- Once again, the Yankees got some stellar pitching from their entire staff. Phil Hughes didn’t last quite as long as the top three guys did earlier in the series, but he did give the team 6.2 innings of one run ball, working out of a couple of jams and only being victimized by a solo home run by McLouth. He allowed four hits in total, walked three Orioles, but also struck out eight batters. Good stuff that should have been good enough for the win.
- The bullpen was also great again, with Boone Logan retiringthe one batter he faced before handing things off to David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Ultimately, those three guys plus Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada, David Phelps, and Derek Lowe would all pitch. Phelps gave up the two doubles in the 13th to get saddled with the loss, but no one pitched poorly by any means.
- Once again, the offense was just absolutely horrid. Seven hits, five walks, and a runner reaching on an error yielding just one run in 13 innings equals an effort that doesn’t deserve to win. And this was a total team effort to be sure, as basically no one had a good night at the plate. Jayson Nix got a couple of hits off of lefties Joe Saunders and Troy Patton, but that was it.
- The eighth inning was particularly bad. Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira led off with a couple of singles right back up the middle, but Robinson Cano (weak ground ball on a 3-1 pitch), Alex Rodriguez (struck out byDarren O’Day for the 200th time in the series), and Nick Swisher (fly out) all made outs without getting the go ahead run in for Soriano. They had some other chances, but that was ultimately what cost them the game.
- I really don’t get Joe Girardi’s decision to let A-Rod hit against O’Day in that eighth inning. O’Day has absolutely owned Alex in these four games, you just pinch hit for him last night, and Raul Ibanez is available in a situation in which he can bring the go ahead run in even by making an out. Instead you leave A-Rod in for the most predictable strikeout in recorded human history…but pinch hit Eric Chavez for him with two outs in the 13th inning down a run. Just baffling.
- The Yankees’ lone run scored on a tapper to second base by Cano.
- Joba was hit by a broken bat and had to leave the game in the 12th inning. X-rays were performed and came back negative, and Joba has been diagnosed with a contusion. Good to hear he’s okay, but my goodness talk about a guy you don’t want to stand next to during a thunderstorm.
The bottom line:
Game Five tomorrow with C.C. Sabathia on the mound and the season on the line. Hopefully the offense remembers the address of the stadium then, though they’ve managed to already put themselves at a disadvantage even if they do win this series, as not getting an off day between the two rounds will force them to choose between using five starters or throwing everyone on short rest against the Tigers.