Friday, December 11, 2015

Championship: Orioles (69) defeat Giants (87) in six games

Game One: 69 Orioles 4, 87 Giants 3
WP: Watt (4-0)
LP: Garrelts (3-1)
HR: W Clark (9), Hendricks (2), B Robinson (6)

Game Two: 69 Orioles 8, 87 Giants 4
WP: McNally (6-0)
LP: Downs (2-1)
HR: Maldonado (2)

Game Three: 87 Giants 11, 69 Orioles 3
WP: Dravecky (5-1)
LP: Palmer (5-2)
HR: C Davis (8), Brenly (3), Mitchell (3), Blair (3)

Game Four: 69 Orioles 7, 87 Giants 1
WP: Hardin (3-0)
LP: LaCoss (2-1)
HR: W Clark (10), Blair (4), F Robinson 2 (8)

Game Five: 87 Giants 5, 69 Orioles 2
WP: Reuschel (8-3)
LP: Cuellar (3-2)
Save: Lefferts (4)
HR: Maldonado (3)

Game Six: 69 Orioles 4, 87 Giants 1
WP: McNally (7-0)
LP: Downs (2-2)
Save: Richert (6)
HR: Mitchell (4), Buford (5)

The 1969 Baltimore Orioles didn't win the World Series. They did win the 40-Years Tournament.

Game One of the championship series,played in Candlestick Park, was the best of the six games. The Orioles parlayed a pair of singles and a groundout into a first-inning run off Rick Rueschel. Mike Cuellar sliced through the Giants lineup for seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits in that space. Reuschel was almost as good, but Elrod Hendricks homered in the eighth for a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the eights, pinch-hitted Joel Youngblood led off with a walk. Rob Thompson singled, and Will Clark homered for a 3-2 Giants lead. Cuellar was replaced by Watt, who got the next three hitters. Scott Garrelts took the hill for the ninth, and he retired Frank Robinson and Paul Blair around a walk to Boog Powell. But Brooks Robinson homered to put the O's back in front, and Watt threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to nail down the win.

The Orioles controlled Game Two all the way. Powell, Blair and Hendricks hit doubles in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Candy Maldonado homered to narrow the margin, but the Birds scored an unearned run in the top of the third and plated three runs in the fourth on four singles, a stolen base and another Giants error. Don Buford and Davey Johnson each scored a pair of runs for the Orioles, while Blair drove in three runs.

The series moved to Memorial Stadium, and the Giants bounced back big. They scored three runs in the second (two unearned) off Jim Palmer and tacked on another in the third for a 4-0 lead. Palmer left after five innings, and the Giants ripped Tom Phoebus for six more runs in 1.6 innings. Bob Brenly drove in four runs and scored twice, while Dave Dravecky held the Orioles scoreless until Blair hit a three-run homer in the eighth.

Jim Hardin was superb for the Orioles in Game Four, allowing just four hits in seven innings. The O's got him three runs before Mike LaCoss retired a batter in the first -- doubles by Buford and Johnson followed by a homer by Frank Robinson. The Orioles tacked on single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Giants' sole run came on a Clark homer in the eighth off Pete Richert.

Reuschel got the series back to San Francisco by outpitching Cuellar in Game Five. Kevin Mitchell doubled home Thompson in the third inning, and Maldonado homered in the fourth. The Giants strung together three singles for a run in the sixth and added solo runs in the eighth and ninth, while the Orioles could get only two runs in the seventh on Chico Salmon's two-out pinch-hit single.

The Giants scored the first run of Game Six on a Mitchell homer. But that was all they got off McNally, Dave Leonhard and Richert. Kelly Downs held the O's scoreless until the sixth, when they bunched two singles, two walks and an error for two runs and the lead. Buford homered in the eighth, and Richert struck out three of the six men he faced to secure the save and the title.

Player of the Series: Paul Blair had seven RBIs and five runs while going 9-for-26.

Player of the Tournament: His 09 Reds were eliminated in the semifinals, but Joey Votto scored 20 runs and drove in 23 while hitting .340. There were players who scored more runs, and there were players who drove in more, but Votto carried an unlikely team to the Final Four.

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