Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wild, The Innocent, and The Eutaw Street Shuffle

Camden Yards in Baltimore was a crazy scene tonight man. The Yankees behind a dominant performance by Bartolo Colon looked like they were going to knock off the Baltimore Orioles in neat, fast fashion. Colon threw just 87 pitches and hit 97-mph in the 8th inning.

The Yankees had scratched across just a single run off starter Zach Britton with the help of an error. So you have Mariano Rivera in your bullpen with a 1-0 lead entering the 9th inning. What do you do? Unless you have a Roy Halladay on the mound you probably go to Mo. Girardi did and it backfired. Rivera gave up a pair of singles and a sac fly to Vladimir Guerrero to tie the game at 1-1.

So off to extra innings we went and went and went...the Yankees wasted opportunity after opportunity as did the Orioles. Rookie Hector Noesi made his Major League debut and threw the final four innings to earn his first big league victory.

The Yankees finally broke through in the 15th on back to back singles by Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez off Jeremy Accardo, and a gapper to right-center by Robinson Cano off left-hander Mike Gonzalez. Teixeira scored easily and Rodriguez followed when centerfielder Adam Jones double dribbled the baseball. It also allowed Cano to advance to third base. Then things got scary.

Gonzalez then drilled outfielder Chris Dickerson in the bill of his helmet. The helmet or the ball all glanced off his cheek and left a huge welt. Dickerson was removed from the game and sent to the hospital for a CT scan. Gonzalez was (seemingly) erroneously ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. It appeared Gonzalez wasn't throwing at Dickerson- why would he? (Oddly though, Gonzalez did not argue.)

With no relievers left in the Orioles bullpen, Buck Showalter, whose emotions ranged from rage to exhaustion throughout the game, had to go to Thursday's starter Jeremy Guthrie. Next strange step- with Jorge Posada as the only position (without a position) player left on the bench, Joe Girardi sent A.J. Burnett in to pinch-run. Brett Gardner's sac fly brought in a big insurance run before Guthrie recorded the final two outs in the inning. That was a good thing since it kept Burnett from having to run the bases. Burnett wore a big grin though as he received numerous high fives in the dugout for his "contribution".

The drama wasn't over though. Nick Markakis led off the 15th with a single and Noesi then walked Brandon Snyder. Luke Scott, mired in a big slump, lined out to left for the first out and then the nuttiness struck again. Matt Wieters grounder struck Snyder for the second out and Wieters was credited with a hit. Noesi then retired J.J. Hardy on a fly out to end the 4:56 of baseball.

So much happened in this game, but I am way too tired to recount the rest.

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