Tagged: Baltimore

Tuesday’s scheduled game between the Yankees and Orioles will be played on September 12

Michael Pineda pitching for the RailRiders.

Michael Pineda pitching for the RailRiders.

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. 

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The Yankees lost the series finale after Rivera’s rare blown save

Mariano Rivera smiling.

Mariano Rivera smiling.

The Yankees lost the last game of the series against the Baltimore Orioles as a result of Mariano Rivera’s second blown save of the season. This loss ended the Yankees winning streak at six games.

Rivera entered with the score 1-0 and Nick Markakis nearly tied the game with a deep homer to right field, but it was inches wide of the foul pole. However, Markakis would get on base and the next batter, the All-Star Adam Jones, hit a homer to left center that would be the game winner.

The only other save that Rivera did not convert this season was against the Mets on May 28. He had saved 41 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium so Rivera proved that he is human with this performance. Rivera has closed 29 saves in 31 chances this season.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched an excellent seven shutout innings, only allowing three hits, after it was announced on Friday that his start would be delayed until today as a result of a sore left hip flexor. It can be argued that Joe Girardi should have left Kuroda in to pitch the eighth after 88 pitches, but Robertson, (who you can vote for here the All-Star Game) retired the side in order in the eighth, and when Rivera enters the game he always instills confidence.

It was a smart decision for Rivera to take Kuroda out after seven innings because he was coming off of the minor injury. If Kuroda did not have his previous start delayed then Girardi should have left him in to pitch the eighth inning.

(Rivera revealed after the game in an interview that he wore the high socks in honor of David Robertson’s campaign to be the last player added to the American League All-Star team.)

The Yankees were only able to manage six hits off of five Orioles pitchers and they all came off of starter Jason Hammel. Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly in the second accounted for the only run of the game. He has been able make a difference from the offensive side since his return yesterday. However, the Yankees should have been able to score more than one run off of Hammel who had a 5.19 ERA entering today’s contest.

It is a good sign for the Yankees that Kuroda was able to bounce back against the potent Orioles offense because in his last start, also against the Orioles, he gave up four earned runs in six innings. This is not like how he has usually performed this season since he has a 2.95 ERA and has allowed two runs or less in more than half of his starts.

That was definitely a game that the Yankees let slip away, but the fact that Kuroda dominated like he often has and Robertson did not allow a run for his ninth outing in a row is important.

Manny Machado made an outstanding play on a Luis Cruz grounder that absolutely robbed him of a single. Cruz hit a ball in Machado’s direction at third that he bobbled, which led the ball to bounce a few feet from from the foul line and Machado still threw Cruz out at first. There are not many third baseman that could make that throw.

The Yankees will look to start a new winning streak against the Kansas City Royals. On Monday night, they will play the first of four games against the Royals. Kanas City is better than they have been in previous seasons. The Yankees can’t let an inferior team win the first game of the series.

Baltimore edges the Yankees in 11 after another shaky outing by Burnett

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.

Yankees hope to have more fans today after winning a game that ended at 2:05 a.m.

After a 4 hour and 3 minute rain delay, and about 1,000 brave souls in the stands, Phil Hughes was finally able to throw the first pitch in a game that the Yankees would not win until 2:15 a.m.

For the second run of the game, Francisco Cervelli hit a long fly ball just in front of the warning track and it appeared that the left-fielder what make the catch.  However, as a result of all the wind and rain, the ball went in and out of Matt Angle’s glove, so he advanced to second and Jorge Posada scored.  Posada had earlier hit a solo homer so he had scored both of the runs through five innings.

The error by Angle would be the first of three Orioles’ miscues during the game but only one error would lead to an unearned run.

Hughes cruised through the first five innings, keeping the Orioles off the scoreboard while only allowing three hits.  This proves that he was able to locate his pitches well but it was not all that promising that he had thrown 91 pitches to that point.

In the top of the sixth, the second to last batter Hughes would face was Matt Wieters and he would hit a long home run to deep right that scored the possible Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero.  Hughes rebounded well, especially considering the conditions he was pitching in, after allowing 12 runs combined in his last two starts.

The Yankees would score all of their runs off of Orioles starter Tommy Hunter.  He was acquired by the Orioles in a July 30th, pre deadline deal which would send Hunter and Chris Davis to the Orioles and Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Mark Teixiera singled to right for his 102nd RBI, which scored Derek Jeter after he had singled earlier in the inning.  Finally, in the bottom of the seventh inning the usually light hitting duo of Cervelli and Brett Gardner would hit back-to-back homers to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead, and close out the scoring. 

Cervelli hit only his fifth home run and fourth this season, during his 180 game career with the Yankees as the back-up catcher. However, this was a disputed home run that can be compared the Jeffrey Maier incident back in the first-round of 1996 playoffs since that was against the Orioles as well.

This play can not exactly be compared with the famous play in 96 that helped the Yankees win the playoff game because Angle was not planted under the ball like Tony Tarasco was on Jeter’s homer.  There were much less than 1,000 drenched fans at the stadium at this point, and the ball just so happened to touch the hands of two people as they were reaching over the left-field wall. 

Corey Wade would get his second win in his last four appearances out of the bullpen, once again proving to be a gem of a signing by General Manager Brian Cashman since he only has a 2.05 ERA, and nobody really made a big deal when he was acquired.  Mariano Rivera would lock-down his 39th save of the season in order, and is now only four saves away from overtaking Trevor Hoffman as the all-time leader.     

The Yankees brain-trust executed yet another admirable gesture by saying that anyone who had bought a ticket to the game, but decided not to attend because of the adverse conditions, can exchange this ticket for any 2012 game. 

Both teams have a very fast turnaround as last night/this morning’s game ended only about 10 hours and 45 minutes before today’s game is scheduled to start.  It does not really make sense that they played the game last night, since there was such an increased chance for injury, but the Yankees got the win to keep them 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox, which is the bottom line. 

 Joe Girardi is sending out what looks like a Spring Training lineup on first glance, but when one looks at it more closely it makes sense to give many starters a day of rest after the marathon like game last night.  There is also only one more off day before the playoffs begin.  Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera and Brett Gardner will all be getting the game off.  Their replacements will be Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Greg Golson, Brandon Laird and Andruw Jones.

Jesus Montero will also be getting another start after his two homer game where he was the savior on Monday.  Hopefully he will be able to lead the offense along with Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez and Jones 

A.J. Burnett will get the start for the Yankees and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to defeat the elements after having a much needed respectable start against the Red Sox on Thursday where he allowed two runs in 5.1 innings.  Girardi said two days ago that he will keep Hughes and Burnett in the rotation for at least on more turn so we will see how Burnett performs against a much less imposing lineup.      

If Burnett allows three runs or less then that will make Girardi’s decision interesting but if the allows more than three then Hughes should remain in the rotation because Burnett is too much of a question mark. 

Zach Britton will take the hill for the Orioles and he held the Yankees offense scoreless during seven innings 10 days ago.  Britton has likely been O’s most reliable starter of late only allowing three runs in his last three starts.  In his career against the Yankees, which only includes three stars he has a 3.77 ERA, but this season on the road his ERA sits at 6.32, which is nothing to write home about. 

It seems like the elements will play a role in the game once again because it has been raining off and on all morning.  Nobody knows how much the rain will affect Burnett but it is possible that he will be able to limit the Orioles like he did against the Red Sox since their offense is much less potent.      

Yankees split four game set in Baltimore, before their clash with the Red Sox

The Yankees defeated the Orioles, 3-2, behind timely hitting and effective pitching all around by Freddy Garcia as well as the bullpen.  This win gave them a split of the interrupted four-game series against the last place Orioles, in Baltimore.

Freddy Garcia only allowed four base runners during his very solid first start after returning from his short stint on the disabled list.  The only run that he allowed was a homer to the free swinging Mark Reynolds, who can usually be counted on hitting a ball out of the park or striking out.

Garcia has a stellar 3.09 ERA, while continuing his pre disabled list ownership of the American League with his sixth straight start allowing three runs or less.  More impressively, in four of those starts he has allowed one run or less.

Down the stretch their will be a three-way battle between Garcia, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes for the number three spot in the Yankees playoff rotation.  As of now, Garcia should get the edge because he has been battle tested, pitching in many more big games during his career than Nova or Hughes.  Nobody would have thought that Bartolo Colon and Garcia could have been the two and three starters for the Yankes, in the playoffs, at the beginning of the season.

Mark Teixiera got the scoring started in the first hitting a double to drive in Curtis Granderson, for his 100th RBI, which is his sixth season driving in 100 runs or more.  Teixiera continued his recent surge at the plate as he is 6-12 in his last three games

In the fourth inning, Nick Swisher would give the Yankees all the scoring they would need off of Alfred Simon as his homer to deep right drove in Robinson Cano. Six of Swisher’s last eight hits have been home runs which is unbelievable.  He now has a .267 average, with 21 homers and 77 RBI’s, which is a total reversal of fortune from how he was hitting earlier in the season.

The normally perfect David Robertson, who had not surrendered a run in his last 13 appearances, actually gave up a home run to J.J. Hardy, to deep left center, to make the game interesting.  However Robertson, also known as Houdini, would buckle down afterwards, striking out two in the inning while getting the hold.

Mariano Rivera has more saves against the Orioles than against any other team.  That is not all that surprising since they are in the AL East and have struggled for much of Rivera’s career.

He entered the game with a 3-2 lead facing Vladimir Guerrero.  Rivera would tip the ball with his glove, so that Cano could field it near second and make a strong throw to Teixiera at first.  He would go on to retire the side in order like he has so many times during his Hall of Fame career.

Rivera has now been perfect in his last five innings, not allowing a walk or hit during those games.  The last time he faltered was during three games against the Angels and Red Sox.  The Yankees will now be facing the Red Sox for three games in Boston, so hopefully Rivera can start as well as CC Sebathia can dominate the Red Sox.

They now trail the Red Sox by 1.5 games and are 2-10 in the season series.  Sebathia, (17-7, 2.99 ERA) the Yankees ace, has had a CY Young caliber season and would be a lock for the award over Justin Verlander if it was not for his struggles against Boston.

During four starts this season against the Red Sox, he has a sky-high 7.20 ERA, with a 1.72 WHIP and 10 walks in 25 innings.  He will pitch tonight, against John Lackey, (5.98 ERA) who lacks a decent ERA.  Hopefully Sebathia will be able to execute his pitches and pitch well tonight like he has against the rest of the AL East.  He has been a workhorse for the team, throwing at least seven innings in his last 14 starts, receiving the win in nine of those decisions.

The Red Sox and Yankees will clash three more times after this three game set in Boston, and these six games will go a long way towards deciding who gets to win the division and thus face the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs.

The Yankees were again without the duo of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez but were still able to win the last two games without them.  There is a chance that both will play during the  series in Boston.

Rivera is now only eight saves away (592) from Trevor Hoffman on the all-time saves list so he should be able to pass him before the end of the season.

3 straight homers by the Yankees highlight an effective end to the doubleheader

Ivan Nova was super once again, pitching seven effective innings, while not wasting the offensive explosion, during the 8-3 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.  He became the first Yankees rookie to win at least 10 straight decisions in one season since Atley Donald won 12 straight in 1939.

Nova allowed one run in each of the first three innings, as Adam Jones would drive in two of those runs. Nova leads all rookies with his 14 wins, and pitches very well with a lead.  Some pitchers will crumble and buckle under pressure with a lead, but Nova excels.

However, the story of this game was how the Yankees offense put on yet another remarkable display.

Curtis Granderson turned around his slump with a vengeance as he hit a three run home run in the third.  His 37th home run, in the top of the third, nearly made it onto Eutaw Street and it put the Yankees up 3-2.  He is now in sole possession for the major league lead in homers.

Granderson drove in Eric Chavez and Brett Gardner, who have both been in slumps recently.  Chevez’s slump has been more pronounced as he is only 4-25, but at least he is not an everyday player.

The home run barrage off of Orioles starter Brian Matusz would continue a Cano hit an opposite field home run in the top of the sixth, to break the tie and send the Yankees up 5-3.  That was the first of back-to-back-to-back homers which would make the score 7-3.  Nick Swisher sent one over the fences off of Matusz to end his night and send him to the showers.

The next two pitchers could not avoid the long ball as well.  Chris Jakubauskas, struck out two batters but he also gave up Andruw Jones’s 11th homer of the season. Granderson hit his second home run off of journey man giant Mark Hendrickson.

An interesting not about the three consecutive homers in the sixth is that the last time the Yankees did so it also came against the Orioles.  That date was May 20, 2009, and Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano joined the party on that day as well.

Another positive about Granderson is that he has totally turned around his offensive production against lefties.  He used to struggle against them but ever since his meeting with hitting coach Kevin Long, last August, he has been a new hitter from both sides of the plate.  He now leads the majors with 15 long balls off of lefties and has just passed Cano for most RBI against them.

This is the offensive outburst that was expected against the Orioles, and especially Brian Matusz because he had an 8.92 ERA coming into the game, now 9.07, and even though he has not been in the rotation the whole season he has likely been the worst starter in the American League.

David Robertson had not allowed a run in his last 12 appearances.  He entered the game with the score 8-3, and runners on first and second.  He would go on to allow a single to Adam Jones.  Since it was hit right to Nick Swisher in right, J.J. Hardy was stranded at third.  Robertson got the free swinging Vladimir Guerero to strike out on a pitch that was well out of the strike zone. Another hitter who does not take many pitches, Mark Reynolds, was Robertson’s next victim, as he struck out for the third time.  He then struck out Ryan Adams for the trifecta, pulling off the impressive feat of striking out three men with the bases loaded.

This was a truly remarkable outing by Robertson, also known as Houdini. He had the correct mindset as he threw mainly pitches out of the zone against Guerrero and Reynolds because he knew they were apt to be overly aggressive.  Now, out of the 44 batters he has faced with the bases loaded he has struck out 23 of them.

Baltimore’s bullpen has been suspect as well, so they were due for a down game after having won six straight.  Hopefully this will be the start of a long winning streak for the Yankees as they start a three- game series, in Boston, against the Red Sox, on Tuesday.  They are now two games behind Boston, who has won three out of their last four.

In an effort to give the Yankees a split of the four-game set, Freddy Garcia (3.16 ERA) will pitch during the series finale on Monday, which will be his first start since coming off of the disabled list.  He has the advantage against O’s starter Alfred Simon, who only has four wins and 4.30 ERA.  However, in his last start, he only allowed the Twins offense to score one run over a career high eight innings.

It is also possible that he will not see Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, who could continue to be out with minor injuries.

 

Yankees offense has an Irene induced hangover against Zach Britton

In the first game of a doubleheader, the Yankees bats came back rusty, after the team had to spend Saturday in their Baltimore hotel during Hurricane Irene, being shut out 2-0 by Zach Britton, for the Orioles (53-77) sixth straight win.

Britton allowed one run in his last start after allowing an alarming 17 in his previous three.  This was an unexpected pitching performance from Britton because in his last start against the Yankees, on July 30th, he didn’t make it out of the first-inning while allowing six runs on seven hits.

Bartolo Colon will get over-shadowed by Britton because the Orioles got the victory, but Colon had a very respectable start in his own right.  He dominated the O’s for the most part, shutting out the opposition for six innings while allowing a run in the seventh and eighth.   In each of his last two starts he allowed five runs and two home runs, so the Colon from earlier in the season has returned.

There is some question as to who should be the number two starter behind CC Sebathia in the playoffs, but if can Colon can display another start like he did today, it should likely be him.  He was able to locate all of his pitches today and the over-weight Colon has been the Yankees most consistent starter this year besides Sebathia.

The only hitter who produced for the Yankees was Mark Teixeira, who chipped in with three hits, but they were wasted because everybody near him in the lineup failed to reach base.  The Bronx Bombers could only muster two other hits during the contest.

Curtis Granderson is having his first major cold stretch, during his MVP caliber season, as he is now three for his last 26.  However, he held his head high after the game, giving praise to the Orioles starter by giving all the credit to him.

The Yankees should have been able to score some runs but sometimes the pitcher just has the upper-hand, commanding all his pitches while knowing the scouting report, and that is what happened this after-noon.

The game winner ended up being Vladimir Guerrero’s single through the infield to Nick Swisher in right-field, which scored Nick Markakis.  This would give Baltimore a lead that their suspect bullpen would not surrender.

After Colon struck out Robert Andino looking on the outside corner to give the Orioles two outs in the eighth, J.J. Hardy would go on to hit a single between Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to make the score 2-0.  That would spell the end of Colon’s afternoon.  Sometimes pitchers get hard luck losses like this one, but on the other hand sometimes they get the victory after allowing five runs.

In the ninth inning Teixiera added his third hit by hitting a line drive off of the first base bag, which bounced into right field.  Rodriguez had the opportunity to tie the game with one swing, be he did not cooperate.  He hit into a tailor made double play right to Hardy at short to give the Orioles the first two wins of this four game set.

This also gave struggling closer Kevin Gregg (4.32 ERA) his 19th save of the year.  Also, the Orioles hit seven hits, two more than the Yankees, but they were able to take advantage of scoring opportunities.

At one point the Yankees had three hits and Teixeira had a two of them, which is not a promising sign for victory, even though Colon only allowed two runs.  Also, the Yankees’ seven strikeouts were way too many against the caliber of pitching that they were facing.

Hopefully the second game of the double-header brings enough runs so that the end game combination of Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera can shut down the Orioles for a Yankees victory.  After not getting a hit this afternoon, Alex Rodriguez will have the evening off being replaced by Eduardo Nunez, at third.

Ivan Nova will pitch tonight, and they need another solid start out of him in order to have a chance of splitting the series on Monday.  He is likely one of three names in consideration for Rookie of the Year and he deserves it because of his 13 wins, while having gone more than nine starts without a loss.

On the other hand, Orioles starter Brian Matusz is having one of the worst seasons in all of baseball.  The Yankees offense should be looking forward to the first pitch as Matusz has allowed five earned runs or more in his last four starts, and has a sky-high ERA of 8.92.  The former fourth overall pick in 2008 has not nearly lived up to expectations so the Yankees should be able to have their way with him.