Orioles snap six-game losing streak as McLouth walks off against Yankees

Yankees outright Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A
Going back in time with old scouting reports

For the first time this season, the Yankees lost despite scoring first. The Orioles snapped their six-game losing streak with a tenth inning walk-off win on Wednesday night, taking the second game of the series 3-2.

(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

Phil Rebounds
I’d call two runs in six innings a successful rebound from last week’s seven-run, two-out disaster for Phil Hughes. There was nowhere he could go but up after that nightmare, really. Tuesday’s start against Baltimore featured two solo homers by former Yankee Chris Dickerson — I didn’t think the decision to cut him in favor of Ichiro Suzuki would look stupid this quickly, but here we are — and five strikeouts in six innings, including 70 strikes out of 102 pitches. Of the 25 men he faced, 19 saw a first pitch strike.

For the most part, this was a typical Hughes outing. Some solo homers, some jams escaped, aggressive early in the count, stuff like that. That return to normalcy is a net positive, because it showed there wasn’t something seriously wrong following that last start. No underlying injury or major mechanical flaw. Phil gave the Yankees an opportunity to win; two runs in six innings from the fourth starter is plenty good enough.

(Rob Carr/Getty)
(Rob Carr/Getty)

Death By Line Drive
Maybe it was just me, but it sure seemed like the Yankees hit a lot of balls right at people, no? The play-by-play says there were only four line drive outs, but that only includes the infielders. There were a few hard-hit balls right at outfielders or close enough for them to make a play. Nick Markakis did make a diving catch in the seventh that may have saved a run. If nothing else, it at least saved a first and third situation.

Anyway, the Yankees scored their two runs thanks to Travis Hafner, who plated Brett Gardner with a single in the first and Vernon Wells with a single in the fourth. Gardner was on third following a double and a fly ball, Wells was on second following a double. Both of Hafner’s hits were ground balls to the right side that probably would have been scooped up for outs had the Orioles employed the shift. Instead, one snuck through and the other bounced off the second baseman’s glove.

Miguel Gonzalez, as he tends to do, kept the Yankees off balance and held them to just those two runs in six innings in his first start off the DL. He dominated them last year, and this was more of the same. The Bombers didn’t have a single runner make it beyond first base after Hafner drove in Wells, and 21 of the final 22 men they sent to the plate made outs. When this offense is bad, man is it ugly.

Missin' you, C-Dick. (Rob Carr/Getty)
Missin’ you, C-Dick. (Rob Carr/Getty)

Leftovers
The bottom five hitters in the lineup went a combined 1-for-19 with four strikeouts, the one being a solid David Adams single to center. Pronk was the last line of defense in the cleanup spot. Robinson Cano took an 0-for-4 and is stuck in a 13-for-60 (.217) slump. He ain’t getting no record-breaking contract like that. Oh who am I kidding, yes he is.

I don’t know what it is about the first base umps and Camden Yards, but they really suck there. There was the Jerry Meals episode last year, the two blown calls on Monday, and another on Tuesday. This time first base ump Paul Scrieber incorrectly ruled Jayson Nix out on a would-be infield single. Replays showed he cleared beat the relay throw, by alas. Oh well, Yankees weren’t winning if they got that call anyway.

Outside of Vidal Nuno, who needed all of three pitches to serve up the walk-off solo homer to Nate McLouth, the bullpen was pretty nasty once again. Boone Logan recorded two outs, Shawn Kelley retired the only man he faced, David Robertson struck out the side — he threw nine curveballs and got seven (!!!) swings and misses — and Preston Claiborne tossed a scoreless ninth. They gave the offense a chance to re-take the lead.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Red Sox lost to the White Sox again, so they remain two games back in the loss column. The O’s and Rays climbed to within four back. I hate that I’m keeping track of the standings in May. I guess that’s a function of lowered expectations.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
These same two teams will wrap up this three-game series on Wednesday night. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against Jason Hammel in the rubber match.

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Yankees outright Alberto Gonzalez to Triple-A
Going back in time with old scouting reports
  • Get Phelps Up

    You really should have put in a little blurb about Hughes being just a replacement level starter.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      But does he have the credentials to do so?

      Let’s let that dog lie at this point. Mike’s had to do cleanup on unrelated threads just to get rid of the dude. Too bad, because a nice reply of mine is now lost to history.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    This type of letdown has been such a rarity thus far that it’s hard to get too worked up about this game, as well as it being an eventual letdown from one of the young pitchers who have been such a pick-me-up for this team thus far. I almost feel fortunate that we’ve avoided this kind of loss until now.

    My advanced degree is unrelated but, other than a strange obsession with serving up meatballs to Chris Dickerson, I’m glad to see Hughes get back to something resembling what we’re used to this time out.

    • SDB

      Enough positives to take away on the pitching front, Claiborne was tremendous, the bullpen looked solid and it’s good to see Hughes getting back to what we consider normal. Debate’ll continue as to whether it’s worth 5/60 or thereabouts, but 6 innings and 2 ER isn’t bad in a hitters’ park. Hopefully the hitting clicks tomorrow, and Kuroda gets run support.

      Plus, Toronto and Boston both lost, so I remain reasonably content.

    • Rolling Doughnut

      Keep it in perspective. 19-1 when they take the lead first. Not too shabby.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Just one of those games were the offense doesn’t show up and the pitching doesn’t overpower. It happens.

    • trr

      yup. we can stop right here. (not that we we will)

  • Greg

    Nuno’s pitch didn’t look bad. A curve low and inside. Just got hit well.

  • Winter

    Honestly it’s Ken Singleton’s fault. Right before the McLouth home run, he mentioned Nuno in the same sentence as THAT PITCHER.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Ok, I obviously wasn’t paying full attention.

      Who is THAT PITCHER? Because all I can think of is Carl Pavano (because we all think he’s a slimebag) or Carlos Quintana.

      • Winter

        I dare not say his name, lest I bring his curse upon us. He was the last lefty not named CC or Andy to start for the Yankees before Nuno’s start last week.

        • Pat D

          Now I remember who he said. Yea, I won’t say his name either.

        • Troll

          Other pitchers that have started a game for the New York Yankees in 2013:

          RIGHTY
          Hiroki Kuroda (9)
          David Phelps (4)
          Phil Hughes (9)
          Ivan Nova (4)

          LEFTY
          CC Sabathia (10) – – – – NOT
          Andy Pettitte (8) – – – – NOT
          Vidal Nuno (1) – – – – NOT

          I’m confused. Or, more precisely, you’re confusing me. Who’s this other lefty not named CC, Andy, or Vidal?

          Also, the pitcher that started the game against the Indians’ Masterson was RIGHTY, David Phelps . . .

          I’m lost.

          • Troll

            Oh, the LAST lefty, as in the last lefty to have EVER started a game in pinstripes before the stated three. NOT this season.

            Kei Igawa. KEI IGAWA. Let the man be, it’s not his fault he couldn’t destroy the competition like Dice-BB did . . . KEI IGAWA

            KEI IGAWA?

            KEI IGAWA!

        • forensic

          Wow, I hadn’t even thought about or realized that. That means it was over 5 years since a lefty other than CC or Pettitte had started a game. That’s pretty crazy.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Key Iguana.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I’ve heard this like 4 times here tonight and I’m dying to know, who was that pitcher???? Pavano? Mitre?

      • Winter

        Much worse than that. See my response to Kramerica above.

      • 5

        Igawa…

        • Dalek Jeter

          Igawa Pitcher-Who-Shall-Never-Be-Named.

          • WhittakerWalt

            Worst thing about I***a? He was our knee-jerk response to the Red Sox signing Dice-K.

            “Hey, they’re both Japanese, right?”

            • FIPster Doofus

              Plus, he sometimes wore sunglasses when he pitched. What the hell?

      • trr

        Kei Igawa.
        Quite honestly the worst FA signing in team history when you figure in his posting fee

  • Eddard

    These games happen where they hit balls hard and they’re just hit at people. Their ace is on the mound tomorrow to take the series on the road. Can’t ask much more from this ball club than to just keep winning series.

  • WhittakerWalt

    Random memory: I was at this game back in ’05. It was horrible. Check out Torre’s postgame comments. “His stuff was good,” Torre said. “He’s going to win games pitching like that.”
    This came after Randy Johnson gave up 6 runs on 4 home runs, and lost to Jose freakin’ Contreras. So just remember, Girardi’s not the only manager who blows smoke up the pitcher’s ass for no reason.

  • forensic

    What a rude welcome. I get home part way through the game, turn it on, and there’s Flaherty’s voice droning on and on.

    What the hell happened there? Where did Kay go?

    • WhittakerWalt

      “If you’re a Joe Girardi, you have to like what you see in Phil Hughes. If you’re a Vidal Nuno, you don’t want to make a mistake over the plate. If you’re a Phil Hughes, it really bugs you to give up two homers to Chris Dickerson. If you’re a Chris Dickerson, you’re gonna remember this game for a long time.”

      Hey Flash, I’m not any one of those.

      • forensic

        I bet Chris Dickerson was proud of his swing tonight.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Seriously. I hope there’s a reason good enough that Michael Kay couldn’t even do more than one game in fucking Baltimore.

      I know Kay has other ventures that tie him up, but given that most teams out there, more-or-less, have the same play-by-play guy do their full broadcast slate (or at least 90% of it), it irritates me at times that Kay probably doesn’t even do half the road games on the schedule. And, of course, the worst part probably being that when Kay is out, Flaherty is in.

      Ken’s decent, I don’t think he’s all that great, but he cannot salvage a Flaherty broadcast. It’s a lost cause from the outset.

      • forensic

        I can deal with Singleton a bit when he’s just doing the color analysis, but he’s a bit too blah for as much as he talks during his PBP games.

        • Kramerica Industries

          And the times when Flaherty was doing the PbP tonight.

          Holy crap. Awful television.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Yeah, Kay really shouldn’t get the royal treatment. He’s a mediocrity, not a god of announcing (i.e. Vin Scully), so he shouldn’t get nearly as much time off as he does.

        “But if the Yankees part ways with Kay, YES will lose the ultra-riveting Centerstage series.-“Nobody

        • WhittakerWalt

          Vin Scully is so overrated. I used to live in L.A., and you would think the guy walked on water the way people talked about him. I mean he seems nice enough and all, but he’s coasting on reputation now. He just completely meanders and forgets what he’s talking about. Forget hearing what the score is or who they’re even playing or what inning it is. He’s a collection of homilies and anecdotes. Again, nice enough old dude, but he’s terrible at PBP.

          • vicki

            omigod, i thought i was the only one. they need to at least put somebody in the booth with him.

            • trr

              old communication/broadcasting major here; folks, in fairness, it’s tough to fly solo!

          • forensic

            It’s so nice to finally see someone who feels about the same way as I do about Scully. I’ve said this kind of stuff about him for years on here and gotten bashed for it every time. He gives zero game information and is about as monotone, boring, and droning as can be.

            It’s a little bit of a stretch (but not as much as you think), but he’s almost John Flaherty 40 years from now.

            And so many people laud him just based on name alone and have never listened to him on a consistent basis (not saying that’s Fipster, just in general) so they would actually have an informed opinion and not just follow the masses based on his name.

            • Reason

              So what you’re saying is everyone is wrong and you’re right? Obviously lots of people love him and a few people don’t.

              • forensic

                That’s not even close to what I said, but nice try.

                The people who laud him based on name alone without having any idea what his games actually sound like are wrong, because that’s just not an informed opinion based on any real information.

                If people listen to him and actually like his schtick, then so be it, that’s their choice. Informed opinions are neither right or wrong, that’s why they’re opinions. It is somewhat telling though that LA is the city where he’s stuck given the (somewhat deserved) stereotype of how they don’t necessarily care so much about the game, what with their showing up late and leaving early.

                I just don’t like his way of calling games. That doesn’t mean everyone else is wrong. I’m just glad to see some other agreeing opinions on this subject for once.

              • WhittakerWalt

                I don’t hate him. I just think he’s overrated. He’s all reputation and no substance. When you stink around forever, you become venerated. Infallible. A sacred cow. Sure, you can argue that he couldn’t have stuck around for so long if he wasn’t great. I could then point you in the direction of John Sterling.

                • WhittakerWalt

                  *stick

                  Heh.

                  • forensic

                    Nice Freudian slip…

            • FIPster Doofus

              “And so many people laud him just based on name alone and have never listened to him on a consistent basis (not saying that’s Fipster, just in general) so they would actually have an informed opinion and not just follow the masses based on his name.”

              You’re probably right about that. Nevertheless, speaking as someone who has watched enough Dodgers games to form an opinion of Scully, he’s my favorite play-by-play guy.

    • forensic

      Well, for what’s it’s worth, I decided to check out his twitter and see if he happened to put anything there, and here you go:

      Michael Kay ?@RealMichaelKay 4h
      To all wondering; everything is fine. Came back to NY to co-host the soccer press conference tomorrow. @flash17yes nice enough to step in.

      Really? You needs hosts (plural!!!) for a stupid soccer press conference???

      • FIPster Doofus

        Guess I can’t blame Kay, then, as YES probably made him leave Baltimore for this waste-of-time presser that nobody is going to watch.

      • Havok9120

        Oh, c’mon now. I can’t stand soccer, but it’s the single largest business venture YGE has undertaken since building the new stadium (which was itself one of the two or three largest ventures in the history of the Yankee corporate organization). The official announcements of such things are pretty much always filled with pomp and circumstance.

  • vicki

    tilapia still around?

    kyrie, nerlens, mike brown. enjoy lebron while you can….

    • Pat D

      What, you think they’re gonna turn that franchise around?

      Muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      • vicki

        i do indeed. 2014. king james can either stick it out with an aging bosh and wade or go home to join irving, noel, et al., start a new dynasty, and erase the smirch on his resume.

        • Pat D

          What smirch? The Decision? Bah.

          Gilbert deserves whatever he gets. He’s a complete douche and has demonstrated such ever since LeBron bailed on his sorry ass. His organization is pathetic. They don’t do a good job of recognizing talent.

          They draft Danny Green out of North Carolina a few years ago and cut him after one year where he barely played. Then Green hooked up with an organization that doesn’t have its head up its ass and had patience to develop him, and now he starts for the Spurs.

          Noel is not some kind of savior, either. This isn’t a very strong draft class anyway. Mike Brown isn’t some genius savior coach either. It’s always awesome to have a resume that includes “back to back 60 win seasons and didn’t make the Finals either time.”

          Or was that all LeBron’s fault?

          • forensic

            Well, to be fair, a coach of his ability (in my outside opinion) actually being able to reach 60 wins in back to back seasons IS all LeBron’s fault… :-)

          • FIPster Doofus

            I can’t believe that Cleveland brought Brown back after firing him and then seeing the Lakers fire him. He should his paychecks to LeBron.

            • FIPster Doofus

              *send his paychecks

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Then he better win the Heat a couple of more titles before then.

          At the end of the day, I’m a D-Wade guy.

  • dkidd

    david adams hit the ball hard 4 times

    just one of those nights

    • forensic

      He struck out in one of his four AB’s.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        But he had a hard foul!

        (I assume, I don’t have YES up here)

  • Anderson Silva

    I can´t understand how a rather unspectacular pitcher like Gonzalez can make the Yankees look bad every single time. He’s a league average pitcher that other teams get to beat up on more times than not, but the Yankees can’t seem to get to this guy.

    This is rather annoying.

    • pat

      Sometimes guys just make their pitches and are able to stay one step ahead of hitters and keep them guessing. This was one of those times unfortunately.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Terrible sports night. Yanks lose (Dickerson!). Rangers lose. Ouch.

  • mt

    I know we beat Gonzalez earlier this year but I had a sinking feeling when I heard he was coming off DL to start this game.

    Dickerson HRs just makes it more galling – I always liked Dickerson and I do think he would have been better than resigning Ichiro. But Yanks have made so many moves that have worked out this year that it is hard to get too worked up about it.

    When you look at Phil Hughes FA, it is not just Yankee Stadium he will avoid if he leaves division – he will also avoid Baltimore and Tampa, two stadiums where I can recall him giving up a lot of home runs.

    It still amazes me that I have seen no answers to questions by Hughes in main stream media about his impending FA (for example, I saw a quote from Shin Soo Choo yesterday when he beaically said that he is not thinking about that right now.)- I am not expecting any real honesty but I would wonder if he would even deign to say “I would love to stay with Yankees”.