During a wet, incredibly sloppy afternoon (the Yankees and Orioles combined for six(!) errors), A.J. Burnett turned in what can really only be deemed a Burnett-esque performance at this point. He didn’t get killed, but he gave up four runs in six innings on seven hits — including a two-run homer to Nolan Reimold, giving Burnett 27 home runs served up on the year, the second-worst total in the AL — and four walks, which is altogether far too many baserunners in a six-inning appearance, not to mention the fact that the leadoff man reached base in five of Burnett’s six innings. You want to talk about RISPfail, the Orioles collectively managed to strand a total of 22 runners in this game! Taking all of that into account it’s actually rather amazing A.J. only gave up four runs.
If you’re looking for positives, A.J. did strike seven men out, and also apparently threw 26 changeups (h/t Josh Weinstock via Moshe), 20 for strikes, and got nine swings-and-misses on the pitch. Not sure where that came from, but we’ll take it.
After A.J. gave up his customary first inning run, the Yankee lineup — well really, the Scranton Yankee lineup, as Joe elected to rest many regulars after last night’s late night — stormed right back, plating two on an Alex Rodriguez double in the bottom half of the inning. A.J. would of course hand the lead right back to the O’s, but Jesus Montero bailed him out, blasting a two-run single of his own in the fourth that came just feet from clearing the fence. Neither team scored from the fifth through tenth innings, until Mark Reynolds — who had struck out four times in this game! — finally came through with the game-winning hit in the 11th inning, leading the Orioles to a 5-4 victory and snapping the Yankees’ six-game win streak.
However, the Yankees didn’t go quietly in the last frame — after Jesus Montero worked a leadoff walk, the Yankees couldn’t have had a better opportunity to walk-off, with Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano coming to the plate, but unfortunately they both made loud outs against Jim Johnson. Curtis Granderson kept the game alive with a single, putting men on first and third, but a hard-hit liner off the bat pf pinch-hitter Eric Chavez led to a force out at second to end the game. This was a prime example of the highs and lows brought on by the BABIP luck dragon — all three outs in the inning were well-struck, but unfortunately all three were more or less right at fielders. What can you do. With the loss, the Yankees fell to 4-8 in extra-inning games (with half of those losses coming at home), which kinda sucks, but is also random, so again, what can you do.
The two teams go right back at it tomorrow afternoon, although this one’s in Baltimore. While I suppose the Yankees technically won this series, I’m personally counting tomorrow’s game as part of a four-game set, so hopefully they can win three of four instead of splitting.
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