Yankees 6, Orioles 5: Three out of four ain’t bad

Well, this was a wild game.

It had everything: home runs, wild pitches, closer meltdowns, wins instead of saves…

The home runs

The first home run came off the bat of Mark Reynolds in the second inning and gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. The second shot was by Curtis Granderson who hit home runs in back-to-back games for the first time since last season. That gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead.

Baltimore cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth when Nick Markakis hit a solo shot off David Huff who had come into the game in the bottom of the fourth in relief of starter Phil Hughes.

In the bottom of the eighth, David Robertson had nothing working and Danny Valencia took advantage of that fact and belted a three-run homer to left centerfield. That tied the game at five.

The wild pitches and closer meltdowns

Hughes threw two wild pitches during his brief three inning appearance but neither one of them was as big as the wild pitch thrown by Orioles closer Jim Johnson in the top of the ninth inning. The inning didn’t start off that great for Johnson. He gave up a base hit to Brendan Ryan of all people, then he made a throwing error when Chris Stewart attempted a terrible bunt. Ryan and Stewart were both safe on the play. Granderson came up and hit a sac bunt (a pretty good one too) to advance both runners and Alex Rodriguez stepped in. This was a key situation for both teams. A-Rod had a chance to be the hero with runners on second and third with only one out and Johnson needed to step up and prevent the Yankees from scoring.

Instead, he uncorked a wild pitch that was about 55 feet and allowed Ryan to score from third. The Yankees went up 6-5.

Johnson intentionally walked A-Rod and Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Mariano Rivera came into the game and I will admit, I wasn’t feeling great about the move. I realize he’s the closer and that he needs to come into these types of games but on the other hand, he’s pitched a lot this week and now, he’ll be unavailable tomorrow night in Boston.

Of course, I had nothing to worry about because he dispatched the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth and he did it in 1-2-3 fashion. Brian Roberts and Chris Dickerson grounded out and Manny Machado, once again, ended the game, this time popping out to Lyle Overbay in foul territory.

Ballgame over. Yankees win!

Wins instead of saves

After the game, the official scorer used his discretion and awarded the win to Mo instead of giving him the save. Apparently, they’re allowed to do this but rarely exercise their right to do it. He said that he believed Robertson was ineffective and he didn’t think Robertson deserved the win.

Okay, then.

Some notes:

  • Reynolds’ home run was the 200th of his career
  • Soriano made what ended up being the game saving catch even though it happened before Robertson’s meltdown.
  • How’s this for a role reversal? The Yankees are now 27-15 in one-run games which works out to the best winning percentage in the Majors. Guess who is last? That’s right, the Orioles, who lead the league in that stat last season. They now have a 16-27 record in one-run games.
  • Rivera now has 6 wins this season – the most since 2008.
  • It wouldn’t be a Yankee game without some sort of injury. This time it was Brett Gardner who strained his left oblique. He’s heading to New York for an MRI.

And the year of the injury continues!

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money and is co-host of the It's About The Yankees, Stupid podcast. When she's not blogging about baseball, she's blogging about the New York Knicks and when she's not doing either of those things, she's tweeting about General Hospital and her cats.