Monday, April 24, 2006
Baltimore at New York
There are a lot of ways to judge blowouts, what was the margin of victory? Did a position player pitch? On this day, however, the Orioles developed a new and innovative way of demonstrating they were blown out: can your team hit a grand slam in the eighth and ninth inning and still not even create a save situation? If the answer is yes, you're probably getting blown out. And on this day, the Orioles were getting blown out.
Although the O's started the day well with an Al Pilarcik home run in the top of the first, but that would be their last really good moment of the day, as the Yankee offense exploded in the bottom of the inning. Starter Jacks Fisher failed to get an out, and reliever Gordon Jones' first two batters (Elston Howard and Tony Kubek) homered, as the Yankees scored eight runs before recording an out, tying an American League record. By the end of the second inning, the Yankees were sporting an eleven run lead and the game could safely be defined as over.
In the eighth, with the score still 12-1; the O's rallied against Yankee starter Jim Coates. Batting with the bases loaded, Albie Pearson slugged a grand slam, closing the gap to a (somewhat) more reasonable seven runs. Apparently displeased with the O's insolence in attempting to mount a comeback, the Yankees turned their offense back on in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs to push the gap back to ten runs: 15-5 in favor of the home team.
Johnny James entered the game in the ninth for the Yankees and promptly loaded the bases with only one out. At which point Billy Klaus made him pay, driving the O's second grand slam in as many innings, and pulling them within six runs. Now, think about that for a moment. The O's had hit a grand slam in two consecutive innings, and still needed another grand slam, plus a two-run homer, just to tie the game. That's a blowout. As it happened, James would settle down, striking out the next two batters and putting this particularly impressive of a blowout to bed.