The ball that Ford hit to DeJesus was a tough chance. It skidded on a wet spot of the turf, but the shortstop would make no excuses. "I'm supposed to catch those balls. We lost that game because I made that error."
It wasn't all his fault. In the bottom of the seventh, Palmer's successor, righthander Sammy Stewart, walked Morgan. Sixto Lezcano, batting in Rose's No. 2 spot, fouled off two bunt attempts and struck out. Schmidt was up next, and on Stewart's first pitch, Morgan took off. Dempsey's throw nailed him rather easily. Morgan, running on his own, surprised Schmidt, who at first thought he had missed a hit-and-run sign. Schmidt then struck out.
In the eighth, Owens chose not to hit for Maddox against Stewart so as to keep the Orioles from bringing in Tippy Martinez. But in the ninth, he had Lefebvre hit for Catcher Bo Diaz, and when Martinez came in, he had Rose hit for Lefebvre. Martinez got Rose to ground out, DeJesus to fly out and pinch hitter Ozzie Virgil to ground out to save the victory.
"I could have been second-guessed 150 times in that game," said Owens, and indeed he was. Palmer, who entertained the troops in the postgame interview room right after Owens, said, "I wanted to poke my head around the curtain and ask him some questions. They made some funny moves."
The loss clearly put the Phillies in a phunk. Morgan got mad at the questions that Perez, who was 1 for 4, was getting in the locker next to his. "We're trying to win a World Series, and you're talking about all this petty bull," Morgan screamed at reporters. After Owens took over in July, it had taken several weeks for his players to accept their new roles, and for the manager to learn how to use them. In one night, the Phillies forgot how they got here.
The Orioles weren't likely to forget. And after they'd beaten the Phillies 5-4 on Saturday, they remembered they had been here before. Actually, it was in Pittsburgh, not Philadelphia, and the year was 1979, not 1983. However, the situation was the same. The O's took a 3-1 lead in games, needing to win only one of the next three, two of them at home. But they didn't.
"That's the first thing the guys were saying as we ran up the runway after the game," said Dauer, who had three RBIs in the win. "I think we realize now what we didn't then. We're not an awesome team, but we're blessed with some talent, and we're team-oriented."
One of the surprises in a Series of surprises had been that the Orioles could win without Murray or Ripken, who between them were batting .161 with exactly one RBI. It was the aforementioned Three Stooges, each of whom received a statue of his namesake from Columbia Pictures before Game 3, who had been killing the Phillies.
The game was played on what was surely the most beautiful day in World Series history. They don't keep track of such things, although filberts did know that this was the first time both teams had batteries starting with the letter D (Davis and Dempsey, Denny and Diaz) and that the crowd of 66,947 was the biggest for the Series since Game 3 in New York in 1964, and for one day at least the largest in Veterans Stadium baseball history.
They also knew that when Storm Davis struck out the side in the first, it was the 18th time that had happened. "I think he was trying to impress us with his curveball," said Morgan. "I was impressed."