Bob Gordon is in Game 3 of his riveting 1979 World Series replay. -TN
Ok, Game 3 was supposed to be in Pittsburgh. I filled out the scoresheet (courtesy of Paul Dylan’s One for Five blog) with the O’s as the visitor and Pirates as home team in the scoring slots. The lineups, well the Bucs went in the visitor slot and the Orioles in the home slots. Then I started rolling. It was about the top of the 3rdbefore the announcer in my head (Pirate fans are going wild, wait the Bucs should be hitting in the bottom half. Uh oh) noticed we were still in Baltimore somehow. Sadly, no adult beverages were involved. Just operator error. So game 6 – if needed – will be in Pittsburgh. (No really, I can’t make that mistake twice). For now, on with game 3 – In Baltimore
The Orioles couldn’t wait to take their cuts against Kison. Bruce was the first pitcher graded less than B they had seen. Kison had gone 5 innings in the LCS – and yielded no earned runs. Bruce got the best of the O’s over the first three innings. He retired 9 in a row, including striking out the side in the first. Martinez, fresh off his 2-0, 2.12 ERA LCS performance was on his game – retiring the first 6 he faced. Ed Ott led off the Bucco third with the first hit of the game. Garner singled to right field and Ott just beat Singleton’s throw in to third. Garner, hustling all the way, took second on the throw. O’s with the infield back – Earl thinking he can score off of Kison, but doesn’t want to give up a big inning. Martinez then struck out Kison and got the dangerous Omar Moreno on a pop up to short (Billy Smith playing there today in place of Kiko. Kiko woke up this morning with a weak bat…). Foli lined a fastball in to left center. Kelly, in center after his pinch homer in Game 2, cuts it off. Ott scores. Garner heading for home. Kelly’s throw is not in time. 2-0 Bucs and Foli at second on the throw home. Now Parker. The first pitch is drilled to left for an RBI single. Stargell coming to the plate. The pitch – taken for a strike by Stargell and Parker is heading for second. Skaggs’ throw is to the left field side of the bag and Parker is in scoring position. Stargell hits a rocket to Murray in short right. He flips to Martinez and the O’s come to the plate down by 3.
Pirate fourth: Milner skies to right. Madlock hits a bullet to left center. Off the wall and caroms away from Bumbry. Madlock in at third with a one out stand up triple. Earl keeps the infield back He’ll pitch to Ott rather than walking him to set up the DP. Ott hits a grounder to Dauer at second. Madlock running on contact will score and its 4-0 Pittsburgh. Bottom 4th and Kison is perfect so far. (oops). Pat Kelly rips that pitch to left center –base hit. Billy Smith grounds in to a 4-6 fielder’s choice and Singleton comes up. Kison fans him. Now Murray. Since we’re in Baltimore again, Walt has to put up with the Eddie chants again. And Murray responds with a drive past Stargell and in to the right field corner. He has an RBI double and the shutout is gone. Lowenstein hits a major league pop to Madlock and the O’s fourth is done.
Kison to lead off the 5th. Here’s a drive to right. Singleton going back…and it is over the wall in right. Home run Bruce Kison. Five runs in 3 innings for the Bucs – and Martinez is reduced to a Grade CZ. Martinez took care of the Buccos after that – yielding just a 2 out walk to Parker. Ayala grounds back to Kison for the first out in the home half. Kison kept his focus after his homer. Dauer singles to left center and up comes Skaggs. He grounded to short in the first. He must have practiced that play; here is another grounder to Foli. He hoovers it up, fires to Garner and on to Stargell. Double play.
Madlock reached on a Billy Smith error with one out. Ott singles him to third. Singleton’s throw cut off by Smith – Ott rounds first but stays there. Garner, 1-2 today with a run scored. Ground ball to Lowenstein, playing for DeCinces today. John makes the throw across the diamond and Kison will bat with 2 gone and 2 in scoring position. Big swing – pop up to short. Smith squeezes it and the inning is over. The O’s go in order in the 6th. Crowley hit for Martinez and fanned – no big hit for Terry today like his game tying PH double in Game 1.
Earl looks to Tippy Martinez to shut the Bucs offense down. The Bucs go in order in the 7th. Oriole 7th. They are starting to run out of time…. Singleton walks. Up comes Murray. Eddie with the only Oriole RBI today. He singles to right and Singleton is going to challenge Parker’s arm. The throw is wide of the bag and the O’s have 1st and 3rd no out. Lowenstein, with good power, 23 homers on the year. Kison is a little too careful and walks him – bases loaded, no out. Tie run to the plate. Ayala has bounced back to the box twice today. He was 4-4 in Game 2 with a double and homer. Tanner thinks Kison has his number…and Bruce fans him on 4 pitches. Dauer hits a fly to Milner in center. Fielding 1 (Moreno) against slow runner (Singleton); Skaggs due next, do you send him? It’s the world series, of course you do! And Singleton scores. Earl looks down the bench and sends Roenicke up to hit for Skaggs. He represents the tie run. He bounces right back to Kison. And we go to the 8th.
Martinez fans Stargell and gets Milner to line to center. (Stargell and Milner now both 0-4 today). Stoddard comes on and gets Madlock on a grounder to third. Kison faces pinch hitter Bumbry to start the 9th and retires him on a lazy fly to Parker. Two infield outs later, the O’s take the field. Bumbry goes to center and hits in the 9 slot, McGregor (Grade CZ) comes in to pitch and hits in Kelly’s lead off slot.
Bill Robinson hits for Kison (so that’s why he didn’t bat for Milner last inning…) with two gone in the 9th and walks. Moreno skies to Singleton and the O’s are down to their last outs. Tekulve (Grade B*YZ) gets three infield outs and the Bucs go home (no, really, this time they do go home) with a 2-1 lead. Game 4 pits Blyleven against Flanagan. They face each other in Game 1 and both came away without the decision.