That one stung a bit. These past few days have not been kind to the Yankees. The weather has conspired against them and the scheduling of day games and makeup games just compounded the worn out feeling surrounding the whole club. With the impending west coast trip following this game, I think we all knew this one could get weird. It certainly did.
After a quiet 1st inning, the Yankees struck in the 2nd when they loaded the bases with nobody out. An infield single by Eric Chavez scored Alex Rodriguez and kept the bases loaded with nobody out. Cervelli then lined into a double play with Swisher doubled off second base. After a walk to Brett Gardner, Jeter singled up the middle scoring two, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. The very next inning, Vlad Guerrero led off with a solo shot cutting into the lead. Nova didn’t have his best stuff this afternoon, leaving a lot of his pitches up in the zone. In the top of the 3rd though, the Yankees got the run back. Mark Teixeira singled and then advanced then stole second after Alex Rodriguez struck out swinging. With two outs, Chavez singled in Teixeira giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The offense would then proceed to evaporate.
In the bottom of the 4th, Guerrero led off with a double and then scored after two consecutive ground outs, making it a 4-2 ball game. Nova danced out of trouble after another walk and single had the Orioles set up. Showalter brought on Jo-Jo Reyes, who limited the Yankees effectively for a few innings. After Nova allowed a double to Nolan Reimold in the 6th, Joe Girardi pulled him for Boone Logan, who was on to face Chris Davis, not exactly an imposing force at the plate. Logan continued his little blip facing left handed hitters however and allowed a double which scored Reimold to make it 4-3 Yankees.
Jo-Jo Reyes pitched into the 7th facing the dormant Yankee offense and then Jeremy Accardo came on just for a change of pace. He retired A-Rod with 2 outs in the 7th as nap time continued. In the bottom of the 7th, the wonderful relay play occurred. Laughable Aaron Laffy came on to face Nick Markakis who proceeded to walk. With Corey Wade on the mound, Guerrero hit a shot to right center.
The fantastic relay happened in the 3 stages- first, Curtis Granderson did a phenomenal job cutting the ball off which could have easily reached the wall, allowing Markakis to score easily. 2nd, the relay throws were fantastic- Granderson hit Cano perfectly on edge of the outfield grass and then Cano, without a good glance at home fires an accurate one hopper reaching Cervelli about 2 feet up the 3rd base line from the plate. 3rd, with Markakis bearing down on him, Cervelli collects the ball cleanly and then absorbs a shot to the side of his head when Markakis’s shoulder plows into him. Cervelli hung onto the ball and Markakis was out. It was the highlight of the game and you would have to search hard for a complete play more enjoyable to watch than that.
In the top of the 8th, the Yankees rolled over and requested some animal crackers along with fresh fluffed blankies for their nap. Troy Patton watched from the mound, sighing and remarking on how cute they looked all curled up at the plate.
The bottom of the 8th featured more Cervelli action. Rafael Soriano came on to pitch and allowed a single to Mark Reynolds, sending Michael Kay into a hysterical, ulcer inducing tirade on strikeouts, communism and the baby slaughtering method Reynolds enjoys most. Brett Gardner bobbled the ball in left which allowed Reynolds to advance to 2nd. After a Nolan Reimold fly out, Chris Davis singled to center and Reynolds rounded third, on his way to tie the game. Granderson however had other ideas. From the middle of centerfield, he fired a strike to Cervelli who made a quick tag to nab Reynolds sliding head first into the plate. Two exciting, game saving plays in two innings. It was all terribly exhilarating until the very next batter singled to left, driving in Chris Davis who was on 2nd after advancing on the previous play. Tie game, 4-4.
In the 9th, the Yankees had some juice along with their animal crackers as Kevin Gregg politely put on a VHS of the Lion King and nap time rolled along. The bottom of the 9th featured Scott Proctor and plenty of people hastily changing the channel to avoid the pending train wreck. Proctor didn’t initially live up to his billing however, allowing a hit and a walk but dancing out of trouble nonetheless. In the 10th, A-Rod wound up on first, ostensibly to get a better look at the monitor playing the Lion King, maybe to ask Mick Kelleher if he had any extra juice boxes.
In the 10th unfortunately, the Scott Proctor we know and love showed up. After another infield single and a walk, Robert, Thorn in Your Side Andino singled to left scoring Nolan Reimold from 3rd. The Orioles nabbed their 2nd straight game from the Yankees, 5-4.
Again, it’s tough to get really worked up considering the circumstances surrounding this game. If you just need a positive nugget to tuck away from this game (I know you do!) we could look at how well Ivan Nova battled on a day he obviously did not have his best stuff. As Ken Singleton remarked, that’s not a trait we’ve always been able to attribute to him. He certainly showed a lot of poise today. On the other side of the coin of course is the fact it’s the Baltimore Orioles. They’re not so good. This game certainly will leave a bad taste in your mouth. I’d advise rinsing with a strong mouthwash, maybe some Glenmorangie and a hummus platter because it’s over. Onto better things, like beautiful blonde surfing girls, 6 foot swells and the West Coast.
Tomorrow, the Yankees have a late one against the Angels who are fighting for the western division title. It has the potential to be a long weekend- they’re sending Weaver, Haren and Santana to the hill. Bartolo Colon will pitch Friday as he returns to Anaheim where he was dominant a few years back. We’ll see you tomorrow at 10.
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