Baltimore Orioles hoping for a repeat of May 2014 – not 1979


My goal with today’s headline is not to bring bad memories to the minds of Baltimore Orioles fans. However it’s tough for the Orioles to head to Pittsburgh to take on the Buccos without bringing up the 1979 World Series, in which Pittsburgh defeated the Orioles four games to three. That’s probably the reason why “We Are Family” doesn’t play over the Baltimore area radio waves so often! However the fact is that’s considered one of the better world series’ of all time, mainly because the underdog Pirates defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.

However there is some history between these two teams that’s a bit more recent. Of course at the beginning of the month the Birds swept Pittsburgh in a two-game set at the yard. A series which incidentally was meant to be played over two days in April, however due to a massive amount of rain settling on the city of Baltimore it was played in a doubleheader (which was also marred by rain) on Thursday, May 1st.

So the Orioles are hoping to invoke memories of that series as opposed to those of the 1979 fall classic. Those games earlier this year against Pittsburgh were games the Orioles might have had no business winning in the sense that the starting rotation wasn’t exactly performing up to par at the time. Withstanding Ubaldo Jimenez‘s rough start Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, the rotation has looked pretty good of late. Even on Saturday night in a losing effort, Bud Norris went deep into the game and allowed the Orioles a shot to win.

That, combined with the off day puts the Orioles in a good spot going into this series both with

Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

the rotation and the bullpen. Speaking of the rotation, Miguel Gonzalez will become the first Oriole pitcher to have to swing the bat this season, as these two games in Pittsburgh will be played by NL rules.

I’ll be honest; I’m much more a fan of the National League game than I am that of the American League. I like seeing the pitchers hit, and I’d be a very happy man if the AL would simply drop the DH rule. That may not be the most popular of opinions, however the way I see it if a pitcher is in the lineup he should swing the bat.

The O’s will face Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano, who of course has turned into a bit of a journeyman in a sense. The good news for the Birds is that almost everyone on both teams participated in the Orioles’ two-game sweep a few weeks ago – and nobody on the rosters were there in 1979!