I said yesterday that it’s easier to blame the “blackbird voodoo” of Camden Yards in Baltimore than to accept the loss for what it is — a reflection that the Yankees just got out-played tonight by the Orioles. I will say that it wasn’t nearly as terrible of a game as yesterday where it felt more like the Yankees just gave it away. No, tonight it was more a few pitches that favored the Orioles and earned them the game.
CC Sabathia took the mound tonight on a rather warm night in Baltimore, and due to the offensive attempts, wasn’t credited with a loss, but rather a no-decision. He threw 93 pitches over his 5 innings, gave up 8 hits, 4 runs, no walks, and 3 strikeouts. (It’s kind of hard to get used to Sabathia not being a big strikeout pitcher anymore.) Basically, Sabathia’s 3rd and 5th innings were freakishly similar. In the 3rd, the lead-off single scored on a 2-run home run before 2 ground outs and a strikeout. In the 5th, a lead-off single scored on a 2-run home run before a triple (the only anomaly), then 2 ground outs and a strikeout. Giving up home runs are difficult because they’re usually perfectly placed strikes that the hitter just finds and sends over the wall.
The Yankees actually got the jump on the scoring, like previously mentioned. In the 1st, with 2 outs and Headley on 2nd with a double, Mark Teixeira’s single scored Headley before Teixeira scored on Brian McCann’s double. And with the Yankees down 4-2 in the 6th inning, the Yankees earned those back — Headley led-off with a single and then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s home run (this seemed to be the theme of how to score tonight) to tie up the game. That home run was also Alex Rodriguez’s 2000th career RBI. (He’s also now just 5 hits away from the 3000 Hit Club.) The Yankees loaded the bases, changing pitchers twice and couldn’t bring those guys home to push the Yankees up and over the Orioles.
In fact, the Yankees wouldn’t score again the whole game.
Instead, at the bottom of the 6th, the ball was handed over to Chris Martin. Martin struggled his way through the 6th inning, 30 pitches, 4 hits, and 3 runs — a lead-off double, a wild pitch, an RBI single, a fly out, a single, a wild pitch, a 2-RBI single, a groundout, a wild pitch (yes, the 3rd this inning), and a line out. Not exactly the kind of outing you want to have in your first game back.
Then it was the newly acquired Sergio Santos for the 7th and 8th innings. While his pitch count was definitely better (at 31 over 2 innings), he still got a bit roughed up in the 7th. The lead-off batter hit the ball far enough to bounce off the wall near the top. Originally, the call was a standing triple for the batter, but upon an umpire review, they determined that where the ball hit was considered home run territory and thus awarded him a solo home run. Tough break for the first batter faced in Away Greys for Santos. Then with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd with a double, another double scored that runner pushing the Orioles even further on top of the Yankees.
And that was it for the scoring game tonight. But the one thing everyone was talking about was the spectacular catch by Mason Williams in the 4th — he ran 114 feet to catch the long fly ball before slamming into the fence area. Ouch. He’s okay though. They make athletes fairly tough.
Final score: 9-4 Orioles.
Roster moves: The Yankees found they needed right-handed pitchers in bullpen. So they moved the rookie Jacob Lindgren (a very good lefty) back AAA to make room for righty Jose Ramirez; and after outrighting Esmil Rogers to AAA, they had a spot to fill. Fortunately, the Yankees signed recent FA Sergio Santos to a minor league contract this past Tuesday, so they called him up today to take Rogers’ spot on roster and fill in another right-handed bullpen job. Unfortunately, Santos’ debut with the Yankees wasn’t exactly ideal, but once the Orioles had a solid lead, it didn’t seem to matter.
One more game in Baltimore tomorrow, and here’s to hoping against a sweep. Then, the Yankees head South to Miami for an odd 4-game split with the Marlins — 2 games in Miami, then 2 games back in the Bronx.