Breaking the streak in Chicago: White Sox-O's
I give myself some credit here. I could tell in warmups that Black Jack McDowell didn’t have it. It was a Friday night at Old Comiskey Park in Chicago and the Orioles were in town. Of course something was clearly different on April 29, 1988. My team had no wins to report. The once best team in the world was now 0-21. How pathetic.
But again, McDowell didn’t seem to have it as Cal Ripken Jr was on base in the opening frame when Eddie Murray drove him home with just his second homer of the season.
And wiry Mark Williamson made it stand up. The Orioles put another run on the board in the fifth as McDowell threw a wild pitch. In the seventh we blew the game open. Now I don’t recall this incident but Billy Ripken was beaned in the head and carried off the field. Evidently he was OK as we see him on television from time to time.
The final was 7-0. The incredible 21-game losing streak to start the campaign was history.
Now this White Sox team of 2014 is nothing to write home about. But they do have some decent front-line pitching. And Chris Sale, (one tough lefty) was on the mound when the series opened on Monday in Baltimore. And wouldn”t you know it, Adam Jones got us off to a good start with a two-run homer.
That lead held up until the Sox’ new star, Jose Abreu answered back with a homer knotting this game up at 2-2 in the sixth. When Abreu doubled in a run in the seventh, the Sox lead was 4-2. Caleb Joseph helped out with a solo homer in the 8th but we headed to our last at-bats in the ninth down by a run.
Yes, this was the game with the super ending. Slumping Chris Davis cracked the game-winner with two outs. It was tremendous. His 3-run shot set off a celebration.
On Tuesday, we were playing a team riding a 5-game losing streak. And again the O’s dug a hole. We were trailing 3-0 heading to the sixth. Steve Pearse homered breaking up the shutout effort. But again we headed to the ninth down 4-1. We mounted a threat in the ninth as Delmon Young singled in a run but Ryan Flaherty (WPIB) ended it with a double play grounder.
So the rubber game came up on Wednesday night and naturally it went to extra innings after a rain delay. Frankly our hitters did nothing until the eighth inning. That’s when one swing off the bat of Nellie Cruz tied this game up at 4-4. The power of the grand slam.
Both teams threatened in the extra frames. We got some help from a wild Daniel Webb as Nick Markakis chased pinch-runner David Lough (very fast) around to third base. One wild pitch later and the series was ours.