We continue our #ThrowbackThursday offseason series with a look at one of the top pitching milestones of the 2017 season.
On July 23, in the Orioles’ 9-7 comeback win over the eventual World Series champion Astros, closer Zach Britton locked down his 55th consecutive save to set a new American League record, which was previously held by Red Sox closer Tom “Flash” Gordon (54, April 19, 1998-May 31, 1999). Britton’s dominant streak continued until Aug. 21, when he converted his 60th consecutive save opportunity, but was snapped two days later in the O’s 8-7 walk-off win in 12 innings against the A’s. It ended the second-longest streak in major league history (the longest is still held by Eric Gagne with 84 consecutive saves from Aug. 28, 2002-July 3, 2004).
During this streak, which began in September 2015, Britton owned an impressive 1.14 ERA over 95 innings pitched and went a perfect 47-for-47 in save opportunities in 2016. He had not blown a save since Sept. 20, 2015.
You can catch this historic outing Tuesday, Nov. 14 on MASN at 7 p.m.
Here’s a look at the next week of “Orioles Classics” on MASN until our next #TBT post:
Thursday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m. - Although the O’s led 5-3 through seven innings in Game 4 of the 1970 World Series, Lee May’s three-run homer helped the Reds avoid a sweep with a 6-5 victory, their first and only win of the series.
Friday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. - World Series MVP Brooks Robinson and the Orioles crushed the Reds 9-3 in Game 5 to capture the series and redeem themselves from their loss to the Mets in the 1969 Fall Classic. It was the last World Series game until this season in which both teams had over 100 wins in the regular season.
Sunday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m. - The much anticipated opening day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards lived up to its expectations in Rick Sutcliffe’s complete-game shutout over the Indians on April 6, 1992. Dubbed “The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball,” OPACY is one of the most important ballparks in baseball (and sports) history, as it set off a revolution of new and improved stadiums attempting to replicate the character and fan-friendly atmosphere the O’s new home created.
Monday, Nov. 13 , 1 p.m. - On July 31, 1991, four O’s pitchers combined to no-hit the A’s in their 2-0 win at O.Co Coliseum. Right-hander Bob Milacki went six innings with three strikeouts and three walks until he was struck by a line drive from A’s leftfielder Willie Wilson. Relievers Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson went an inning apiece to preserve the no-hitter and tie the major league record for most pitchers to combine for a no-hitter (last done by the A’s Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers on Sept. 28, 1975, against the Angels).
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. - Oct. 6, 1991 was the end of an era for Orioles baseball, as the organization played their final game at Memorial Stadium. The season-ending 7-1 loss to the Tigers was relatively meaningless as the crowd of 50,700 was electric throughout the memorable goodbye ceremonies. To close out the 38-year history of Baltimore’s beloved concrete bowl, fans were entertained by a tuxedo-clad groundscrew, 119 Orioles players from all four decades trotting to their former positions as the “Field of Dreams” theme music played and long-time public address announcer Rex Barney’s “Thank You!” echoed throughout the stadium one final time before the O’s moved to their new home.
Wednesday, Nov. 15, noon - On the one-year anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s unforgettable 2,131st consecutive game played, Eddie Murray also entered the record books on Sept. 6, 1996, when he launched his 500th home run. At the time, Murray, who ranked among all-time leaders in nearly every offensive category, joined Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players in major league history to reach both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.