Game 122: CLE vs. NYY — Big win to honor Posada, #HipHipJorge

After another wonderful HOPE Week, the Yankees end their week of generosity honoring two of their great Yankees. Today, it was Jorge Posada Day in the Bronx. The Yankees hosted a pre-game ceremony retiring #20, putting a plaque in Monument Park, and surrounded him with former teammates and mentors, friends and family. (More following the game recap.)

Then the Yankees were looking to stop the advance of the Cleveland Indians, who have already taken the first two of their 4-game weekend series in the Bronx. And it was Luis Severino to start, looking for his first win of his career, who after 2 hours and 52 minutes got that coveted first win in his MLB career. Severino threw 107 pitches in 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits, 1 run, and 4 walks, and striking out 6 Cleveland batters. The sole run he allowed was a 1-out solo home run in the 1st inning. And after that, Severino showed off why everyone has been talking about him as a really amazing prospect all year.

The Yankees struck back in the bottom of the 1st and never looked back. Ellsbury led-off with a single and then scored on Brett Gardner’s 2-run home run. Immediately, the Yankees were in the lead, and that just fired them up. One out later, Brian McCann hit a solo home run, his 22nd of the season. Then in the 2nd, the Yankees went from long-ball to small-ball to score their runs. Drew and Murphy were on the corners with singles. Ellsbury reaches on a combination fielder’s choice and error, which scored Drew. A fly out allowed Murphy to move to 3rd, where he could then score easily on Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly.

And then the runs seemed to dry up for a while. Adam Warren’s 7th was nearly flawless with 2 strikeouts and 12 pitches; Warren is certainly finding a really nice home in the bullpen in this half of the season. Dellin Betances’ 8th was a little shaky, with a lead-off double that scored on a 2-out RBI single, but relying on his defense primarily pulled the Yankees through the inning.

The Yankees pushed the Indians’ starter out of the game in the 5th inning by driving up his pitch count early. His relievers were a bit better, but they still managed to rack up a total of 13 hits in the game. That included some offensive additions in the 8th inning. Gregorius hit a 1-out double, moved to 3rd on Drew’s single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by John Ryan Murphy. The Indians finally pulled their defense together and threw out Drew trying to score on Ellsbury’s single to end the inning.

And Andrew Miller’s 9th was just a beautiful 8-pitch inning to close out the game and seal the win for the Yankees on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Final score: 6-2 Yankees.

Yes, today was Jorge Posada Day. Following a video tribute that featured Posada’s amazing 17-year career with the Yankees, including his 275 home runs, 1065 RBIs, 5-times as an All-Star, and 5 World Series championships, Posada and his family (his parents, sister, wife, and two teenage children) unveiled his newly retired number in Monument Park before they were taken by golf cart from the area beyond center field to the area in front of the pitcher’s mound for the ceremony.

Special guests for the ceremony today included former GM and Yankees executive Gene Michael; former trainer Gene Monahan; former teammates Scott Brosius, David Cone, Hideki Matsui, and Paul O’Neill; former manager Joe Torre; and former teammates Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter.

After Posada and his wife Laura unveiled his Monument Park plaque (which incited his “Core Four” brethren to make some teasing remarks), the Yankees presented some further gifts to the great catcher from other legendary Yankees catchers — Yogi Berra sent a video message, and the late Thurman Munson’s wife Diana presented Posada with a replica of his plaque with Girardi (remember, he was also a Yankees catcher). Managing partner Hal Steinbrenner gave him a replica of his retired number, and vice chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal gave him an engraved ring with diamonds forming the number 20.

Posada took the microphone for his moment to reflect, remember, and show his gratitude for the honor in front of the packed house at Yankee Stadium. He admitted to never having a “plan B” and just being passionate about baseball and the Yankees, borrowing DiMaggio’s famous line, “I thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”

(You can watch the full pre-game ceremony here. It’s about 35 minutes.)

Posada later threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his son, Jorge Jr. (who from birth dealt with a severe medical issue called craniosynostosis, which is an abnormal brain-skull growth pattern that required many corrective surgeries). Posada, never being a pitcher, threw wide, for which he caught a lot of guff from his son for his bad throw. In hindsight, maybe the roles should’ve been reversed, but I think we all liked seeing the strong father-son bond between them.

Well, we’re all pretty glad He made Posada a Yankee. Posada will be eligible for Cooperstown in 2017, and critics aren’t sure of his chances. Yankee fans though know why Posada deserves such a recognition. Posada certainly fits my set requirements for what makes a great ball player — ability (in spades), teamwork (just take a look at the “Flip Play” or Cone’s perfect game), and character (absolutely undisputed). And great players deserve to be honored and remembered for the icons they are so that future generations can aspire to such greatness — dream big like this kid who started his career playing the wrong position and ended his career a legend and an inspiration.

Because dreams really do come true.

Go Yankees!

Game 116: NYY vs. TOR — Taking 2 out of 3, still in 1st

Someone scrawled on the whiteboard in the visitor’s clubhouse: “Cheer up everybody. We won the series. Still in first place.”

Someone should have added that when the rookie Luis Severino is pitching the Yankees need to back him up with some runs. Because while Severino is a really good pitcher, the Yankees just aren’t scoring runs in games he’s starting to give him his first win. In the weekend series finale against the Blue Jays, Severino threw another great game, but with no real run support. Severino threw 104 pitches in his 6 innings, giving up just 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs, and striking out a whopping 9 Toronto batters. This biggest struggle for Severino was in the 3rd. With two outs, he struggled to get the third out of the inning. First, a double was initially ruled an error when Beltran lost the fly ball in the bright summer sun (later amended to be a hit, as is the case with most “lost in the sun” balls). Then that runner scored on a single. A home run scored two more for the Blue Jays before Severino finally got his third out — a strikeout.

In the 7th, Chasen Shreve put two on base with a walk and a single and an out before Adam Warren was called on to finish the inning. Warren had an excellent outing himself, finishing the 7th and through the 8th inning, including 3 great strikeouts. Actually, the Yankee pitching staff was quite the strikeout champions today — a grand total of 12 to Toronto pitchers.

The lone Yankee offense was a 2-out solo home run in the 6th inning by Jacoby Ellsbury, a 2nd deck smash into the right field seats. The Yankees only racked up 4 hits and 1 walk, so including a hit-by-pitch to McCann (he’s fine) the Yankees only put 6 runners on base.

I can brag about the Yankees’ defense once again, as displayed very nicely by Chase Headley’s diving grab in the 4th and a sliding stop by Stephen Drew in the 5th. There are two reasons why the Yankees are still in first place in the AL East despite their slowed run production this month — their bullpen and their defense.

Final score from Toronto: 3-1 Toronto, Yankees win series 2-1.

And don’t worry, the Yankees are still in first place by a half-game over Toronto. Now, they head back to New York to face the Twins, the Indians, and the Astros for a 10-game home stand. Plus, starting Monday is HOPE Week.

It’s going to be a good week. I can feel it. Besides, “I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.” (A.E.)

Go Yankees!

 

 

Game 111: NYY vs. CLE — Sometimes, it takes 16 innings to lose

It says a lot for the Indians, a last place team in their division, to fend off a division leader for five hours and four minutes and earn the win. It may be the first time all year that Cleveland showed what it is really capable of if they just put a little effort into their games from time to time. It is unfortunate that it was against the Yankees, who are just a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays now.

Luis Severino got his second start tonight and actually did a better job than last time, but still showed off why the Yankees seem to have quite a bit of hopes in him. He’s a pretty good starter, and despite getting a little roughed up at the beginning and allowing his pitch count to creep up in the first half of his outing, he settled into a nice pattern and kept the Indians from running away with the game. He threw 97 pitches over his 6 innings, gave up 7 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs, striking out 2 batters. (The Yankees defense behind him was really great tonight, but more on that below.)

In the 1st, a 1-out single scored on an RBI single to start the scoring. Then in the 2nd, with 2 runners on with singles, a beautiful double play (that great defense) moved the lead runner to 3rd where he would then score on an RBI single. And that would be it for the Indians’ scoring for the rest of the regularly allotted game time. Severino settled into that pitching pattern that made him noticeable in the minors, and the Indians just weren’t making much of their offense after that.

In the meantime, while the Yankees were certainly stymied a bit by the Indians starter, including striking out a total of 8 times in 8 innings, the Yankees did find a few well-placed pitches to make enough of a difference. They tied up the game with two lead-off solo home runs to right field by Stephen Drew in the 6th and Carlos Beltran in the 8th. This removed the possible loss from Severino and started the spiral that would become the rest of the game.

Chasen Shreve was near-flawless in the 7th, keeping them off the bases and swinging at his nasty pitches. Dellin Betances gave much the same in the 8th. And Justin Wilson’s 9th was just becoming a beautiful pattern, with an amazing catch by Teixeira, and sent it into extra innings. Then it was the Yankees’ turn to shine again.

It would be the 10th inning that would make the ultimate difference in the game and essentially flip a switch somewhere in both teams’ dugouts that was both thrilling and disheartening. With 1 out, McCann drew a walk and moved to 2nd on Beltran’s single, before Young would come in to pinch-run. With Gregorius’ single, the bases were loaded. Drew hit into a force out at home and kept the bases loaded. Chase Headley came on to pinch-hit for Ryan (Headley was sitting this game out originally) and promptly singled to score Beltran and Gregorius. That forced a pitching change that ended the inning with a strikeout, but the damage was done. The Yankees just needed to hang onto their 4-2 lead to win in 3 outs.

Who do you send on for the save? The great Andrew Miller, anointed 2015 closer. Except it wasn’t so smooth this time around — a lead-off single, a double, and a sacrifice fly to put the Indians within 1 run. Another single scored the tying run. Blown save. Two strikeouts, almost in revenge, the inning was over, and for the first time all season, Miller had a new statistic to his outstanding season — a blown save. (Though to be fair, even the great Mariano Rivera blew a save from time to time; anyone else automatically recall the 2004 postseason and shudder?)

So for the next few innings, it became a rotating door from both bullpens. Adam Warren’s 11th was just pristine and reminded everyone why Warren is still one of the best assets the Yankees have on their pitching staff. Bryan Mitchell gave the longest effort, going 3 innings with 60 pitches and striking out 5 Cleveland batters, including escaping a bases-loaded jam in the 14th. For the 11th through the 16th innings, the Indians gave their all with what turned out to be a pretty good bullpen, the most outstanding was Mitchell’s counterpart, a 3-inning outing (the 13-15th innings) for their reliever was virtually flawless (just 22 pitches). And their 16th inning guy threw just 9 pitches to shut down the Yankees in order.

Branden Pinder, the last available Yankee to pitch from the bullpen, threw a great 15th inning, but struggled in the 16th. It was the downward spiral no one wanted. With 1 out, two singles put runners on base, and yet another single scored that winning run in a walk-off. Game over.

Final score: 5-4 Indians.

All is not lost… there’s still quite a bit of baseball left to play this season. It’s just rather discouraging to watch the team that you know is better than this not play quite at that level. Is this what it’s like to be a Cleveland fan in their better years, Uncle Rick? (Had to… family rivalry and all… sorry, not sorry…)

Go Yankees!

Game 106: BOS vs. NYY — Debut marred by quiet bats

Luis Severino made his MLB debut tonight as the Yankees starter in the second game of this mid-week series against the Red Sox. Not a bad way to make an entrance in pinstripes. Except he earned the loss in tonight’s close call. He certainly showed some great pitching for a young rookies — 94 pitches in 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, no walks, and 2 runs (1 earned), and striking out 7 Boston batters. In the 2nd, with 2 outs, a throwing error allowed a runner to reach base and then score on an RBI double. And a lead-off solo home run in the 4th inning gave the Red Sox their lead. (As much as I hate to admit it, it was a really nice, really big home run deep into the right field bleachers.) Literally, the only runs they scored were a result of the only hits Severino allowed tonight. Again, not a terrible way to make your entrance into the big league.

Adam Warren came on to throw the next 3 innings and do so with the efficiency we’ve come to expect from Warren — just 41 pitches (about 13 pitches per inning) for the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 2 batters. Warren kept the Red Sox away from the plate before handing the ball off to Chasen Shreve in the 9th. Shreve struggled a bit, loading the bases with two walks and a single before striking out the final batter to get out of his own jam.

The Yankees lone run was a lead-off 7th inning home run by Carlos Beltran. It got the Yankees on the board, and despite getting 2 runners on in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees just couldn’t get the tying or winning run as McCann popped out to end the game.

The Red Sox pitching was pretty good tonight too. Honestly, it was kind of equal in a lot of respects — 5 Yankee hits to the Red Sox’s 4; technically only 1 earned run for each team; 3 walks to the Yankees vs. 2 walks to the Red Sox; and 10 strikeouts by Red Sox hitters to the 9 by Yankee batters.

There was a moment I was almost positive the Yankees had the game and then it just deflated, much like the energy of the stadium on that final out in the 9th.

Final score: 2-1 Red Sox.

 

 

It’s Good News/Bad News time…. roster moves…
Garret Jones is back! After being designated for assignment on July 31 and spent the last week at his father-in-law’s house in Chicago growing a beard, the Yankees finally called. Today, he was on his way back to New York, clean-shaven, and ready to return to the roster to help once again. Pitcher Danny Burawa was designated for assignment to make room for Jones. All this became crucial when recently acquired Dustin Ackley was sidelined with a serious back issue. Jones was originally DFA’d to make room for Ackley.

Yesterday, Brian McCann twinged his knee a bit doing his job and blocking a pitch. He was not scheduled to start tonight’s game and will probably not be behind the plate for a couple of games to allow him to rest that knee. He was available off the bench in a pinch (bad pun for a tweaked knee, I know), which he did in the bottom of the 9th to unsuccessful results. John Ryan Murphy, however, did a pretty good job behind the plate as always, with a great foul catch at the net and even a nice hit to contribute to the rather quiet offense tonight.

Go Yankees!

Game 105: BOS vs. NYY — Yankees wipe out old “rivals”

“In order for there to be a real rivalry, both teams have to be good. We can talk all we want about [the good old days]. But the fact is this is not the best vintage of Red Sox-Yankees rivalry days. Now, it doesn’t mean that the games aren’t compelling. Especially for a Yankee team that has a 5 1/2 game lead on top of the division as we speak. [And a 13 game lead over the Red Sox before the game.] But these are not the halcyon days of Red Sox-Yankees…” (Matt Vasgersian, MLB Network broadcaster)

Usually, it doesn’t matter which team is on top and which team is dragging through the sludge that is the bottom of the AL East, as the Red Sox-Yankees games are usually the most interesting games of the season. And there was one point that was consistent with that — the Red Sox’s starter was making his MLB debut (with his parents in a front row seat in from California) and really did a great job, despite ending up with the loss. (More below.)

Masahiro Tanaka got the start for the first game in this mid-week rivalry series. Tanaka was in rather fine form once again, earning his 8th win of the season. He threw 88 pitches into the 7th inning, giving up 5 hits, a walk, and 3 runs, striking out 3 Boston batters. Tanaka got a good start with a 7-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning and then gave the Red Sox quite a time. His weakest inning was his 5th — with 1 out and 2 runners on base, a single scored the first and a sacrifice fly the second to give the Red Sox a small lead. They added their final run with a solo home run to lead off the 7th inning. (By the way, the Bleacher Creatures threw the ball back, as is custom for rivals’ home run balls, unless you are that rival fan or a child or will give the ball to a child at the game.)

That was all for Tanaka, as the Yankees went to their bullpen to bring in Justin Wilson. Wilson got the first two outs of the inning and took a batter to a 1-2 count before he was pulled for Dellin Betances. Despite what you may believe, a manager can pull a pitcher at any point during the game, whether in the middle of an at-bat or between batters (as usual) or between innings (also usual). While it isn’t common here in the US, it is common elsewhere in the world, like Japan and other Asian pro-teams.

Betances unfortunately walked that batter before getting the next batter with a strikeout. Branden Pinder would take over in the 8th, throw a quick 9 pitches to keep the Red Sox hitless and scoreless for an inning before Nick Rumbelow finished them off in the 9th.

Now, the Red Sox pitching vs. the Yankees offense. First, let me acknowledge that the Red Sox starter did a really great job, even leaving the game in the lead. He just didn’t have the team to really back him up and help him out of trouble. Because this isn’t the Red Sox team we’re used to seeing.

The Yankees struck first in the 1st inning. With 1 out and Young and Rodriguez on base, Mark Teixeira’s single scored Young. The Yankees kept that lead until the Red Sox pushed ahead with their 2 runs scored in the 5th. So, going into the 6th, the Red Sox were up 2-1. Young led-off with a single and Rodriguez doubled, and that was it for the young rookie starter. He exited the game in the lead, hopeful his relievers could keep that for him, but those runners were his responsibility.

Teixeira singled, scoring Young, and Brian McCann doubled to score Rodriguez. That put the Yankees back in the lead and blew the win for the Red Sox starter, putting him on the hook for the loss. Beltran hit into a ground out, but scored Teixeira to further the Yankees’ lead. An out and a walk later, the Red Sox changed pitchers again to get the final out of the 6th.

The 7th inning would really be the game-maker. To lead off the inning, Ellsbury reached on a throwing error and Young walked. Alex Rodriguez singled and scored Ellsbury, and the Red Sox made yet another pitching change so Teixeira could strike out and get the first out of the inning. Brian McCann hit a monster 400-foot 3-run home run (his 18th of the season) into the 2nd deck over right field, and the Yankee lead was blown wide open. Beltran doubled and then scored on Chase Headley’s double. A fly out got the second out of the inning and Ryan walked. And it’s back to the top of the batting order as Jacoby Ellsbury singled and scored Headley. And the Red Sox? Another pitching change. So Chris Young answered with his 13th home run of the season, a 3-run homer to left field. (By the way, Teixeira struck out for a second time in this inning, making him and Gregorius the only Yankees to not get on base that inning.) That’s 9 runs scored in the 7th inning. That would be it for the scoring, but the damage, the devastation was done.

Every Yankee starting player made it on base at least once, and all but Gregorius scored a run in tonight’s run-a-palooza. Of the 13 runs the Yankees scored, technically only 9 were earned, which means that the defense made a lot of errors.

Two outstanding offensive leaders tonight were easily Chris Young and Alex Rodriguez. Young went 3-for-4 (including that 3-run bomb in the 7th) with a walk, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBIs; Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with 2 walks, 2 runs scores, and an RBI. Young continues to be just stellar against left-handed pitchers, as his offensive streak is getting him lots of due recognition.

Final score: 13-3 Yankees. (Fun fact: the Yankees have scored 90 runs in their last 10 games. The last team to do that? The 2007 New York Yankees.)

Roster moves and injury updates: just after the game, the Yankees sent Nick Rumbelow back to AAA to make room for Luis Severino who is scheduled to start for the Yankees tomorrow night in his MLB debut. The Yankees are expecting to make Severino a big part of their starting rotation. And don’t expect that to be the last you’ve seen of Rumbelow, as he continues to be a great help to the Yankees’ bullpen whenever called up.

Okay, so he played just 2 games with the Yankees, and now he’s on the DL list. Dustin Ackley was healthy coming over from the Mariners, but after an MRI Monday, Ackely was diagnosed with right lumbar strain, essentially he pulled his lower back muscles. But the MRI also found a herniated disk. With an epidural for pain management, the Yankees hope a stint on the 15-day DL will help him heal fairly naturally and won’t require surgery. The Yankees called up reliever Caleb Cotham to fill Ackley’s 25-man spot, and they expect Ackley to be back by September (unless surgery becomes necessary). Finger crossed.

Mason Williams injured his shoulder diving back to 1st base in a game on June 19, was placed on the 15-day DL on June 21 (retroactive to June 20), and moved from the 15-day DL to 60-day DL on July 11. Today, the Yankees announced he would need surgery to repair the damage after attempts to rest and rehab it haven’t been successful. This option will end his season, but not his career. We should see him again come Spring Training. We wish him the best of luck and health! (All corresponding roster moves have been made for Williams on his moves to the two disabled lists.)

Tomorrow should be interesting. Or at least, I hope it will. You just never know.

Go Yankees!

Game 103: NYY vs. CHW — White Sox white-out the Yankees

Tonight just wasn’t going to be the Yankees’ night, no matter how much effort and heart they put into the game. And in a 162 game regular season, you’re destined to have a few of those games. But never fear, Yankees fans, there are still 59 games left to play.

Bryan Mitchell got the start tonight against the White Sox. Mitchell threw 78 pitches into the 5th inning, giving up 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs, and striking out 5 batters. In the 1st, a lead-off single scored on a 1-out double to start the White Sox scoring for the night. In the 2nd, a solo home run gave them a 2-0 lead. A lead-off single in the 5th, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, and then scored on an RBI single. At that point, they opted to rest the recently called-up pitcher and go to the bullpen.

Diego Moreno came in to relieve Mitchell. He promptly hit his first batter and then gave up a 3-run home run before finally getting three outs for the 5th inning. Moreno escaped damage in the 6th, but found trouble again in the 7th — a 1-out single, a 2-out walk, an RBI double, and a wild pitch that scored another run. And that would be it for Moreno. Chicago firmly in the lead, the Yankees went to today’s recalled reliever Nick Rumbelow. Rumbelow actually had the absolute best inning of the Yankees’ pitching staff tonight — 8 pitches in the 1-2-3 8th inning.

The Yankees offense was just as weak as their pitching tonight. They got through the Chicago pitching in two instances. In the 3rd, Murphy led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on Ryan’s single, and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ sacrifice fly. It should be noted that Gregorius was rather robbed of a 3-run home run here as the Chicago outfielder literally reached over the fence to grab the ball back for the out. The Yankees sat on that lone run until the top of the 9th when Brian McCann hit his 17th home run, a 1-out solo shot to the right field seats.

Just wasn’t going to be the Yankees’ night with the White Sox getting 11 total hits (to the Yankees’ 5) and the Yankees striking out 11 total times (to the White Sox’s 5, coincidentally).

Final score: 8-2 White Sox.

 

In Roster Moves News, the Yankees did another switching around with the relievers and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Rumbelow was recalled (and well-used tonight), while Nick Goody was optioned back. With Goody’s recent outings, he’d be unavailable until next week anyway.

Also, Carlos Beltran had a large bruise on his foot from fouling off a couple balls off his foot the last couple of days. He said he’ll be available to play tomorrow, however. And prospect starter Luis Severino is currently on the schedule to start on Wednesday against the Red Sox.

One more game tomorrow afternoon to conclude this crazy road trip. And it’s just August 1st. There’s 59 games left of the season and just over 2 months left. And now that the trade deadline has passed, it’s basically the final turn before the backstretch (and if you get that reference, you’re pretty awesome). So in other words, the Yankees have a lead in the AL East to protect and hopefully expand and a championship postseason to prepare for.

Go Yankees!

Spring Game 27: BAL vs. NYY — Home runs good, pitching bad

I think we can officially call today a really beautiful Spring day in Florida. The sun was shining in a bright blue cloudless sky, and a recent cold front (that pushed that heavy rain through the areas yesterday) dropped temperatures to a nice 69-degree day. It was like a perfect day for a baseball game.

The visiting Orioles apparently thought so too.

Okay, let’s get the tough news out of the way first — and it’s the pitching. It reminds me of this online acronym that people use (well, by “people” I mean people who are under 25 and don’t use full words let alone complete sentences to say what they want to say) — SMH. It means “Shaking My Head”, or I have no words and am forced just to shake my head at the situation because it’s so disappointing. That was the Yankees pitching today.

But it didn’t start that way. The 1st inning was a quick 1-2-3 inning for starting pitcher Scott Baker. But digging into the heart of the Orioles order opened the door for some trouble for Baker in the 2nd inning. A single, a force out, a single, and a single — suddenly bases loaded with 1 out. A sacrifice fly scored the first run and opened the flood gates. An RBI single and a 3-run home run, and suddenly, the Orioles were up 5-0 going into the 3rd inning.

3rd inning reliever Jacob Lindgren got into his own sticky situation — 2 singles and a walk loaded the bases, but only 1 run scored that inning on a sacrifice fly. The next two pitchers Bailey and Shreve kept the 4th and 5th inning run-free from the Orioles. But Dellin Betances continued his struggles this Spring in his 6th inning outing, quickly getting runners on the corners which allowed another run to score on a sacrifice fly (honestly, the Orioles fed off these today).

Then it was Justin Wilson’s turn to take the mound and dealt the Orioles a quick 1-2-3 7th inning before finding his own sticky situation in the 8th — a lead-off walk and a single put 2 runners on base that would easily score on a long double. And it would be Nick Rumbelow’s turn in the 9th inning to allow a lead-off home run to cap off the Orioles massive scoring day. A total of 10 runs scored off 12 Baltimore hits.

Ouch. SMH. Use whatever you want to react to the situation. I know I did.

There were a couple of bright spots on today’s offense. The Yankees got a total of 3 hits. Yes, 3 total hits. A Beltran single in the 1st, and then 2 solo home runs. In the bottom of the 5th, Stephen Drew smacked his 2nd home run of the Spring right over the right field wall to put the Yankees on the board. And then in the 7th, Alex Rodriguez saw a 1st pitch he liked and swung for the fences for the Yankees 2nd and final run of the game.

And that was it. Final score: 10-2 Orioles.

Injury news (hope this doesn’t become a regular part of my blog like last year): Didi Gregorius suffered a sprained left wrist on a play in the 2nd inning. He dove for a ball and landed awkwardly on his wrist. After some conversation and an initial exam, he decided to stay in, but after his next at-bat, they pulled him so as not to risk further injury. X-rays and other more serious tests all came up negative, and the diagnosis of a sprained wrist remains, giving him a few days rest. He is still on schedule for Opening Day.

Before the game today, the Yankees honored two minor leaguers for their performance during last season. Rob Refsnyder was awarded “Player of the Year” and Luis Severino “Pitcher of the Year”. Refsnyder began his 2014 season in AA Trenton, ending it with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; basic stats for just last year: .318 batting average, 82 runs scored, 164 hits, 38 doubles, 6 triples, 14 home runs, and 63 RBIs. Severino began last year with Charleston (Short-A), then Tampa (Single-A), and ended up with AA Trenton; his stats: 24 starts, 113.1 innings, 6 wins, 5 losses, 2.46 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 127 strikeouts.

Go Yankees!