orioles.  The Twins kicked things off with a two run home run from Kirby Puckett in the top of the first.  Greg Gagne and Gary Gaetti hit solo home runs to lead off the fifth and sixth innings respectively to run the Twins lead to 4-0.  The Orioles got into the spirit of the night with a solo home run from Ken Gerhart in the bottom of the sixth and Mickey Tettleton added another one in the seventh.  The final run of the game was scored on an RBI single from Cal Ripken in the eighth that scored Gerhart.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Friday July 15 vs the Twins

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Outcome: L
Score: 2-4
Streak: L2
Record: 29-61
Rank: 7th
GB: 24.5

In a turnabout from their games against the Rangers the previous weekend, tonight the Orioles out hit the Twins 9 to 6 but ended up on the short end of the stick when it came to runs.  The Twins jumped on top of the Birds early with a two run home run by Gary Gaetti in the first inning.  They added two more in the top of the second when they loaded the bases with one out and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Dan Gladden and an RBI single from Mark Davidson.

The Orioles picked up a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Bill Ripken.  They added an additional run on a solo home run from Rick Schu in the seventh but that was all they got.  Orioles starter Jeff Ballard ended up with a complete game loss although he pitched pretty well after the first two innings - he only gave up two hits and no walks over the last seven innings.

The fact that half the runs scored on home runs tonight should be viewed as foreshadowing for the next two games.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Thursday July 14 vs the Twins (2)

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Game 1
Outcome: W
Score: 7-1
Streak: W3
Record: 29-59
Rank: 7th
GB: 24.5
Game 2
Outcome: L
Score: 2-8
Streak: L1
Record: 29-60
Rank: 7th
GB: 24.5

The Orioles kicked off the post All Star break portion of the season with a twi-night double header against the Twins.  One of these games was the makeup of the May 5th game that had been rained out.  Since it was Thursday, it was "Three Buck Night" and since it was "Three Buck Night", I was at the ballpark this night.  I was accompanied this evening by my friends Steve and Chris who had driven down from Delaware.  Unlike the last "Three Buck Night" double header I went to, I got to the ballpark in time to see all of both games.

And of course since I was there that night Mike Boddicker was on the mound for the Birds in the first game - this was his eighth home start of the season and the sixth one I had attended.  It would turn out to be the last time I saw him pitch for the Orioles but obviously I didn't know that yet.

Boddicker pitched a very good game that night although it started out a little shakey.   Mark Davidson and Randy Bush had back-to-back singles to start the game and Kirby Puckett followed with an RBI groundout that brought Davidson in from third.  But after a walk to Kent Hrbek Boddicker settled down and got out of the inning.

The Orioles got him off the hook in the bottom of the inning.  Ken Gerhart singled to lead off and Fred Lynn followed with a two run home run off of Twins starter Bert Blyleven.  Two batters later Eddie Murray teed off on Blyleven for a solo home run.  3-1 Orioles.

The Orioles added two more runs in the next two innings.  Cal Ripken had a sacrifice fly in the second inning and Murray led off the third with his second home run of the game.  Not to be outdone, Lynn hit his second home run of the game in the fourth inning - another two run shot that again brought in Gerhart. That made the score 7-1 in favor of the Birds.

And that's the way it finished.  Boddicker allowed just four more hits the rest of the game along with four walks.  The Twins made it interesting in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases with only one out and the top of the lineup coming up but Boddicker struck out Davidson and got Bush to fly out to end the threat.  Boddicker ended up throwing a complete game for the victory, his first one at home all season.

The nightcap didn't go as well for the Birds.  The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI double from Dan Gladden but the Orioles tied it up in their half of the inning on a Bill Ripken sacrifice fly.  A solo home run by Mickey Tettleton put the O's up 2-1 in the fourth inning but that lead was short lived.

Al Newman led off the top of the fifth with a single and John Moses followed with a double.  Greg Gagne flew out for the first out but Orioles starter Jay Tibbs hit Gladden with a pitch to load the bases.  Tibbs got Hrbek to strike out but then gave up a bases clearing triple to Gene Larkin to put the Twins up 4-2.  Bush was intentionally walked to set up a force play at second but Tibbs threw a wild pitch while pitching to Brian Harper which moved Bush to second (although Larkin remained at third).  Harper then doubled to bring in both Larkin and Bush.  Orioles manager Frank Robinson went to the bullpen and replaced Tibbs with John Habyan who promptly gave up another RBI double, this time to Steve Lombardozzi before getting Newman (who had started all this with a single) to ground out to end the inning.  The Twins sent ten men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

The Twins added another run in the seventh inning on a second RBI double for Harper.  Meanwhile Allan Anderson was mowing down the Orioles, holding them to only two hits and a walk over his last four innings of work before giving way to Juan Berenguer who pitched a perfect ninth for the Twins.  Final score was 8-2 and the Birds three game win streak (tied for their longest of the season so far) was over.

In other baseball news this day, the Red Sox fired manager John McNamara.  The Red Sox had been expected to contend this season but entered today with a record of 43-42, tied for fourth with the Brewers nine games behind the front running Tigers in the AL East.  McNamara had managed the Red Sox since 1985, taking them to World Series and one pitch away from a Championship in 1986.  He was replaced on an interim basis by third base coach Joe Morgan, who is not the Joe Morgan that you're probably thinking of.  The interim label didn't last long - the Red Sox won their first 12 games under Morgan and 19 of their first 20 under him to catapult into a first place tie with Tigers on August 3rd.  It was dubbed "Morgan Magic" and earned him the "permanent" job.

There's one other thing about this night I want to mention.  At some point during the game my friend Steve mentioned that he'd met a woman that he thought I should meet.  Her name was Sabra and she was into a lot of the same music that I was into and knew her way around a baseball game.  He promised to introduce us at some point.

Here's the game stories from the next day's Evening Sun.  There's a lot of talk in the article about Frank Robinson's ailing back.  I've been trying to determine if he missed any more games due to his back this season and I've not been able to confirm it so far.





Friday, July 13, 2018

Wednesday July 13 - Off Day

The Orioles continued to be off as it was the last day of the All Star break.