The Orioles completely outclassed the Yankees on Friday night. Baltimore looked like the first place team as they outhit, outpitched, and outdefended the Bombers, who continued what is now a seven-week long stretch of lackluster play. Let’s recap the latest loss…
- Coulda Done Better: Last time out, Hiroki Kuroda allowed a three-run homer in the first before settling down to run off zeroes in a complete-game loss. This time he allowed three runs in the second before settled down and allowing just one run the rest of the way. Kuroda surrendered two homers on Friday and has now allowed five in his last five starts after giving up zero dingers in his previous five outings. He didn’t pitch all that well but it wasn’t a total disaster.
- LMAOffense: It didn’t matcher what the pitcher did because the offensive attack was abysmal. Miguel Gonzalez kept the Yankees off-balance with his changeup, a pitch they couldn’t hit if you told them it was coming. He struck out nine, walked one, and allowed zero runs on four singles. I think Felix Hernandez snuck into the stadium and wore Gonzalez’s jersey. The Yankees did have men on first and second with no outs in the sixth, but the next three hitters — Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano — didn’t bother to hit the ball out of the infield and made outs. Curtis Granderson’s garbage time homer with one out in the ninth is the only reason the Yankees weren’t shutout.
- Leftovers: I don’t quite know why Kuroda was taken out with one out in the ninth and 99 pitches, but Derek Lowe came in to put the game out of reach (two runs on four hits). He’s allowed 14 hits in 5.1 innings since the four-out save … Swisher took a big fat 0-for-4 with four strikeouts … Russell Martin went 1-for-3 but he would have had two hits if not for Mark Reynolds’ diving grab in the third. That was a great play … the Yankees didn’t see their first three-ball count until the sixth inning … I don’t get the pitching changes in the ninth then not pinch-hitting for Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez against the left-handed Brian Matusz in the ninth.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, ESPN the updated standings. The loss brings the Orioles to within two games of the Yankees, the smallest the division lead has been since June 22nd, a whopping 62 games ago. At least the Rays lost, so they remain four back. Rosters expand on Saturday and David Phelps figures to have a handful of new teammates when he tries to get the Yankees back into the win column against Wei-Yin Chen.
Minor League Update
I don’t have it in me to do a full write-up tonight, but I will link you to the box scores: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, Low-A, Short Season. LF Ronnier Mustelier (four hits), CF Melky Mesa (two homers), and C Gary Sanchez (homer) highlighted the night. Here’s an update on the rehabbing big leaguers.