Yankeemetrics: August 11-13 (Orioles)

Michael Pineda pitched well in his first start since April 23, but the Yankees still lost. (Photo: New York Daily News)

Michael Pineda pitched well in his first start since April 23, but the Yankees still lost. (Photo: New York Daily News)

Nightmare in Charm City, Part I
A 3-1 lead is never safe, especially when you are facing the team that leads the majors in home runs and your team leads the league in home runs allowed. That’s the lesson learned after Monday’s 11-3 loss to the Orioles.

Brett Gardner had his usual hot start, hitting a triple in his first at-bat. That was his third triple leading off a game this season, becoming the first Yankee to do that in a single season since Roy White in 1974.

The Yankees scored two runs in the second inning on an error-filled play that simply has to be watched, or heard, to appreciate it. The Orioles ended up committing three errors in the game, which normally would mean a win for the Yankees – except this is not a normal season.

The only other game the Yankees have lost in Baltimore when the Orioles made at least three errors came more than 50 years ago on September 21, 1961.

Carlos Beltran was credited with a steal of home during that crazy play. He is the second Yankee whose primary position is designated hitter to steal home, joining Kevin Maas in 1991.

Chase Whitley was part of the bullpen’s implosion, giving up four runs on five hits while getting just two outs. He is the first Yankee reliever to allow that many hits and that many runs in fewer than one inning pitched against the Orioles since Goose Gossage on September 10, 1983. Pretty good company, but not the stat-line you want to be remembered for.

Nightmare in Charm City, Part I
It was a familiar start and finish to the game for the Yankees on Wednesday night, as they lost 5-3 to the Orioles despite having a two-run lead heading into the fifth inning.

This was the Yankees fourth straight loss and they have not scored more than three runs or had more than six hits in each of the losses. It is the longest losing streak of its kind by a Yankee team since the 1990 squad lost five games in a row with three runs or fewer and six hits or fewer in each game.

Michael Pineda started his first game since April 23 and was excellent, allowing only one run on two hits in five innings. He retired the first 12 batters for the longest perfect game bid of his career.

Pineda has now given up no more than two runs and five hits in each of his five starts this season. He is the second pitcher in the last 100 years to allow two runs or fewer and five hits or fewer in each of his first five starts with the Yankees, joining Pascual Perez (5 in 1990-91).

The only other Yankee pitchers in the last 100 years to begin a season with five straight starts like that are Hank Thormahlen (1919), Hideki Irabu (1998) and David Cone (1999).

Dellin Betances four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings in relief of Pineda. He now has 106 strikeouts this season, the fourth-most as a reliever in a single season in Yankees history. The only pitchers with more are: Mariano Rivera (130 in 1996), Goose Gossage (122 in 1978) and Joe Page (114 in 1947).

Adam Jones hit the tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning for the Orioles, his third career go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later vs Yankees. That is the most such homers by an Orioles player against the Yankees since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Former ESPN researcher; forever baseball and Yankees fan. Now living in northern Vermont and the color of the front door of our house is Yankee blue. Also write about college football and basketball and the NFL. Bleed Huskies blue (that's UConn, of course).

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