The O’s already spoiled the Yankees only day off for the remainder of the regular season and now they hope to spoil their chances, at least a little, of winning another AL East title. The Yankees are currently 2 1/2 games up on the Red Sox in the division and have a playoff spot all but locked up. They will be sending Ivan Nova (15-4, 3.89 ERA) to the mound as he looks to become the first Yankees rookie in 72 years to win nine straight starts. He will be pitching opposite Alfredo Simon (4-8, 4.64 ERA), who was roughed up in his most recent outing against the Rays giving up six earned runs and seven hits in just five innings. We’ll see how far this game goes before the rain decides to show it’s ugly face, as scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for this afternoon.
Simon started off the day very nicely, retiring the side in order. He’s going to have to have his best stuff today, especially with Nova on the mound for the Yankees.
Six up, six down. Hopefully the rest of the game goes this quickly so we can get it in before the inevitable downpour starts again. I don’t think the players on either team want to delay this one any more than they have to.
After a leadoff walk to Alex Rodriguez, a single by Robinson Cano and another walk to Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez delivered an RBI single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. J.J. Hardy actually fielded the ball in the gap and flipped it to second base where Robert Andino was supposed to be, but was nowhere to be found. I think Andino may still be a little sleepy from the plane ride home last night. After Swisher was doubled off second base, Simon walked Brett Gardner to load the bases again and Derek Jeter delivered a two run single up the middle. The Yankees are now up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the second.
Vladimir Guerrero started off the bottom half of the second with a solo homer to bring the O’s within two. Nova looked a little more shaky this inning than he did in the first. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the O’s.
Simon cannot seem to throw strikes today, and the ones he is throwing are getting hit. He already has four walks through three innings and is having a really tough time getting guys out. The Yankees added another run on an RBI single by Chavez and now lead 4-1.
The condiment race was interesting today. Instead of running, they rode their jet skis in the field full of water. I guess it’s appropriate considering all the rain we’ve had over the past few weeks. Ketchup took first prize, in case you were wondering.
What a frustrating season for the O’s. Another close-to-100-loss season and another offseason of questions. Many people, including myself, thought the O’s would make a run at being .500 this season. But when the young arms didn’t perform up to par and the veterans they signed didn’t pan out, the losses began to pile up. It’s disappointing as a fan because when you expect to see a team compete for more than their first few weeks of the season and they end up being the same old sub-.500 Orioles, it feels like someone punched you in the stomach. Maybe next year will be different, but this team has a long way to go.
But back to the game. The Yankees continue to put runners on base. Luckily for the O’s, the Yankees didn’t add to their 4-1 lead. Simon now has 88 pitches through four innings and most likely will not come out for the fifth.
Vlad picked up his second, and the team’s second, hit of the game with a leadoff double and eventually scored on a groundout by Mark Reynolds to pull the O’s within two. Andino struck out with runners on second and third to end the inning, which was followed by an array of cheers by stupid Yankees fans. Jo-Jo Reyes is now pitching for the O’s. Simon walked a career-high six batters and threw just 43 strikes on 88 pitches.
It only took Reyes 11 pitches to retire the side in the top of the fifth. Hopefully the O’s can chip away at the lead this inning with the top of the lineup coming up.
For the second consecutive inning, the O’s had runners on second and third and couldn’t capitalize. It’s the same old story.
Judging from how well Reynolds has played at first base this season, I think he should start there next season if the O’s don’t sign a big name first baseman. He has made a few nice plays in this game and has really been playing well there for some time now.
I can honestly say I didn’t realize how fast Nolan Reimold was. He just hit a ball to right center and what would’ve been a single for some players was a double for him. That chased Nova out of the game after giving up five hits and two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Boone Logan is now pitching for the Yankees.
Chris Davis followed Reimold’s double with a double of his own, which brought Reimold home from second. The O’s are now down 4-3 with a runner on second and just one out.
Jeremy Accardo came in for Reyes with one on and one out and got A-Rod to ground into a double play to end the inning. Seventh inning stretch time.
Well, that was exciting. On a double by Vlad, Nick Markakis plowed Francisco Cervelli at home plate trying to score, but wasn’t successful in doing so. I must say, it was a pretty good hit by Markakis, though. It makes me absolutely sick how wild this place went when the home plate umpire called Markakis out. Why can’t the O’s just be good so I don’t have to hear this nonsense every time the Yankees come to town?
Great inning by Troy Patton, who only had to throw nine pitches to retire the side. Well, we have two more innings to go to. The O’s need to get their bats going so they can tie this game up.
Reynolds began the inning with a double, but was thrown out at home after Davis hit a blooper just out Jeter’s reach. Andino followed with an RBI single, advancing to second on the throw, to tie the game at four. Then, for some odd reason, Andino attempted to steal third and was thrown out to end the inning. Looks like this one may be headed for extra innings.
It’s go time, boys. Bottom of the ninth with the top of the lineup set to bat. Let’s end this in regulation.
The sun just showed its face for the first time in what feels like a week. It only lasted a few seconds, but I’ll take it.
To extra innings we go…
Clay Rapada is the 13th pitcher to appear in this game.
Thank you Robert Andino!!!!!!!!!! Now that’s how you end a game. Walk-off single. Game over. Sorry for ruining your off day, Yankees.
Submitted by Steve Giles