This series, not only the game, could have gone much better for the Yankees but it didn’t turn out that way. New York dropped the series finale against Baltimore tonight for a brutal series loss at home. CC Sabathia looked good for most of the game but errors doomed his night while the lineup – besides Carlos Beltran – couldn’t punch the runs in. New York dropped the battle of the late innings 5-3 with offense coming up empty-handed against Ubaldo Jimenez, Darren O’Day and Zach Britton. The bullpen allowed a couple runs that spelled doom.
Death by defense, the CC Sabathia story
CC didn’t benefit from the defense in the first. With Nolan Reimold on at first, Sabathia induced a grounder to second from Gerardo Parra that should have been an easy double play. But Stephen Drew misplayed the bounce and only had time to throw the runner out at first. Later in inning, with two outs, Chris Davis drove Reimold in with a bloop single to right that Beltran also misread. 1-0 Orioles. Definitely not types of plays you want to see from a team trying for a division title.
From second to fourth innings though, Sabathia looked very good. Remember, he was doing decently before knee injury shelved him in late August. (3.80 ERA in 4 starts in August) In those three innings, Sabathia allowed only three baserunners and struck out three. He’s definitely not the guy he used to be but that will do.
In the fifth, Sabathia got himself into a jam. Dariel Alvarez reached with a walk and Reimold followed it up with a single. After Parra moved both runners up with a sac bunt, Sabathia got a huge strikeout against Manny Machado. I thought, at that point, things would go swimmingly for New York for rest of the game. Unfortunately for CC he drilled Chris Davis to load the bases, which prompted Joe Girardi to bring in Adam Warren to close out the fifth. Sabathia wasn’t happy about it but with pitch count at 85 and a righty hitter (Jonathan Schoop) coming up, Joe didn’t want to take too many chances.
Warren did his job against Schoop – he induced a grounder to Chase Headley that should have ended the inning but his throw tumbled mid-air like changeup and went through Drew’s legs. However, that doesn’t excuse Drew of his error either – it looked definitely catchable for any ML infielder. Baltimore scored two on that miscue and made it a 3-3 tie game.
September Beltran, the step before October Beltran
Beltran made up for misreading the fly ball by hitting an oppo-dinger off of Ubaldo Jimenez. He squared up a fastball on the outer edge of the strik ezone and quite frankly, I was surprised that it carried so much. Old man’s still got it.
Beltran drove in two more runs in the third. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Beltran drilled a slider inside to make it 3-1 Yanks. Three RBI for the old man and they turned out to be the only runs for the Yanks tonight.
To remind you how good he’s been – since May 1, Beltran has hit for a .878 OPS (prior to the game). After tonight’s game, he has a 123 wRC+ with an isolated power just below .200 (.199 to be precise) for the whole season. That contract isn’t looking too grim anymore!
Faltering in late innings, again
Warren held on his own pretty well in the sixth and seventh innings. Meanwhile, the Yankee offense came up with almost zilch against Ubaldo Jimenez. Dustin Ackley did hit an oppo-double in the seventh for his first Yankee hit but New York came up empty-handed. In top of eighth, with one out and 2-2 count against Steven Pearce, Warren hung a curve right up the zone. Pearce did not miss any of it and sent the ball to the visitor’s bullpen to give Baltimore a 4-3 lead.
Yankee offense went three-up, three-down against Darren O’Day in the bottom eighth. New York allowed another run in the ninth with Chris Davis’s RBI ground-rule double with two runners on. 5-3 Orioles. In the bottom ninth, Beltran, Brian McCann and A-Rod got completely handcuffed by Zach Britton to finalize a loss – a swift end to a disappointing night.
Box score, standings, highlights and WPA
Yankees will have the Blue Jays on a four-game series at home. Needless to say… very, very crucial, right? Youngster Luis Severino will take the hill against David Price. Now that’s a matchup.