Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tuesday September 20 at the Yankees

Opponent: New York Yankees
Outcome: L
Score: 1-7
Streak: L2
Record: 52-97
Rank: 7th
GB: 33

No way to really sugar coat tonight's game - the Orioles got slapped around pretty well by the Yankees bats and New York starter Rick Rhoden was able to keep the Baltimore bats from doing muc of anything.  The Yankees got on the board first in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Ken Phelps but really put themselves in control in the game on back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning.  The first one was a three run shot from Jack Clark which was followed by a solo (obviously) shot by Phelps.  The Yankees led 5-0 after five.

Craig Worthington led off the sixth with a solo home run for the Birds to make it 5-1 but the Yankees got two more in the eighth inning on an RBI ground out with the bases loaded by Don Slaught followed by an RBI single by Rafael Santana.  Meanwhile Rhoden ended up pitching a complete game giving up just the one run on five hits and a walk en route to his 12th win of the season.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Monday September 19 at the Yankees

Opponent: New York Yankees
Outcome: L
Score: 2-3
Streak: L1
Record: 52-96
Rank: 7th
GB: 32

It had been a little more than three months since the last time the Orioles had faced the Yankees and New York's situation had changed quite a bit in the meantime.  When the Orioles lost to the Yankees back on June 12th the Bronx Bombers had been in first place with a 38-21 record and a two game lead over the second place Tigers.  The Yankees now were in fourth place with a 78-70 record, 6 1/2 games behind the first place Red Sox.  Lou Piniella was now the manager, having replaced Billy Martin in late June.

Pete Harnisch was making his second major league start for the Orioles tonight and it went slightly better than his first outing.  He got behind 3-0 after three innings after a Wille Randolph RBI single in the second and a Jack Clark two RBI double in the third but worked out of bases loaded jams in the fifth and sixth innings without giving up any further runs.  Meanwhile a pair of RBI singles - one by Cal Ripken in the fourth and the other by Pete Stanicek in the fifth - brought the Birds to within a run of tying the game.   But ultimately they fell short.  Dave Righetti came in in the ninth inning and notched his 23rd save of the season by striking out Eddie Murray, Butch Davis and Mickey Tettleton to end the game.

I spent the evening at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia at the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! concert.  I got to see Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Bruce Springsteen.  It was a pretty good show but way too big of a venue - I'm not a big fan of stadium concerts and JFK Stadium was probably the largest stadium I've ever seen a concert in.

One other significant event this day - out in California my sister gave birth to a little girl.  Sarah was the first grandchild for my parents and was born on my grandmother's 76th birthday.  Earlier this year Sarah gave birth to a little boy who was the first great-grandchild for my parents.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sunday September 18 at the Tigers

Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Outcome: W
Score: 2-0
Streak: W1
Record: 52-95
Rank: 7th
GB: 32

This afternoon's starting pitcher for the Orioles was the third starter who made their major league debut with the Birds this month.  Bob Milacki had been the Orioles second pick in the June 1983 draft (secondary phase).  He didn't start pitching in the minors until 1984 and had mixed results for his first couple seasons.  He started 1988 with Double A Charlotte and went 3-1 in five starts before being promoted to Triple A Rochester and going 12-8 in 24 starts with the Red Wings. 

Milacki's debut was something to write home about - he went eight innings and only gave up one hit - a double to Tom Brookens in the third inning.  He struck out four and walked four.

A Pete Stanicek solo home run in the sixth inning gave the Birds the lead and an RBI single by Ken Gerhart in the seventh made the lead 2-0.  Tom Neidenfuer relieved Milacki in the ninth inning and got his 18th save of the year.

The win snapped the Orioles' five game losing streak.  It was the second five game losing streak they had had this season - the two streaks were tied for the longest losing streak the Birds had since they had opened the season 0-21.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Saturday September 17 at the Tigers

Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Outcome: L
Score: 3-7
Streak: L5
Record: 51-95
Rank: 7th
GB: 32

The Orioles scored first tonight, getting on the board with two runs in the first inning.  With one out Brady Anderson tripled and scored on Cal Ripken's ground out.  Eddie Murray then doubled and came around to score on Larry Sheets' single.

Mark Williamson had started the game for the Birds and pitched pretty well, giving up only three hits and a walk over five innings.  The problems for Baltimore started after he came out of the game before the sixth inning.  Don Aase came in and had nothing.  He walked Dave Bergman to start the inning and Dwayne Murphy followed with a single.  Bergman then scored on Alan Trammell's single.  Orioles manager Frank Robinson went back to the bullpen and brought in Gregg Olson.  Olson almost got out of the inning unscathed.  He struck out Fred Lynn for the first out of the inning, then got Matt Nokes to ground into a force out of Trammell at second while Murphy moved to third base.  But with Darrell Evans at the plate Olson got called for a balk which brought Murphy in with the tying run.  Olson got Evans to ground out to end the inning.

Olson ran into problems in the next inning.  Chet Lemon led off with a double and moved to third on Tom Brookens' ground out.  He got Pat Sheridan to ground out for the second out before walking both Bergman and Murphy to load the bases.  Trammell then lined a single to bring in Lemon and Bergman and move Murphy to third.  The Tigers were now up 4-2.  The Orioles went back to their bullpen and brought Mark Thurmond in to pitch to Lynn - a somewhat gutsy move since Lynn had hti a game winning home run against Thurmond the night before.  But the Thurmond-Lynn rematch ended up unresolved - Murphy attempted to steal home and was thrown out for the third out of the inning.

The Birds went to Doug Sisk for the eighth inning and he walked Lynn.  Nokes sacrificed Lynn to second with a bunt, bringing up Evans who was intentionally walked.  Lemon then put the game out of reach with a three run home run.  It was now 7-2 Tigers.

Eddie Murray led off the ninth inning with a home run and the Orioles managed to load the bases against Tigers reliever Willie Hernandez (who had gotten the win the night before on only one pitch) but Mike Henneman came in and got Pete Stanicek to ground out to end the game.  Olson ended up with the loss - it was the first of his major league career.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Friday September 16 at the Tigers

Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Outcome: L
Score: 7-8
Streak: L4
Record: 51-94
Rank: 7th
GB: 31

Two days after the Orioles were beaten by a former teammate on the mound (Mike Boddicker) they were victimized by another ex-teammate.  Fred Lynn, who had been traded to the Tigers just over two weeks earlier, went 3 for 5 tonight, scoring two runs and knocking in four.

Lynn and the Tigers drew first blood in this game.  After Gary Pettis lead off the bottom of the first with a triple and Luis Salazar was hit by a pitch, Lynn hit a ground ball to second baseman Bill Ripken that forced Salazar at second but also brought Pettis in with the game's first run.

The Tigers lead didn't last long.  Larry Sheets led off the second inning with a solo home run off Tigers starter Jack Morris.  Morris would run into more trouble in the third.  After Bill Ripken flew out to start the frame, Joe Orsulak singled and came around to score on Brady Anderson's double.  After Cal Ripken walked, Eddie Murray came up and connected for his 26th home run of the season - a three run shot that put the Birds up 5-1.  The home run knocked Morris out of the game after 2 1/3 innings - Tigers manager Sparky Anderson went to the bullpen and brought in Paul Gibson who got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.

The Tigers got a run back in their half of the third off the bat of Lynn again.  Two batters after Pettis led off the inning with a double, Lynn hit a single that brought him in from second.  The Orioles though scored another run in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Anderson, keeping the Birds lead at four runs.

The Tigers started coming back against Orioles starter Jeff Ballard.  Larry Herndon led off the fourth with a home run.  Two batters later Tom Brookens tripled and then came into score on Jim Walewander's sacrifice fly.  The O's lead was now only 6-4.

In the next inning the Tigers tied the game up and Lynn was involved of course.  He singled with one out and then scored when Dwayne Murphy followed with a two run home run.  The blast knocked Ballard out of the game.  Jay Tibbs came in to relieve him and like Gibson a little earlier he got out of the inning without any more damage.

The game remained tied at six until the top of the ninth.  With one out, Anderson hit his second double of the game and moved to third when Tigers shortstop Salazar misplayed the throw from the outfield.  Cal Ripken was intentionally walked and Eddie Murray hit a ground ball to first baseman Dave Bergman that looked like it was going to be an inning ending double play,  Bergman threw the ball to Salazar covering second to force Ripken but Salazar threw the ball away for his second error of the inning - Anderson scored the go-ahead run and Murray ended up at second.  Sparky Anderson went to his bullpen again and replaced Mike Henneman with Willie Hernandez who got Sheets to ground out on his first pitch to close out the inning.

I'm curious now about a decision that Orioles manager Frank Robinson made going into the bottom of the ninth.  Or rather a decision he didn't make.  With a one run lead I would have expected him to have brought in Tom Neidenfuer, the closer, to close out the game.  He didn't though.  He left Mark Thurmond on the mound.  Thurmond had relieved Tibbs in the seventh and hadn't given up any hits although he did walk two batters in the ninth.  I'm not sure why Robinson didn't bring in Neidenfuer though.

Of course, the way 1988 went for the Orioles it probably didn't matter.  Salazar led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and Lynn completed his night of tormenting his former team by crushing a two run game winning home run to deep right field, making the final score 8-7.  Willie Hernandez got credit for the win after throwing only one pitch.

Sabra and I went out this evening to the Power Plant in Baltimore which at the time was a night club - it's now a Barnes & Noble.  I was able to win a free beer by knowing that Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch were the answer to the question "Who are the two pitchers who made their big league debuts this month for the Orioles?"  It's nice that occasionally paying constant attention to this stuff pays off...

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thursday September 15 - Off Day

The Orioles were off on this day as they prepared for a three game weekend series in Detroit.  This would be the last scheduled off day for the team this season.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Wednesday September 14 at the Red Sox

Opponent: Boston Red Sox
Outcome: L
Score: 3-4
Streak: L3
Record: 51-93
Rank: 7th
GB: 30.5

Tonight was the Mike Greenwell show.  The Red Sox left fielder went 4 for 4, hitting for the cycle and scoring three runs.

The Red Sox starting pitcher this evening former Oriole Mike Boddicker who had been traded to Boston back at the end of July.  This was Boddicker's first start ever against his former team.  He had a bit of a rough going early on.  With one out in the second inning he loaded the bases by walking Larry Sheets and Mickey Tettleton and giving up a single to Jim Traber.  Rick Schu then came through with a single that brought in Sheets and Tettleton to put the O's up 2-0.  Boddicker struck out Bill Ripken and got Joe Orsulak to ground out to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs.

Greenwell led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run to cut the Birds' lead in half.  Boston pulled ahead a couple innings later.  After Dwight Evans struck out to open the fourth, Greenwell hit a shot into the right field corner that bounced into the stands for a ground rule double.  Ellis Burks followed with a single that moved Greenwell to third.  Burks then stole second with Jim Rice at the plate.  Rice hit a sacrifice fly that scored Greenwell with the tying run and then Larry Parrish put the Red Sox up by a run when Burks scored on his single.  But the Orioles came back in the top of the fifth, tying the game at 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by Eddie Murray that scored Brady Anderson (who had been acquired from Boston in the Boddicker trade).

Boston went up for good in the sixth inning.  Greenwell led off the inning with a ball that was misplayed in deep left-center field by Sheets.  Greenwell ended up on a third and was given credit for a triple.  He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Burks to put the Red Sox up 4-3.

Greenwell led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to complete his cycle but for the first time in the game he failed to score. 

Boddicker ended up going seven innings against his former team tonight, giving up three runs (only two of which were earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out five.  He got his 12th win of the season - it was his sixth win since joining the Red Sox.

Here's a YouTube clip showing Greenwell's four hits from that night:

My friend Steve had moved up to Boston at the beginning of the month and was at this game.