It's official. The Yankees will not be participating in the postseason for the second straight year. In the lone afternoon game of this final home series, they inched ahead early only to have their starting pitching blow up soon after and give away the lead in quick fashion.
It was a misleading start for Shane Greene if you were following on Gameday like I was. He retired the first 2 innings in order and struck out 2 in the 2nd, but he really didn't have great command and he was missing some spots. That started to show through in the 3rd when he loaded the bases with 2 2-out walks before escaping. It came bursting through in the 4th when the Orioles' first 2 hitters got on with singles, a Ryan Flaherty bases loaded double gave them 3 runs, and 3 straight 2-out hits (single, triple, bunt single) made it a 6-run inning and ended Greene's day. Meltdown City, population Shane Greene.
The only reason the Yankees were able to stay competitive in the face of that 4th inning was the consistency with which they ticked off runs against Baltimore starter Bud Norris. They got 1 in the 1st on a 2-out rally by Chase Headley (single) and Mark Teixeira (RBI double), 1 in the 2nd on a Stephen Drew home run, and 1 more in the 3rd on another solo home run by Headley. A pair of leadoff baserunners in the 4th were erased, however, and the all too familiar mid-inning disappearance showed up through the 7th.
When the offense did awaken, it wasn't enough to mount a comeback. Mark Teixeira hit a garbage time 2-run homer in the 8th to pull the Yankees within 4. That was the final deficit thanks to a tag team effort of inefficiency by Chase Whitley and David Phelps in the top half of the inning. Thank goodness the Yanks only have 1 more game against this team this season. They can't take much more of this beating.
- Just a brutal 4th inning for Greene. 9 batters faced, 7 of them reached base. The final one added insult to injury too, as Adam Jones bunted for a single to score the 6th run of the inning. Greene has been very, very good since coming into the rotation, but today was a reminder that he still has plenty to learn and iron out at this level.
- Good to see some power coming from the guys who were brought in as offensive upgrades, even if it's way too little way too late. The more Headley plays, the more I think the Yanks are going to re-sign him. He had a 3-hit day and scored 3 runs.
- Shout out to Eury Perez for making his Yankee debut and continuing to extend another team record by becoming the 58th different player used this season. He entered as the right fielder in the top of the 8th.
- Another shout out to David Huff, who came in to clean up Greene's mess and gave the team 2 scoreless innings before the Whitley/Phelps gongshow.