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 [...]
The Yankees entered the night with a lot of things going wrong for the, namely a mounting list of injuries and a recent spate of losing as the team goes through a cold period, but they still had the chance to extend their 7.5 game lead in the division by beating the Orioles tonight. Instead a ninth inning rally came up short as Russell Martin struck out with the winning run at first to end the game with Baltimore winning 5-4.
- The Yankees started the scoring thanks to a two out RBI in the second from Eric Chavez that was set up when Raul Ibanez was awarded second on a balk called against Orioles’ starter Miguel Gonzalez. It was actually one of two balks called in the game, with the other going against Freddy Garcia, and both of them seemed pretty sketchy to me. Gonzalez was apparently flagged for not coming set in his delivery, but I’ve seen releases quicker than that this season, and Garcia flinched so slightly I had to replay the sequence more than once to figure out what had happened. Good game blue.
- It looked like Freddy Garcia might have brought his good stuff to the park tonight, but alas it was just your standard Freddy game. Wilson Betemit got himself a Yankee Stadium homer in the third (you know, the kind that only the Yankees ever hit!) to tie the game, and then Garcia really scuffled through a fifth inning in which Baltimore scored two runs to stretch their lead to 3-1. Garcia finished the night with a less than sexy line of 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 SO, and 1 HR allowed, but considering that the game was 3-2 when he left it’s definitely fair to say he gave the team a chance to win this game.
- That other Yankees’ run came in the fifth inning on a home run by Raul Ibanez, his 14th of the season. Ibanez had a fun little night, going 2-4 and scoring two of the Yankees’ four runs in the game, but also striking out in his other two at bats, including with no one out and the tying run on second base in the ninth inning.
- Boone Logan came on to relieve Garcia in the seventh, and he had a pretty rough go of it, allowing two runs while failing to finish the inning.Logan has had a rough go of things recently, and his ERA is now all the way up to 4.01 after an early season stretch in which it looked like he might have been the team’s best reliever with Mariano Rivera and David Robertson on the disabled list. David Phelps came in after him and cleaned up the mess, getting five outs while allowing a hit and a walk.
- The Yankees cut the lead to 5-4 thanks to a couple of two out home runs by Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki in the bottom of the seventh, at which point Joe Girardi decided to have Russell Martin pinch hit for Chris Stewart. Martin flew out to end the inning, and I swear I found myself thinking that I really would have just rather seen Stewart bat.
- The Yankees got the leadoff batter on in each of the next two innings, with Derek Jeter singling in the 8th and Nick Swisher doubling in the 9th. The next three batters all made outs in the former instance, but Eric Chavez drew a walk following Ibanez’s strikeout to put the winning run on base. Ichiro had to beat out the back end of a double play to keep the game going, but Martin promptly struck out to end the rally and the game.
- The Yankees have now lost eight of their last 11, and Baltimore has pulled to within seven games of the Yankees in the loss column. So for all of the recent frustration, the rest of the division just hasn’t been able to make up any ground on the Bombers, which is a good thing.
The Yankees took a couple extra innings losses in Charleston and Staten Island, as the Yankees’ affiliates went 3-2 on the day. Ty Hensley made his first appearance with the GCL Yankees and while it was not particularly smooth, he showed off some heat.
Empire State beat Pawtucket 2-1:
The Yankees had a chance to take an early lead as Chris Dickerson singled in the bottom of the first. Corban Joseph hit into a double play, but Eduardo Nunez and Ronnier Mustelier followed with singles. An error moved both runners over, but Brandon Laird struck out and ended the inning. The game stayed scoreless through five, but the Yankees finally scored in the sixth. Joseph walked and Laird hit a two out single to left. Kosuke Fukudome singled in Joseph and Empire State took a 1-0 lead. Nunez singled in the eighth and stole second, moving to third on an error. A sac fly by Mustelier gave the Yankees some needed insurance. The Red Sox scored their lone run of the game in the ninth, but the Yankees held on for the 2-1 win.
Nunez went 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Kosuke Fukudome went 2-4 with a RBI. John Maine threw seven innings and gave up just one hit and one walk, striking out two. Cory Wade went one inning and struck out one batter.
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There are two days remaining in the month of July, and the Orioles are four games above .500. If I’m doing my ‘rithmetic correctly, that means that, no matter what happens, the Orioles will have a winning record when August rolls around. We live in strange times indeed. On the other hand, the Yankees are 8 games ahead of the birds in the loss column in the A.L. East standings, so they’ve got the chance to all but eliminate Baltimore from contending for the division crown if they can sweep them over the next three days. Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener:
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Lew Ford LF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Omar Quintanilla 2B
Miguel Gonzalez RHP
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chris Stewart C
Freddy Garcia RHP
First pitch is at 7:05. Enjoy!
There’s some fantastic stuff on Joba Chamberlain’s rehabilitation tour over at Mike Ashmore’s Thunder Thoughts, including some video and scouting reports. Chamberlain must be activated from the 60-day DL by August 6, but he may well be ready for the show right now. At this juncture, Chamberlain has game tested his entire repertoire, and he [...]
(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are sellers? The Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, and Baltimore Orioles have all been aggressively trying to upgrade their rosters for a playoff push? When the second wild card was implemented, most observers predicted it would [...]
SNY.tv’s Ted Berg chats with Mark Brown of CamdenChat.com to preview the Yankees’ three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.
The top line takeaway from John Harper’s story on Mark Teixeira in today’s Daily News is supposed to be the intrigue in the apparently sourceless demand that Mark Teixeira alter his approach at the plate and try to use the entire field more, as opposed to pulling the ball so often. However, the real lesson, I think, is that his pull happy ways were never really Tex’s problem in the first place.
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While it was understood that this was a more important series for the Red Sox than for the Yankees, it was still disappointing to see the Yankees lose two out of three at home to the Beantowners. The two losses were both frustrating as the Yankees had rallied back late only to give the games away with either bad defense or slow defense and lucky hits by that Ciriaco guy who is now a metropolitan nightmare. The overall factor here is that the Yankees have now lost seven of ten in a stretch of mediocrity but have only lost two games in the standings. Unfortunately, after watching both the Braves and Red Sox crash and burn last year to lose what looked like commanding leads for the playoffs, there is no comfort in stating how big the Yankees’ division lead still remains. But, it’s better to be where the Yankees are than where the other teams are.
After watching the last three games against Boston, there are some hopefully salient points sticking in the brain this morning. Here they are in no particular order:
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