As a result of inclement weather in Baltimore, the scheduled game that the Yankees had against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night will now be played as a day-night doubleheader on September 12. The re-scheduled game will be at 1:05 p.m. and the regularly scheduled game will start at 7:05 p.m. That will be during the last series that the Yankees have in Baltimore this season.
In the first game of the series, on Monday, the Yankees lost to the Orioles 11-3. It was their third consecutive loss and in those three games the offense combined to go 0-19 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees would have lost 11-1, but in the second inning Carlos Beltran stole home and then Chase Headley was able to score after Bud Norris’s throwing error. It was the second error of the play as Headley was able to advance to third after an error by the usually reliable Manny Machado.
Chris Capuano allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, which is much worse than his last start where he threw 6.2 shutout innings in the win over the Detroit Tigers. However, the loss is more on the offense than Capuano because the Yankees could have won the game if they would have gone 3-8 or 4-8 instead of 0-8 with runners in scoring position. Adam Warren, who is not doing as well as he did earlier in the season, allowed three runs in the seventh, and is starting to prove that the shouldn’t be used in as many high leverage situations.
The Yankees will see if the offense will be rejuvenated by the day off that the rain caused on Tuesday. The Yankees are now seven games behind the Orioles in the AL East, and they need the win to keep their slim hopes of catching Baltimore alive. If their offense can produce like it has before this three-game losing streak it is still very realistic that they could get the second Wild-Card because as a result of a loss by the Tigers on Tuesday they are only 2.5 games behind them.
Michael Pineda will be making his first start for the Yankees on Wednesday since his start on April 23 when he received a 10-game suspension for having pine tar on his neck. He has been on the disabled list ever since because he sustained a strained muscle behind his pitching shoulder while he was throwing during his suspension. He dominated the opposition with a 1.83 ERA over 19.2 innings in four starts. He had 15 strikeouts and only three walks during his starts in April.
“I know I made a mistake, so I learned from that,” Pineda said. “Everything is in the past right now. I said sorry to my team and sorry to everybody, so now everything is in the past. I want to continue my career and I want to help my team right now.”
In two August starts pitching at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes/Barre, Pineda showed similar strikeout ability that he did before his injury, recording 11 strikeouts in his 7.2 innings. He was on a pitch count in both starts. In his first start, he threw 3.1 innings, allowed three hits and no runs. In his start on 8/8, Pineda threw 4.1 innings, allowed one run and gave up six hits. It seems like he is back to pitching like before he was injured, and he could give the Yankees five to six innings on Wednesday.
Pineda’s move back into the rotation will move Esmil Rogers, who was filling in for David Phelps, back to the bullpen. Rogers pitched four scoreless innings in the bullpen before making an emergency start last Friday. After Wednesday’s game, the Yankees will have another off day, and then play a three-game series Friday-Sunday in Florida against the Tampa Bay Rays. It has been announced that the starters in that series will be Brandon McCarthy, Shane Greene and Chris Capuano. Hiroki Kuroda, who is the oldest member of the rotation, has deservedly had his turn in the rotation skipped.
The Yankees scored 10 runs in the first six innings in Saturday’s win over the Indians, but they have only scored four runs in the past three games. Derek Jeter, who recently passed Honus Wagner for sixth most hits in MLB history and had the only Yankees hit after the second inning in Monday’s loss, knows that hitting can be cyclical and than optimism is key.
“Listen, when you play baseball, there’s going to be stretches when you struggle and stretches when you play well,” Jeter said. “Yeah, we understand, we have to score runs, we have to pitch, we have to play defense, we have to play better. We need to win games but we also have to remain optimistic.”
Chris Tillman, who will be pitching for the Orioles, has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season. However, in three starts against the Bronx Bombers last season he had a much higher 4.42 ERA.