Game 138: NYY vs. BAL — Almost win ends with a walk-off disappointment

The game started off on the wrong foot anyway, as rain poured into the Baltimore area for most of the evening and ended up causing a rain delay over 2 hours. Of course, the weather put a damper on the attendance, with only 14,377 fans braving the rain to hang out at the ballpark on a Tuesday night, the middle game of this mid-week series at Camden Yards.

CC Sabathia got the start tonight against the Orioles, throwing 94 pitches into the 6th inning, giving up 8 hits, a walk, and 5 runs, and striking out just 3 Baltimore batters. In the 1st, with 2 outs, Sabathia gave up a walk that moved to 2nd on a single, then to 3rd on a wild pitch, before scoring on another single to get the O’s on the board.

Solo home runs in the 3rd and 5th added a few more runs for the Orioles. Then in the 6th, a lead-off single scored as part of a 2-run home run in the 6th. After getting an out in the 6th, Tommy Kahnle came on for the Yankees to close out the inning without giving up any further runs. Robertson and Chapman kept the momentum strong with 11 pitches in each of their 7th and 8th scoreless innings.

The Yankees just pummeled the Orioles in a single inning, unable to do much more in the other 8. In the 3rd inning, with 1 out, the Yankees loaded the bases with Romine’s single, Judge’s walk, and Castro’s hit-by-pitch. Didi Gregorius’ single scored both Romine and Judge before Holliday worked a walk to load up the bases again. That would be all the O’s starter had for tonight’s game.

With a new pitcher, the Yankees continued their tallying of the runs in the 3rd. Greg Bird hit into what should have been a very easy sacrifice fly, but the center fielder missed the catch (closing his glove before actually catching the ball), Bird made it to 1st safely, keeping the bases loaded and scoring Castro. After another out, Todd Frazier hit into a soft grounder that still scored Gregorius {Media note: no media link, sorry} and moved all the runners into scoring position. Then Jacoby Ellsbury’s nice single scored both Holliday and Bird before the O’s finally got out of the inning.

And despite the Orioles chipping away at the Yankees’ lead periodically, the Yankees held strong, thanks to the strength of their bullpen. That is, until Dellin Betances’ 9th inning. After 2 outs, Betances had a hard time finding that third out to get the save and deliver the win to the Yankees. He gave up a walk and then a solid 2-run home run so that the O’s scored a walk-off home run to win the game, now early this Wednesday morning.

Final score: 7-6 Orioles

Roster moves: in case you missed some recent player shifts around the organization, on Sunday, Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day DL for his left oblique strain, and the Yankees recalled reliever Caleb Smith from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Then on Monday, Gary Sanchez’ status was changed so that he could serve his 3-game suspension, and the Yankees also recalled infielders Tyler Wade and Tyler Austin from Scranton to fill out their roster.

And today, the Yankees announced that their Roberto Clemente Award nominee this year — Brett Gardner, a well-deserved honor. Every year, each team nominates the player on their team that is both professional on the field and philanthropic off the field, in the spirit of the late Pirates Clemente’s character and achievements. Tomorrow is the 16th annual Roberto Clemente Day, and a special logo will appear on the bases and other parts of the park.

All 30 teams nominate their candidate, from which a winner will be selected by a panel that includes Clemente’s widow Vera and a special fan vote (coming October 2-6). Past final winners of the award from the Yankees include Derek Jeter (2009), Don Baylor (1985), and Ron Guidry (1984). Closer to voting, I’ll include links so that you can help me vote for Gardner this year.

Go Yankees!

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