AL BEast Notebook – May 20
In case you missed it, on the day after the fifteenth anniversary of the ’98 Yankees/Orioles brawl, the Yankees defeated the Orioles 6-4 in ten innings in one of the more interesting games of the season. And even if you did catch it, you don’t want to miss my notes from the night.
** Pitching matchup looked like an easy pick: C.C. Sabathia versus terrible Freddy Garcia. As it turns out, Sabathia was awful and Garcia was surprisingly acceptable.
** Sabathia gave up 11 hits, second game in a row of 10+ allowed. He blew a fifth inning lead and a seventh inning lead.
** Garcia gave up just three hits in six innings, but two were home runs.
** Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley has struck out 15 of the last 21 batters he has faced. He had more strikeouts in one inning (3) than Sabathia had in six-plus innings (2).
** The first base umpire made a terrible call in the sixth inning that may have changed the game. Tied 2-2, after a leadoff single, Matt Wieters grounded to third base; David Adams threw to first but Wieters beat him by a step. It should have been first and second, nobody out. But the ump called Wieters out, making it man on second with one out. Buck Showalter turned purple as he screamed at the ump and first baseman Chris Davis continued to make comments to the ump the next inning. The Orioles did not score a run in the inning.
** Yankees hit four solo home runs: Robinson Cano, David Adams, Lyle Overbay, and Travis Hafner. Cano now leads the AL in homers (Baltimore’s Chris Davis tied him an inning later).
** After converting 35 straight save chances, an Orioles record, Jim Johnson blew his third game in a row.
** Despite Hafner tying the game with a homer in the ninth, Buck Showalter opts to intentionally walk Cano in the tenth inning with a man on third to face Hafner. Pronk smacks a single to make it 6-4.
** Cano walked twice in a game for the first time since September 13.
** Rookie Adams (homer), Overbay (go-ahead homer), Hafner (tying homer in ninth), Ichiro (leadoff double in tenth and scored winning run) and Vernon Wells (winning RBI in tenth) all played huge roles in this game. You can call that winning off the scrap heap.
** Overbay, batting cleanup, entered the game hitting just .119 with no homers against lefties in 42 at-bats. Buck Showalter brought in the lefty Troy Patton to face Overbay in the seventh and the first baseman hit it out to make it 3-2 Yankees.
** Orioles had 13 hits and five doubles in the game, but their team leader in hits, doubles and batting average, Manny Machado, didn’t even get on base (0-5).
** Mariano Rivera picked up his 95th career save against the Orioles, the most ever for one pitcher against one team. Mo is 17/17 in saves on the year.
** Orioles have lost seven straight home games.
** Strangely, this was the ninth time this year that the Orioles lost while still getting at least ten hits.
** Orioles bullpen has been just awful during this six-game slide. Dating back to Wednesday, Baltimore relievers have pitched 22.2 innings and allowed 21 runs.
** Yankees are 19-0 on the season when they score first (Cano homered in the first inning). They had to come back in this one, and they did.
** With the win and the Red Sox loss, New York is 1.5 games ahead of Boston. Tampa also lost to fall five back, as is Baltimore.