As Hanukkah begins and Christmas arrives, feeling festive is par for the course. Summers here the past few years, not so much. Better days lie ahead for our Orioles, we know, but waiting for the Birds to return to contention feels a lot like waiting for Santa Claus. We know he’s coming, but the clock just won’t move fast enough.
There’s no pennant under the tree this year, but MASN can give you a sleighful of O’s victories to remember in this week’s edition of “Orioles Classics,” including two that led to a world title.
So while visions of future championships dance in your head, enjoy these ghosts of seasons past.
Thursday, Dec. 19 - 7 p.m. - Mike Boddicker was an absolute beast in 1983, winning 16 games in the regular season on a 2.77 ERA. He threw a complete-game shutout against the White Sox in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series that year. So the O’s has good reason to be confident when he took the hill at Memorial Stadium for Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 12. Boddicker went the distance again, holding the Phillies to one run on just three hits. John Lowenstein went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the Birds’ 4-1 victory, which tied the series at a game apiece.
Friday, Dec. 20 - 9 a.m. - The 1983 season was the last time the Orioles won all the marbles, but the club has enjoyed some historic moments since then. One of them came on July 23, 2017, when Zack Britton, who had recently come off a long stint on the injured list, set a new American League record for consecutive saves in a 9-7 victory over the Astros, who that year would go on to win the World Series. Mark Trumbo homered and doubled. Rookie Trey Mancini had two RBIs.
Sunday, Dec. 22 - 4:30 p.m. - Any win is sweet, but it always seems a little tastier against the Yankees. And when beating the Bronx Bombers clinches a playoff berth, well, that’s just as sweet as an Adam Jones pie. On Sunday, Oct. 2, the final day of the 2016 season, the Yankees and Orioles would play the rubber game of a three-game series at Camden Yards. The Birds, locked in a four-way race for two wild card spots, got clutch performances from batterymates Kevin Gausman and Matt Wieters - who homered twice - in their 5-2 win.
Monday, Dec. 23 - 12:30 p.m. - Any lingering doubts about Manny Machado’s star power were blown to bits on Aug. 18, 2017. And the explosion at Camden Yards left the Angels stunned. To be fair, the ball was flying in general that night. The visitors had five homers off O’s starter Jeremy Hellickson. But Machado made everyone forget them, homering three times, including a ninth-inning grand slam that turned a 7-5 deficit into an instant 9-7 Orioles win.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 - 1:30 p.m. - Machado made a nice major league debut on a Thursday in August 2012, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run in a loss to the Royals. The following day, though, was the kid’s real coming-out party. On Friday, Aug. 10, the third baseman, batting eighth in the order, homered twice and delivered four RBIs as the O’s evened a four-game series. Starting pitcher Miguel González completed eight innings in the Orioles’ 7-1 win.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 - 7 p.m. - The 1983 World Series, tied at a game apiece after a split in Baltimore, shifted to Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium for Game 3 on Oct. 14. Jim Palmer, coming on in relief of Mike Flanagan in the fifth inning, got credit for the win as the Orioles edged the Phillies 3-2. Tippy Martinez notched a save, and Sammy Stewart held the home team hitless in the seventh and eighth for a hold, before that stat was a thing. Solo homers from Gary Matthews and Joe Morgan had the Phillies ahead going into the sixth. That’s when Dan Ford took Steve Carlton deep. In the top of the seventh, Benny Ayala plated Rick Dempsey, and Ayala scored as Ford reached on Iván de Jesus’ error.