Friday, July 27, 2012
Vintage Fridays: Jim Hardin, 1968 Topps #222
a 17-0 blowout victory. Jim Hardin, less than two weeks shy of his 26th birthday, pitched one of the finest games of his career. He blanked Chicago and permitted just two hits, both singles by second baseman Bobby Knoop. The righthander struck out five and issued no walks, and even chipped in on offense with a three-run homer off of Gary Bell to give himself a 10-0 in the fourth inning. Home runs were the order of the day for the O's, as Boog Powell had a two-run shot and Frank Robinson added a pair and finished with five RBI. The Birds racked up 20 total hits on that early Sunday evening. Four players had three hits apiece: Don Buford, Paul Blair, Boog, and Davey Johnson. Perhaps the biggest surprise was light-hitting shortstop Mark Belanger's 4-for-5 performance. By brooming the Pale Hose out of Baltimore, the Orioles boosted their season record to 69-31 (a .690 winning percentage!) and increased their prohibitive American League East lead to 12.5 games. More than four decades later, this game still represents the greatest margin of victory by an O's team in a shutout win.