After sweeping the Oakland A’s within the 1971 ALCS, the Baltimore Orioles have been favorites within the World Collection. The Birds have been the defending champions. That they had received 101 common season video games, shedding solely 57. Prior to now three seasons, they have been winners of 318 common season video games. Since falling unexpectedly to the New York Mets in 1969, their post-season report was 10-1.
The Pittsburgh Pirates stood between the O’s and a second straight championship. The Bucs have been worthy opponents — winners of 97 video games (with 65 losses) and victors over San Francisco three video games to 1 within the NLCS. That they had outscored their common season opponents by 189 runs. Baltimore had outscored theirs by 212.
On paper, then, the Orioles’ edge was solely slight. However the O’s had practically all the post-season expertise, the championship mystique, and a pitching rotation with 4 20-game winners.
The season opened in Baltimore on October 9. Dave McNally, with a daily season report of 21-5 (87-31 from 1968-1971), was on the mound for the Orioles. Dock Ellis, 19-9, was the Pirates’ starter.
Ellis is likely one of the most memorable characters of Nineteen Seventies baseball. He says he by no means pitched an enormous league sport with out the help of alcohol or medicine. That features the 1971 all-star sport wherein he was shelled. For that one, Ellis claims, he was excessive on medicine. He additionally says he was coming down from an LSD journey, aided by taking velocity, when he pitched a no-hitter in opposition to San Diego in 1970 (wherein he walked eight batters and hit one other).
I don’t know what substance[s], if any, Ellis was on for Recreation One of many 1971 World Collection. Nevertheless, he may need thought he was hallucinating within the high of the second inning when the Pirates scored three runs with just one hit in opposition to a Baltimore protection enjoying like imposters.
Bob Robertson led off by drawing a stroll from McNally. Subsequent, McNally, one of many premier management pitchers of the period, threw a wild pitch permitting Robertson to take second base.
Manny Sanguillen then hit a grounder to Mark Belanger, thought of the very best defensive shortstop of the period. Belanger tried to throw out Robertson at third, however his throw hit the massive first baseman and caromed into the third-base dugout. Robertson scored and Sanguillen took second.
McNally retired Jose Pagan on a groundout, however Sanguillen superior to 3rd.
That introduced weak-hitting Jackie Hernandez to the plate. With Ellis to comply with, McNally’s probabilities of escaping with simply the one run appeared good.
Hoping to squeeze out a second run, Pittsburgh’s supervisor Danny Murtaugh had Hernandez lay down a bunt. The bunt introduced Sanguillen residence and Hernandez made all of it the best way to second base on a throwing error by catcher Elrod Hendricks. Dave Money drove Hernandez residence with a single, the one Pittsburgh hit of the three-run inning.
Baltimore answered instantly when Frank Robinson led off the underside of the second with a house run. And within the backside of the third, Ellis imploded.
Belanger led off with a single. McNally struck out, however Don Buford singled.
Up stepped Merv Rettenmund, an necessary however oft-forgotten member of Baltimore’s pennant successful groups (in 1971 he batted .318 with an OPS of .870). Rettenmund delivered a three-run homer to offer the Orioles a 4-3 lead.
When Ellis walked the following batter, Boog Powell, Murtaugh introduced in Bob Moose to face Frank Robinson. Moose fanned the nice Oriole and escaped the inning with no additional injury.
Pittsburgh’s deficit was just one run, however McNally pitched lights-out the remainder of the best way. There have been no extra Pirate baserunners till the highest of the ninth, when Sanguillen reached on one other error by Belanger.
By then, Baltimore led 5-3 because of a house run by Buford. McNally put an finish to the Bucs’ hope of a late rally by retiring Pagan on a fly ball and putting out pinch-hitter Al Oliver.
The Orioles had received their fifth straight post-season sport and their eleventh of their final 12.
After a rainout on October 10, the 2 groups met for Recreation Two on October 11. The pitching matchup — Jim Palmer vs. Bob Johnson — strongly favored the Birds. Palmer posted a 20-9 common season mark, making him 56-23 over the previous three seasons.
Johnson was 9-10 in 1971 and 17-23 in his profession to this point. He had, nevertheless, pitched very effectively in Recreation Three of the NLCS. In that outing, he allowed just one run (unearned) in eight innings, because the Pirates defeated the nice Juan Marichal and the Giants 2-1.
Recreation Two of the World Collection was a distinct story. The Orioles chased Johnson within the fourth inning, constructing a 4-0 lead. Johnson and reliever Bruce Kison, a 21 year-old rookie who would make his mark later within the Collection, mixed to stroll three and hit a batter in that body. The one hits within the three-run inning have been singles by Frank Robinson and Dave Johnson.
The Orioles successfully ended the competition within the subsequent inning with six extra runs, 5 of them off of Bob Moose. This inning would mark the one World Collection look by veteran Bob Veale. Sadly, the longtime Pirate standout walked two of the 5 batters he confronted, gave up a success, was charged with a run.
The Orioles led 11-0 by the point the Pirates broke by way of in opposition to Palmer within the high of the eighth. A house run by Richie Hebner accounted for all three runs.
Palmer completed the sport, coasting residence to victory, 11-3.
Baltimore was up two video games to none. The excellent news was that the Collection was shifting to Pittsburgh. The dangerous information was that yet one more Orioles ace, Mike Cuellar, awaited the Bucs in Recreation Three.