BALTIMORE — You’re a Brewers fan and you’re like a kid on the last day of school, looking at the clock, waiting for the final bell to ring, ready to burst forth with joy and a feeling of freedom. In this case, it’s freedom from the O’s, the AL East and from the Crew’s humble and, at times, awful beginnings.
You are eager to see your heroes soaked in bubbly as much as they’re ready to taste it.
That taste, however, will need to wait because the Crew lost a 9-4 stinker in their series finale with the Red Sox and lost a game in the standings as the Orioles rallied with four runs in the ninth to beat the Tigers, 6-5. But in facing the O’s, the Crew’s Magic Number is now one (since a Brewers win equals an Orioles loss) as they lead the division with four games to play.
Just win one and the pennant is theirs. Win just one and history is secure. Win one and the city will be one step closer to its first World Series since the Braves in 1958.
Just one. It won’t be easy. All four games are in Baltim…
Wait, what? Four games? Yes, four. The schedule says three, but today the Crew and the O’s will go all Ernie Banks on us with a doubleheader to open the series.
One game is the continuation of a 2-2 tie between the teams on June 26. Mario Ziino, the assistant director of media relations for the Crew, explains:
“The Brewers game at Baltimore on June 16, 1982 was suspended after nine innings was complete because it ended in a 2-2 tie. The cause was rain at 12:05 a.m. The game was delayed twice at the start – first for 34 minutes following the first out (Paul Molitor) of the game and again for 43 minutes once the tarp was removed it had to be placed on the infield again. So at roughly 10 p.m. local time, the second batter of the game (Robin Yount) stood in the batter’s box. Because the teams had completed nine innings, the stats went into the books. The two teams would have to play the game over in its entirety, and was scheduled for the next first night Milwaukee came to town (October 1) as a twi-night doubleheader.
“A suspended game occurs when play is stopped with a tie score and both teams have completed an inning past the fifth. If it occurs before the fifth inning, the game is replayed and the stats are thrown out. It’s simply a rainout.”
So, there you have it. Starting with today’s twi-night doubleheader, the Crew and the O’s will play three games in a 24-hour span. The Brewers can save themselves some grief by taking one of these games today. But the Crew is 3-6 against the Orioles this season and just last weekend lost two of three at County Stadium to the O’s. Add to this the fact this could be Earl Weaver’s last stand as O’s manager, and not only will the Crew face a formidable foe, but they will also meet an emotionally charged foe.
Two aces, two chances to win one game and make Brewers history.
The anticipation is killing us. Here’s hoping the Birds don’t as well.