Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dwight Evans, 1992 Fleer #6

Another frustrating loss for the Orioles last night. An early deficit, some struggles with runners on base, a late hiccup by the bullpen...it's a pretty familiar template already this year. But I guess you know it's not your night when the game plays right into Buck Showalter's hands like it did in the top of the eighth - bases loaded, two outs, tie game, Steve Pearce available to pinch hit for David Lough - and the game-breaking move doesn't work out. Pearce, who's surprisingly been the most valuable depth guy for the O's in 2014, worked the count to 2-2 before hitting a grounder to shortstop. Force at second, inning over, Rays take the lead in their next ups with a pinch two-run home run by the anonymous Jerry Sands off of sad-sack Brian Matusz. Just for the extra twist of the knife, Delmon Young swats a pinch homer of his own with one out in the ninth to ensure the one-run loss. Sigh.

Obviously, the best-case scenario for the Pearce at-bat would have been a game-breaking grand slam. I figured this sort of thing would be a rare occurrence, but I had no idea how rare. With a tip of the cap to Roch Kubatko, the Orioles haven't had a pinch-hit grand slam since July 26, 1991. It was Dwight Evans, batting for Sam Horn in the bottom of the seventh inning against Gene Nelson with the O's trailing Oakland 9-5. There were two outs, two runs already in for Baltimore, and Nelson had just replaced Rick Honeycutt as the third pitcher of the inning (Dave Stewart had been pulled earlier for Honeycutt). On a 1-1 count, Evans drove a ball deep down the left field line in Memorial Stadium for the equalizer. Sadly, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson conspired to allow three A's to score in the top of the ninth and the Birds lost 12-9. I guess that's just a good reminder that baseball retains its ability to frustrate and disappoint us through the years.

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