Before I start the actual recap of this craptacular* game, here are a few of stats you can chew on for a while:
- The Yankees are 3-8 over their last 11 games.
- All eight losses have been by two runs or less and six have been by one run.
- The Yankees’ last nine losses have been by a combined 12 runs.
Fun, right? So, let’s get on with the post mortem, shall we?
To be honest, I don’t even know how to start this. Tonight was the third night in a row the Yankees have come up short in an attempt to comeback and win a game. And sometimes I think losses like this are much more frustrating than blow outs because at least your team is out of it and doesn’t tease you with a lead off double in the ninth inning which could be the potential tying run but that doesn’t score.
I’m sorry, where was I?
The Yankees scored first in the second inning on an RBI single by Eric Chavez. Baltimore came back in the next inning with a run of their own off the bat of Wilson Betemit who hit a Freddy Garcia offering into right field – it was Betemit’s 12th home run of the year.
The O’s struck again in the fifth inning on back to back sacrifice flies by Omar Quintanilla and Nick Markakis to pull ahead 3-1. And yet again in the seventh on an RBI double by Markakis and a J.J. Hardy single to right.
With the score 5-2, the Yankees had to try and mount a comeback.
In the bottom of the seventh, it looked like they’d have a chance. After two quick outs by Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez to start the inning, Chavez and Ichirso Suzuki hit back to back home runs. You are reading that correctly, Ichiro hit a home run, the 100th of his career to pull the Yankees to within one run.
After a quiet bottom of the eighth, Nick Swisher got the bottom of the ninth started with a ground rule double to right center off Orioles reliever Jim Johnson. The Yankees still had life. Or so everyone thought.
Joe Girardi replaced Swisher with pinch runner Ramiro Pena. Ibanez struck out swinging, Chavez followed that up with a walk and Ichiro grounded into a force play i.e. it would have been a double play if someone else was running. Pena advanced to third and there were two outs.
It was up to Russell Martin to try and tie the game and he struck out. Ballgame over, Yankees lose.
Freddy Garcia was not that bad tonight, he pitched six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits. He also walked three and struck out two. For the Orioles, Mike Gonzalez won his third game of the season. He gave up all four runs to the Yankees on six hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.
In the past, we’ve had “What’s Wrong With Mo Week” when Mariano Rivera doesn’t seem like himself and has some bad outings in a cluster but now it seems like we are right in the middle of “What’s Wrong With The Yankees Week.” Hopefully, they can snap out it like Mo always seemed to do.
*I know craptacular isn’t a word but it should be one.