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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Birds Get Wings Clipped Royally


It was supposed to be a bright and sunny weekend in Baltimore but after Friday night's game, the clouds moved in quickly and rather harshly.  
Baltimore's fans were excited to see the Royals come to town. The Royals were struggling after having won their division the last two years. Although it was still early, there didn't seem to be that cohesiveness that normally surrounded their team. And the Orioles, although off to a slow start were still hoping to improve upon their three straight years of second place finishes. Indeed the fans were excited, especially after the opening game of the series.... 

Game 1 - Jim Palmer was still getting knocked around giving up 11 hits to KC.  It was only the base running blunders that kept the game in check for Baltimore. Dempsey threw out 3 would be base stealers and Harlow gunned down Brett as he attempted to score on a shallow flyball.  Dennis Leonard for the Royals didn't bring his "A" game to the park either as Baltimore struck in the 2nd inning for 2 runs behind back to back doubles  by DeCinces and Smith, followed by a single by Dempsey.  The O's scored 3 more times in the 7th inning with DeCinces and another double by him involved.  Both pitchers completed what they started, but it really wasn't pretty for either one of them.

There was joy in Baltimore and the fans went home with their guys being the winners.  The sky was clear, the stars were bright and although the weather forecast was for a sunny weekend there appeared to be a cloudy haze moving in.

Game 2 - The sun was shinning brightly right up until game time and then the clouds came in.  Top of the 2nd inning, Cowens doubles down the right field line, Flannagan coaxes Otis and Wathan into ground outs, although Cowens moved to third. Porter then greeted Flannagan with a first pitch line drive single into right field. KC 1-0. Flannagan and Splitorff exchanged pitches yielding goose eggs until the top of the 7th when Cowens struck again, this time with a single into right field. Otis popped out, Wathan forced Cowens at 2nd. Porter singled to right, Wathan stopped at 2nd but Patek drove him home with a sizzler into leftfield. KC 2-0. It was calm until the 9th when Porter barely put one over the right field wall. KC 3-0. Splittorff completed his shutout and it seemed it was just a bit darker over head.

Fans are fickle people and the amazing amount of joy just the night before had turned to, "the bums just can't hit, even if we get a decent pitched game....they just can't hit". It was heard everywhere as the fans filed out of the stadium. The good news was, tomorrow is another day, perhaps redemption was near.

Game 3 - Dennis Martinez was on the mound today, 2-1 with a sub 3.00 ERA and the day appeared to be bright. The sun was turned off quickly though, as the Royals put 4 on the board in just the top of the 2nd inning. Frank White put the finishing touch on the inning with a two run homer to left center. Porter singled home a run in the top of 5th for KC making it 5-0, but the O's put one back on the board in their half of the inning Dempsey doubled, advanced to 3rd on a single and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Bumbry. KC 5-1.  Martinez entered the 7th inning but never was able to get the first out before being relieved by Kerrigan. Although the Royals only managed two hits in the inning, one a triple by Cowens, they scored two runs and KC now led 7-1. Busby tired in the 7th inning but nothing came of it for the O's and the Royals brought in the Bird(man) to pitch the 8th and 9th. The O's did nothing against him, but the Royals continued their run scoring ways by putting 3 more runs on the board. Kerrigan, again looked bad, and the Royals easily took advantage of the situation.  KC 10-1.

There was no reason to believe the O's were going to do anything this year but struggle, heck they can't hit, the pitchers can't pitch and why in the heck is this Weaver guy still running the show?? He can't produce a winner....the fans just shook their heads.. Indeed it was a cloudy and dreary weekend, even though the sun was shinning bright. The O's had become a .500 ballclub and the fans weren't happy.

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