Sunday, June 30, 2013
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 2013 Topps Orioles Team Set #BAL-17
I turned to Liz and wished out loud for an O's blowout win. I wouldn't say that I was confident in such a result, but there were some positive signs. The Zach Britton-David Phelps pitching matchup gave the home team a fighting chance, and the Yanks lineup has cratered. Jayson Nix batting second? Vernon Wells cleanup? $200 million doesn't buy much depth these days. We also took solace in the presence of fellow Birds fans immediately to our left and right.
Of course, the Orioles granted my wish in the first inning by hammering Phelps out of the gate. Five batters in, they had a 4-0 lead, courtesy of an Adam Jones RBI single and a towering three-run homer to the Baltimore bullpen by (all together now) Chris Davis. Two innings later, it went from a comfy lead to a laugher, as Chris Dickerson singled in a pair of runs and Ryan Flaherty knocked Phelps out with his own three-run clout to the flag court. The "Let's Go Yank-ees!" chants had been stifled almost before they could begin.
I spent the middle and late innings bonding with a boisterous fan sitting to my right. He was wearing an Adam Jones t-shirt, and had made a rare trip east from Frederick with his wife to see the game. They reserved a hotel room in the city in order to drink and be merry without worrying about getting back home safely. As my new pal treated me to a 16-ounce can of Natty Boh, he told me about his hazy memory of the Orioles' 1983 World Series win. He was only eight years old at the time, and didn't fully comprehend the reason for his mother's excitable dancing in the living room. October 16 just happened to be his mom's birthday, and he assumed that she got a really nice present. I guess she did, actually.
The Yankees got frisky enough to chase Britton and plate a couple of runs in the sixth inning, but when Davis stepped to the plate with Nick Markakis on first base and two outs in the bottom of the inning, the guy to my right assured the New Yorkers (and wannabe New Yorkers) in our vicinity that it would be 11-2 in a moment. Chris made good on that boast by launching a moon shot over the right field scoreboard for his 30th home run of 2013. Yep, it's still June.
Pedro Strop made his now-customary garbage time appearance in the ninth, but even he proved incapable of coughing up a nine-run lead so late in the game. The Yankees settled for one more run and an 11-3 loss. For me and my sister, vacation lasted a few more hours.