The Great American Baseball Trip

Game 7

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles

Saturday, June 28, 1997 - 7:05pm

Camden Yards

Baltimore, Maryland

Pre-Game Report
 The Orioles are the best team in baseball. The Blue Jays have one of the finest pitching staffs ever assembled in the American League. And, the first two games of this series have been very close -- both pitching duels -- in which Toronto put a wrench in the Orioles attempts to run away with the division. I expect another great game.

Stadium Stats - Camden Yards

Surface: Grass
Capacity: 48,262
Dimensions: Left Field: 333 feet, Center Field: 410 feet, Right Field: 318 feet

baseball diamond image

Team Profiles
Philly's Logo

Toronto Blue Jays

 The American League East, with the defending World Champion New York Yankees and the always dangerous Baltimore Orioles, is arguably the toughest division in baseball. Unfortunately, despite some notable offseason moves, the Blue Jays still seem to lack the consistent power needed to be a contender.

 With addition of Roger Clemens, the Blue Jays now have one of the strongest rotations in baseball. In Clemens, Juan Guzman and Pat Hentgen, the Blue Jays send a former Cy Young Winner (Clemens owns three awards), the defending Cy Young Winner (Hentgen), the defending ERA champion and runner up (Guzman and Hentgen respectively) and the three pitchers that held batters to the lowest averages in the league last season. Joining them is Eric Hanson, who besides battling injuries has several good seasons left in him, and a bullpen led by Dan Plesac and Mike "the knife" Timlin.

 In addition to the strong pitching staff, the Jays have a strong defensive core. But, the loss of Roberto Alomar and John Olerud is being felt at the plate. Joe Carter's production has waned over the past few seasons, veteran catcher Benito Santiago is focused on his catching rather than his hitting, and the injury bug has sidelined most of the young prospects the Jays' were depending on for quick infusion of power. And, since neither Otis Nixon nor Orlando Merced are known as power hitters, the Blue Jays will have to look deeper for the power they will need.

Braves Logo

Baltimore Orioles

 After losing in last year's playoffs to the New York Yankees, General Manager Pat Gillick made significant changes to the roster, in hopes of climbing out of the shadow of the defending champs. The biggest of all the deals was stealing free-agent Jimmy Key away from the Bronx bombers to bolster the O's already strong starting rotation. But, Gillick was forced to give up big-ticket outfielder Bobby Bonilla and DH Eddie Murray and the Orioles will feel their loss.

 Off-season additions have given manager Davey Johnson, who has never finished lower than second in any of his nine full seasons as a big league manager, the tools he needs to finally beat the Yankees. Key will join Mike Mussina and Scott Erickson in one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball. Rocky Coppinger (assuming he can stay out of the minors) and Shawn Boskie will look to fill the four and five spots. Depth still plagues the Orioles bullpen with Arthur Rhodes, Mike Johnson, and Jesse Orosco looking to pave the road for erratic but talented closer Randy Myers.

 Offensively and defensively, the Orioles are strong. Ironman Cal Ripken continues his streak at third base for the first time in over a decade, but is joined by Mike Bordick and Roberto Alomar in one of the most talented infields in the big leagues. Brady Anderson, who hit 51 homers last year, is joined in the outfield by former Reds star Eric Davis, and looks for the third spot to be filled by either B.J. Surhoff or Jeffrey Hammonds. And, assuming he can stay healthy, Designated Hitter Pete Incaviglia will provide the O's with consistent power.

Post-Game Report
 The Orioles lost their third straight game to the Toronto Blue Jays and may have lost Jimmy Key to injury. Click here for all the details. . .

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