The Yankees lost to the Orioles 4-3 in a game that might’ve been more frustrating if it hadn’t been absurdly inevitable.
Let me count the ways:
1) The Yankees had a 10-game winning streak against the O’s. They were going to win a game at some point.
2) The Yankees were facing a rookie making his Major League debut. This seldom works in the Yankees’ favor, and I’m actually impressed they scored even three runs against Jake Arrieta.
3) Alex Rodriguez was removed from the game in the 2nd inning due to his lingering groin issue, which means Ramiro Pena was the Yankees’ clean-up hitter for most of the game. It sounds like Alex may need a few days off, which hopefully does the trick. Even with his power down, the Yankees can ill-afford to be without Rodriguez for any length of time.
5) The Yankees’ nonexistent bench was completely exposed, when the only bat Joe Girardi could sub in for Pena in the 8th inning was Frankie Cervelli. Don’t get me wrong, I love what Cervelli’s been able to do for the team this year, but sending him up as a pinch-hitter doesn’t exactly inspire reams of confidence. Joe then had to sub Kevin Russo in to play 3rd, which meant that Russo would’ve gotten a rep in the clean-up spot had the Yankees gotten to his spot in the order. Russo as Mark Teixeira‘s protection? Not a recipe for winning.
6) Marcus Thames started this game in left field in replacement of Brett Gardner, who will be getting an MRI on his thumb today. Prior to the season I can’t say I ever thought I’d be concerned about Gardner missing games, but sweet Jesus he’s wOBAing .380 and more than one-third of the season’s in the books! Get well soon, Brett!
7) A.J. Burnett was OK, but not great. 6 2/3 innings of four-run ball is less-than-desirable, but not the worst thing on earth — unfortunately it was too much for a depleted Yankee lineup to overcome.
So as you can see, the deck was pretty stacked against the Yanks. Additionally, as bad as the Orioles are, it’s easy to forget that on any given night any team in MLB can beat any other team in MLB. As much as we might want the Yankees to go 19-0 against Baltimore, it ain’t happening.
Of course, my reaction to the game might have been a bit more negative if the Rays hadn’t lost, not to mention the fact that the Daniel Bard and the Red Sox lost to the Indians after holding a one-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the 9th after coming from behind to take a one-run lead of their own with two outs in the top of the 9th on a tremendously clutch Adrian Beltre go-ahead home run! Thank you, Russell Branyan!
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