Saturday morning thoughts and observations on Oriole Magic, bullpen, walk-offs and Miguel Gonzalez

The way Friday night's game played out, it was the same opponent, the same deficit and the same scenario as the night “Oriole Magic” was born.

The Orioles' 7-5 walk-off win over the Tigers bore a lot of similarities to June 22, 1979.

On that night, the Orioles trailed the Tigers by two runs entering the ninth inning. Ken Singleton homered to cut the lead to one. And then down to their final out, Doug DeCinces hit a walk-off two-run homer with one on and two outs off Dave Tobik to beat Detroit 6-5.


That was the night the phrase "Oriole Magic" was first coined -- that Orioles team fell one game short of winning the World Series -- and Friday's Orioles win played out nearly the exact same way.

Nick Markakis hit a solo homer to cut the Tigers lead to one. And with two outs in the night, Chris Dickerson turned a one-run deficit into a walk-off win with a three-run homers.


Only one player on the Orioles roster -- 36-year-old Freddy Garcia -- had been born when that game was played, but the way the Orioles won that game sparked an entire generation of Baltimore baseball fans.

What will Friday night's win mean down the line? That will be determined days, months and years from now, but it is pretty ironic how the script of the two games played out nearly exactly the same way.

-- Looking back on Friday night's win, you have to give some credit to the Orioles bullpen. The relievers struggled on the team's road trip to Toronto and Washington, but the Orioles bullpen has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings three games into a five-game homestand. It was good for Orioles fans to see left-hander Troy Patton get through a clean inning. He had allowed runs in five of his last six outings.

-- Friday's win marked the Orioles' fourth walk-off win, and in three of those games, the winning run game by home run. On April 18, Matt Wieters his a 10th-inning walk-off grand slam against Tampa Bay and Nate McLouth hit a walk-off solo homer in the 10th to beat the Yankees on May 21.

-- Miguel Gonzalez wasn't his best on Friday, allowing a season-high five earned runs in six innings. He's walked six batters in his last two starts after not issuing a walk in the two previous starts. Nothing to worry about here. When Gonzalez is healthy, he is one of the team's steadiest pitchers.