Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We haven't won a series since 1979....

Since "We Are Family" in 1979,....
the city of champions has yet to win a post season series. Just to put this into perspective every MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL team has won at least 1 series (exceptions to Tampa Bay & Texas). The Pirates will begin their 2008 season, 29 years removed from their last playoff appearance. I guess it is time to end the drought!! The Orioles won 102 games in the regular season, but the Pirates would be best remembered, both for winning the World Series and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" as their theme song.
Baltimore got off to a great start, knocking out Bucs starter Bruce Kison on their way to five runs in the first inning of Game 1. From that point the Pittsburgh bullpen was brilliant, but the Pirates could score only four runs off O's starter Mike Flanagan, who went the distance for a 5-4 victory. Game 2 was tied 2-2 until the ninth, when Manny Sanguillen's RBI single gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead. Submarining reliever Kent Tekulve was perfect in the bottom of the inning, and the Series was even.
The Fall Classic shifted to Pittsburgh for Game 3, but the Orioles didn't seem to mind, scoring five runs in the fifth on their way to an easy 8-4 decision. Shortstop Kiko Garcia led the way with four hits and four runs batted in. In Game 4, the Orioles trailed 6-3 until the eighth, when they exploded for six runs. Final 9-6, Baltimore.
At that point, with the O's leading the Series three games to one, the Baltimore bats went quiet. In Game 5, the Pirates topped the Orioles 7-1, Jim Rooker and Bert Blyleven teaming up for a six-hitter. In Game 6, John Candeleria and Tekulve shut out the O's, 4-0, to force a Game 7.
And in Game 7, the Orioles could manage but one run against a quartet of Pirate pitchers, while Pirate hitters came up with two runs in the sixth on Willie Stargell's two-run homer, and two more in the ninth for insurance. Tekulve pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save of the Series, thus clinching the championship.

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