The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Monday in the first game of their four-game series against the Orioles. Michael Pineda’s 7.1 dominating innings helped the Yankees win their fifth game in their last six games. They are now four games out of the second wild card spot with six games to play.
It is an extreme long shot that the Yankees will pass the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, but Derek Jeter has helped the Yankees improve their play and keep the team alive right until the end.
Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka both dominated in back-to-back games, which is a great sign for the Yankees for next season. They will be a very formidable one and two in the rotation in 2015. In Pineda’s 7.1 innings, he retired 22 of the 24 batters that he faced, recorded an impressive eight strikeouts and the only hit that he allowed came in the fifth inning to J.J. Hardy. He retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings and had all of his pitches working for him.
“Tonight, my slider was working pretty good, and my changeup too, everything is working good,” Pineda said. “When my release point is finished in the front, the slider has good movement, it is really good. The changeup is a really good pitch, and before I didn’t use it a lot in the games, and now I am using it more. It is really good.”
Pineda is becoming even more dangerous as a pitcher because he is developing a very good changeup to go along with his fastball and slider. He now has a 1.94 ERA in his 12 starts, which means that he has the lowest ERA in baseball out of all starters who have made 10 or more starts.
Offensively, Derek Jeter continued to hit well and drive in runs during his last home stand before he retires after Sunday’s game in Boston. Jeter was 1-3 with three RBIs and walk against Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen and Evan Meek. Since ending his 0-28 hitless streak the game before this home stand began on 9/17, Jeter has gone 10/24 (.416) with four runs scored, three doubles, one homer and six RBIs. He has raised his average from .249 to .256.
In the third inning, Jeter hit an RBI groundout to score rookie Jose Pirela to make the score 2-0. Then, in the fifth inning, he slugged a double to the wall in left to score Pirela and Brett Gardner. “This is a game of adjustments, and I am going to continue to make those adjustments until I am out of games,” Jeter said. “I don’t want to jinx anything. I feel pretty good. It is fun, I mean the fans have been energetic, that makes it fun for us to play.”
For the first run of the game, Pirela tripled to deep left center to score Ichiro Suzuki in his first career at-bat. Pirela, who had been in the minors for eight years, singled in his second at-bat and was very grateful to be playing in his first major league game. “To see my dream coming true is unbelievable for me,” Pirela said. Chase Headley hit his fifth homer with the Yankees and 12th of his season in the eighth inning.
The Yankees will look to win their third game in a row on Tuesday. Brandon McCarthy, who has a 2.54 ERA in 13 starts with the Yankees, will get the start for the home team. He has allowed four runs combined in his last three starts. Ubaldo Jimenez, who has a high 4.90 ERA, will start for the Orioles. Baltimore has already clinched the division, which means that these games don’t mean much to them.
The 3-0 win by the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon ended their two-game losing streak. Shane Greene has now picked up a win in each of his first two major league starts, and he appears to be able give the team more starts like this because of his dominating stuff.
Greene was aggressive against the dangerous Orioles lineup, which helped him leave his second start with an outstanding 1.32 ERA. He has only allowed two earned runs in his 13.1 innings pitched and hasn’t allowed a hit in his first 4.2 innings in each of his first two starts.
He threw 7.1 shutout innings against the Orioles, had an impressive nine strikeouts while only giving up four hits. In an interview on the field after the game, Greene said that he feels that all of his pitches were working.
“I felt pretty confident in everything today,” Greene said. “More than anything I just trusted Cervelli and threw everything with conviction. It is definitely an opportunity and I’m trying to make the best of it. I like where I am at.”
The Orioles had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth but Greene got a big strikeout against Nick Hundley. Cervelli said that he was throwing his sinker and slider very well.
In the third inning, the Yankees scored their first run off of a double to deep right that scored Brett Gardner. Teixeira drove in his team-leading 48th run.
In the seventh inning, the Yankees scored their second and third runs off of Orioles starter Chris Tillman. Kelly Johnson advanced to second with one out after a wild pitch by Tillman. Derek Jeter’s single to left drove in Jeter, and Jeter advanced to second on the throw. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a double near the line in right to score Jeter to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. He leads the team with 20 doubles.
The Yankees had nine hits in the win, highlighted by three by Brian McCann and two by Jeter. McCann is improving at the plate as he now has two multi-hit games in a row.
Zelous Wheeler, who came into the game as a defense replacement, made an outstanding leaping catch at third for the first out of the ninth inning. David Robertson struck out Chris David and J.J. Hardy to record his 23rd save in 25 chances. He has a 2.76 ERA, 59 strikeouts and only 10 walks. He has recorded multiple strikeouts in seven of his last 10 appearances.
Joe Girardi was impressed that Greene was able to step up with runners on base. “His innings were pretty short and he got some big outs when he had to,” Girardi said. “He didn’t walk people. He was ahead in the count and didn’t beat himself.”
So far this season, the Yankees are in impressive 32 and 12 when they score first. They are also 6-4 on their current road trip, which ends tomorrow, and after going 4-11 in Saturday’s game, have hit an impressive .304 with runners in scoring position.
They are now four games behind the first place Orioles, and Chase Whitley will look to help them decrease the deficit on Sunday, which will be the last game before the All-Star break. It is important that they go into the break with momentum, and being three games out with all of the injuries to the rotation and offensive underperformance would be impressive.
After sweeping their three-game series against the first place Toronto Blue Jays and winning the first game of the series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees (39-35) lost the last two games against the Orioles to lose the series and fall into a tie for second place with the Baltimore.
The Yankees offense, which scored five runs or more during their wins on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, combined to score only one run over the weekend. They scored one run in the 6-1 loss on Saturday in which Vidal Nuno allowed three homers and his fifth in his last two starts. On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka’s three runs in seven innings led to his 15th consecutive quality start to begin his career, but the Yankees lost 8-0 as the offense only had four hits.
Goose Gossage, who is a Hall of Famer, was honored for his time with the Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park during Old-Timers’ Day before the Yankees played the Orioles on Sunday. In six seasons with the Yankees, from 1978-1983, he went 42-28 with a 2.14 ERA and 151 saves. “I played for nine different teams, and putting on the pinstripes was like the closest thing to an out-of-body experience I’ve ever had,” Gossage said. “Outside of the day my kids were born and going into Cooperstown, it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s awesome.”
Yankees legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford were at Yankee Stadium for Old-Timers’ Day, as well first-time Old-Timers Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon who helped the Yankees win their most recent World Series in 2009. However, their offense was not able to perform in front of them live up to their Bronx Bombers nickname as seven different players did not get a single hit.
Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury each had a hit and a walk, and Ichiro Suzuki had two hits to improve his average to .314, but Derek Jeter grounded into a double play with runners on first and second with one out in the third and the Yankees as a whole were 0-5 with runners in scoring position. It is hard to win games when the offense has four hits and doesn’t come through at all with runners in scoring position.
After hitting very well during his first month in the big leagues, Yangervis Solarte now does not have a hit in his last 27 at-bats and his average is now all the way down to .263. He led the team in many statistical categories including average and RBIs until the beginning of June. It seems like the Yankees should call up Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Scranton if he continues to play well.
Adam Warren, who has been a strength this season in the bullpen along with Dellin Betances and David Robertson, had his worst outing of the season as he allowed four runs in the eighth inning. His ERA skyrocketed from 2.04 to 2.88 after allowing two singles and an intentional walk, followed by a three-run double by J.J. Hardy and an RBI single by Manny Machado. David Huff allowed the Baltimore’s eighth run by allowing Caleb Joseph’s first career homer.
The Yankees, who will start a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday, will look to continue play well against the team that they are chasing. They have played three games in Toronto and three in the Bronx so far this season, and the Yankees have won five out of their first six games against the Blue Jays. Long Island’s Marcus Stroman will be pitching against the Yankees after allowing two runs, three walks and four hits in 3.2 innings in his start against the Yankees on June 17.
Chase Whitley will try for his fourth consecutive win. He only allowed two runs and five hits in his win over the Blue Jays on June 18. He has 26 strikeouts and has remarkably only four walks in the 38.2 innings that he has pitched so far. Whitley, who was a relief pitcher for most of his professional career, has been better than the Yankees could have hoped for.
Monday’s game at the Rogers Centre will start at 7:07 p.m.