I know what you’re thinking: Uh, oh, Daniel Cabrera and the Orioles. And, hey, don’t the Yankees always lose games like this?
After yesterday’s dramatic win, the Yanks face off against the Orioles tonight. All season long, the Orioles have been a thorn in the Bombers’ collective side. The Yankees are just 4-8 against a team that is 64-84. Imagine if the Orioles represent the difference between the AL East and the Wild Card or, even worse, the Wild Card and a playoff-less October. These two teams play six more teams this year, and the Yanks very well could have their playoff fate determined by the Orioles.
But I’m not ready to write off tonight’s game as one of those let-down games. We’ve got Phil Hughes on the mound. He’s pitching for his place in the postseason rotation. And the Yanks aren’t facing the same Oriole team they battled against earlier this year. Baltimore, since Dave Trembely was named permanent manager, have gone 6-19 over their last 25 games. They’ve given up 10 runs or more eight times during that stretch and managed to allow 30 runs in one game in August.
As the Indians and Tigers prepare to do battle in the Central, the Yanks need these games. With a 2.5-game Wild Card lead, they control their own fate. Winning games against the Orioles will make the team feel better about their playoff hopes, and it will make us feel better about this team come October.
Meanwhile, submit your fan-on-the-field captions here.
Thirteen games left. Melky, hitting .190/.242/.241 this month, takes a seat tonight, and the Yanks put their sub-par defensive outfield out there.
Johnny Damon CF – Yikes
Derek Jeter SS – What a weekend: 5 for 14 with 2 HR and 5 RBI.
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui LF
Jorge Posada C
Jason Giambi DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B – Looks like we were right about this one for now.
Phil Hughes P