Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poor Play, Worse Umpiring Cost Yankees

Less than 24 hours after we all reveled in Russell Martin's summer slumber break out, the Yankees slept walk their way to a 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

The Yankees wasted opportunities, starter CC Sabathia couldn't hold a 2-0 lead, Mark Reynolds hit another home run, and then to top things off, first base umpire Jerry Meals blew a call that could eventually cost the Yankees a playoff spot.

Down two in the 9th inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with no one out. Nick Swisher continued his slide (0-24) when he bounced into a  force out, but it did drive in a run to cut the lead to one. With runners on the corners and one down, Mark Teixeira, in the lineup for the first time in 12 days due to a strained a calf, hit a chopper to second base.

Robert Andino quickly threw to shortstop J.J. Hardy, who then turned two with a throw to first baseman Reynolds. Only one problem. Teixeira, who according to's Bryan Hoch dove head first because he felt his calf injury act up, clearly beat the throw from Hardy.

Meals (who should be denied some after tonigh)t, however, punched out Teixeira for the game ending twin killing. Teixeira and first base coach Mick Kelleher raged at Meals, but Joe Girardi flipped his gum and headed to the clubhouse.  More on that later.

The Yankees had taken a 2-0 lead against Joe Saunder on a sac fly by Alex Rodriguez in the 1st inning and an RBI double by Ichiro Suzuki in the 2nd. But Sabathia, who has not been his dominant self all year, gave up back-to-back home runs to Reynolds and Lew Ford to tie the game.  Hardy added an RBI double and a solo home run and Ford chipped in with a ribbie single to give the O's a 5-2 lead after six.

A-Rod, who narrowly missed a home run earlier in the game, did connect for one in the 8th inning off of Pedro Strop. The Orioles reliever had been shaky in two previous outings against the Yankees, including a loss in last week's series at Yankee Stadium.  That led to the 9th inning drama and  a call that could haunt the Yankees for the remainder of the season.

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