This was their fourth rain delay this season against the Orioles who came out on top 5-4 in extra innings over the Yankees in a game that featured six errors and 13 relievers.
Baltimore and New York’s starters each struggled giving up a combined eight runs. Zach Britton who had been one of the Orioles better starters of late gave up all of the Yankees runs on five hits and four walks.
A.J. Burnett did not really do enough to deserve another start in this six-man rotation that should turn into the standard five-man one. He allowed four runs on seven hits, with four walks and a homer. This start proved again how unreliable he is since he allowed two runs in his start last week against the Red Sox but in his two starts before that one he allowed a combined 16 runs.
Burnett gave up a two run homer to Nolan Reimold, his ninth of the season, who is only hitting .231. It is truly hard to fathom how Burnett gave up two runs by the Boston offense but could not limit the paltry Baltimore offense.
It seems like Hughes can be counted on to pitch more consistently than Burnett especially since he only has one win in his last 10 starts while Hughes has shown some dominance since coming off the disabled list.
The offensive stars for the Yankees were Jesus Montero and Alex Rodriguez as they drove in all of their four runs. Rodriguez had a two-run double to deep center which drove in Russell Martin and Nick Swisher in the opening stanza, and Montero (5 RBI in 5 games) singled to deep right center which plated Rodriguez and Andruw Jones.
In the bottom of the sixth shortstop Robert Andino fielded a shot hop cleanly and it appeared that he would throw out Jesus Montero but Andino would receive an error because his throw to first sailed into the Yankee dugout.
In an effort to get the lead before the game was potentially called because of rain Manager Joe Girardi sent in Robinson Cano and Mark Teixiera. Curtis Granderson was inserted into the lineup after Teixiera which would make a very imposing seven, eight and nine to round out the order. Granderson hit a double to the wall in the seventh which had the potential of being a triple but he tripped after rounding first base.
However, his double to lead off the inning would go to waste as he would be stranded at third keeping the score at four. The Yankees squandered an opportunity to put the game away in that inning.
In the top of the eighth David Robertson dominated like normal but this time he struck out the side. He used his cutter to perfection.
In the ninth inning Clay Rapada would pitch for the Orioles and he is very deceptive on left handed pitchers because he is a side arm pitcher. The umpire went to the mound to try and force Rapada to put his foot on the rubber but it appeared as if his foot stayed off the rubber for the rest of the at-bat against Cano. Rapada would get Granderson to fly out to the catcher and with that Buck Showalter would make yet another pitching change.
Pedro Strop would come into the game becoming the Orioles seventh pitcher on the afternoon. Strop, a converted shortstop, has a 3.09 ERA in 10 appearances, two for the Orioles and eight for the Rangers. He would get Eduardo Nunez to ground out to Andino at short to force extra innings in a game filled with errors.
To start the “free baseball” Hector Noesi struck out Chris Davis to give him five on the afternoon, as well as a grand total of 20 in his last 40 at bats. Noesi would go on to strike out the side as he has filled his role adequately in relief this season.
Russell Martin picked up his second hit of the contest to lead-off the bottom of the 10th, but the next three batters would get out in order. Martin was the only Yankee who played the whole game to come away with two hits and he also had his second consecutive game with multiple hits. After pinch hitting for Ramiro Pena, Granderson got a hit in two out of his three at bats.
Nunez came away with an error after failing to pick up the fast short hop by Matt Angle. That was the fourth error of the game and committing so many miscues makes it difficult to win games, but the wet conditions certainly don’t help. Joe Girardi left Noesi in one inning too long as he threw a wild pitch to Reimold and the feast or famine Mark Reynolds hit an RBI single.
Eduardo Nunez had the chance to be the hero in the bottom of the eleventh and make up for committing his 18th error, but Girardi decided to replace him with Eric Chavez with runners on first and third. This strategic move proved to be an instance of over-analyzing because Chavez would ground into a fielder’s chance to end the game.
The Yankees offense should not have been held scoreless for six innings off of an Orioles bullpen that features the previously mentioned converted shortstop, a reliever making his fourth career appearance in Zach Phillips and four who all have more than a 4.15 ERA.
A reason for only scoring four runs in 11 innings is that they did horribly in clutch situations once again. Four players including Swisher, Cano, Montero and Chavez left runners on base with two outs and overall the team left nine runners on base. It is very important to drive runners in with ducks on the pond and in this game the Yankees could not convert off of mediocre pitchers.
It also would have helped if Martin would have thrown out some of the base stealers as three of the five stolen bases off of him came around to score. If he would have thrown out two or even three of them that might have caused a different outcome.
Burnett is now the first pitcher in history to have eight games in his career with three wild pitches. The Yankees
The Yankees will try and win the series (3-1) tonight behind Ivan Nova who strong candidate for Rookie of the Year. He has now gone eight consecutive starts with a win and has not picked up a loss since June 3rd helping him to a remarkable 15-4 record. Nova does not crumble under pressure and he has even improved his pitch location and execution after allowing one or two early runs.
They are 8-2 in their last 10 games helping them stay 2.5 games ahead of Boston.