Ah, the curse is broken! Sorry, it’s been a long weekend, and I think we all needed a Yankee win today. Whatever silly superstition people like to blame at Camden Yards apparently doesn’t work on Sunday afternoons… or at least today. Regardless, it’s nice to see one in the win column once again.
Adam Warren took the mound to start today’s final game of the weekend series in Baltimore, charged with making sure the Orioles didn’t sweep the Yankees. And he did a pretty effective job overall — 92 pitches (not so good), 6 hits (good), 3 runs (okay), 3 walks (not so good, and 5 strikeouts (very good for Warren). In the 1st, the lead-off batter singled and moved to 3rd on a 1-out single before a walk loaded the bases. A nice single scored 2 runs before two fly outs ended the inning. In the 4th, a lead-off walk moved to 2nd on a 1-out single and then scored on a big double. With 2 outs and 2 runners on and Warren approaching triple-digits in his pitch count, the Yankees opted for the bullpen.
It was onto Chasen Shreve, who got the final out of the 5th. This meant that Shreve was in the position for the win, which he did earn rather effectively as he pitched through the scoreless 6th inning. Justin Wilson, stepping rather nicely into the set-up role, threw beautiful 7th and 8th innings, just 23 pitches, hitless and scoreless, and 3 strikeouts. And it was on to Dellin Betances, the newly anointed closer (while Miller rests up his arm strain), for his 3rd save of the season. The sound of a bat swinging right past that 17th pitch never sounded better.
It should be noted that in total, the Yankees pitching staff issued 10 strikeouts to the Orioles’ batters. And to match that (because I can be a little quirky at times), the Yankee batters got 10 total hits today (versus the 6 from the Orioles). Let’s just say the Yankees’ number of the day was 10.
And if we’re going to talk pitch counts, the Yankees took the Orioles starter deep in pitch counts — 104 pitches into the 5th inning. In the top of the 1st inning, Gardner led-off the game with a single and then scored on Mark Teixeira’s 2-out double to get the scoring started. Then down 2-1 in the 2nd inning, the Yankees came back swinging — Drew, Gregorius, and Murphy each singled to load the bases, before an out had been recorded for the inning. A force ground out got Drew out at home, but kept the bases loaded. So a sacrifice fly by Brett Gardner had Gregorius racing home to score and tie up the game.
Then with the Orioles leading 3-2 going into the 5th inning, three consecutive walks (to Headley, Rodriguez, and Teixeira) loaded the bases and forced a pitching change. The Baltimore starter was done for the day. But it wasn’t like he got much help from the bullpen. The new pitcher promptly walked Garrett Jones and thus walked in Headley to tie up the game and kept the bases loaded. Two strikeouts later, John Ryan Murphy hit a really great double that scored Rodriguez and Teixeira and pushed the Yankees up and over the Orioles.
Let me just brag on John Ryan Murphy a bit. Murphy went 3-for-4 at the plate today, with those 2 RBIs that won the Yankees the game. Plus, he did a great job of calling the game from behind home plate.
It’s always nice to write about a win.
Final score from Baltimore: 5-3 Yankees. But the Orioles win the series 2-1.
There’s a lot of suppositions about what’s to happen next as far as returning players like Nova and Ellsbury and what the roster moves for them could be. But as they are just “suppositions” right now, they aren’t worth spending much time here on them. Nova looks to be making his 2015 pinstripe debut very soon, jumping right back into the rotation, and to accommodate him both on the roster and in the rotation, moves will have to be made.
Now, onto Miami…