A Mets and Yankees game plus the Orioles's stay in first place

victory jump opening day 2014I remarked to my boys that this was my third Mets Stadium. Of course, I’m an Orioles fan for life but took a trip when small to Old Polo Grounds to see the Mets play in 1963 or so. All I recall was Pirates outfielder Donn Clendenon hit a homer that hit a woman in the stands.

And so I went to Shea sometime in the early 1980s and on Sunday it was Citi Field so see Bartolo Colon take on the visiting Giants. Sure, it’s a nice stadium and both Colon and Madison Baumgarten were pitching well. That was the good news for the Mets. After that, the Giants went to crush the Mets. We saw homers fly out of the place. Hunter Pence hit two shots. Baumgarner cruised. Read more about A Mets and Yankees game plus the Orioles's stay in first place

Brother Lo's big hit: beating the Angels this week

wpid-724px-bud_norris.jpgNo other way to describe the 1979 Orioles season than it was pure magic. Just one win in the last three games and it would have been perfect. So after breezing to the regular season title, the Orioles had to take on the California Angels to make it to the World Series. And that West Coast team had our old pals, Don Baylor and Bobby Grich along with a future Hall of Fame hurler, Nolan Ryan.

Game one in Baltimore pitted two Hall of Famers in fact, Ryan for the Angels and Jim Palmer for the Birds. Another future Orioles, Dan Ford hit Palmer for a solo homer to start the scoring. Rick Dempsey and Mark Belanger drove in runs in the third and this game was tied at 2-2. Read more about Brother Lo's big hit: beating the Angels this week

Cuellar's lost gem and losing two of three vs the A's

Speaking of gems, Mr. Mike Cuellar was one such gem. We (Orioles) stole him from Houston in a trade. And this special pitcher took the mound on Oct. 9, 1973. It was game three of the American League playoffs against the powerful Oakland Athletics.

This best of five series was knotted at 1-1. Jim Palmer had taken care of the A’s in game one.

Lefty Kenny Holtzman would pitch for Oakland in this day game on the coast. And big Earl Williams would put one over the fence early for early Orioles 1-0 lead. And Cuellar made the lead stand up. That is until the eighth inning. Joe Rudi’s clutch two-out single tied the game in the eighth. Read more about Cuellar's lost gem and losing two of three vs the A's

First-place Orioles at the all-star break

I see there is a photo Manny Machado in the most recent Sports Illustrated. Can’t wait to read the article on our first-place team in the AL East.

So it made me curious how did our great teams do in the past at the All-star break”?  Our first World Champion team (1966) was in a good spot. The Frank Robinson-led Birds were 30 games over .500 and a full 8 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers.
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That Bucky Dent homer and beating Boston this week

That 1978 Boston Red Sox club was loaded. Jim Rice had an incredible year leading the AL in homers (46), RBI’s (139), hits (213), triples (13) and also at-bats and games. Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans and Carlton Fisk all hit 20 or more homers. And that was the season that needed an extra game to figure out the AL East. Our Orioles had a solid year (90 wins) but were not in the pennant chase.
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Beating Yu Darwish and now the first-place Birds

wpid-2014-06-13-00-18-48-1116174156.jpegIt’s easy to forget that well-traveled Joe Saunders pitched a big game for Baltimore in 2012. It was the strange one-game playoff game in 2012. Clearly the Orioles were a big underdog in Texas on Friday Oct. 6th. The Japanese sensation Yu Darwish would pitch for Texas. But what the heck, we were back in the playoffs. And the O’s scored first. Nate McClouth reached on an error by Michael Young and JJ Hardy’s hit up the middle gave us a quick 1-0 lead.

And Saunders gave us some good pitching. It was 1-1 in the sixth when Adam Jones’ fly ball brought in the go-ahead score. It was soon 3-1 O’s when the new Nationals outfielder, McClouth delivered a run-scoring hit. Manny Machado and McClouth drove in runs in the two-run ninth. Jim Johnson had a shaky save the O’s had stolen one in Texas. Read more about Beating Yu Darwish and now the first-place Birds