Friday, October 12, 2012

Yankees Flail and Fail to Decisive Game

Phil Hughes did everything the Yankees asked of him, Joe Girardi moved Alex Rodriguez down in the lineup, the bullpen was solid, and the Yankees still lost. The 13 inning, 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles forced a fifth and decisive game Friday afternoon. CC Sabathia and Jason Hammel will face off just as they did in Game 1 when the Yankees used a 5-run 9th inning to win 7-2.

Thursday night, however, the Yankees lineup couldn't take of any opportunities presented to it. The O's fared no better until Manny Machado doubled off David Phelps and scored the game winner when J.J. Hardy doubled to left-center.

The Yankees best opportunity came in the 8th inning when Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira opened the inning with back to back singles. Robinson Cano could only manage a weak grounder that basically worked like a bunt. As I have said before, no matter where you are in the field the ball will find you and no matter where you are in the order you'll bat in a big situation.

Sure enough A-Rod stepped to the plate with runners on second and third with one out. Buck Showalter quickly went to submariner/side-armer/over-the-top Darren O'Day, who has baffled the Yankees all series. Joe Girardi decided not to go to a pinch-hitter, figuring that Raul Ibanez or Eric Chavez would be intentionally walked  The boo birds were flying once again when O'Day struck out A-Rod and Nick Swisher meekly flied out to right.

Hughes looked to be in trouble when he walked the game's lead off man Nick McLouth and Hardy reached first on a bunt. But in just his fourth post-season start, Hughes worked his way out of it with three fly outs. He struck out nine through 6.2 innings and allowed just four hits, with the lone run coming on a McLouth solo home run.

The Yankees struggled against lefty Joe Saunders, with their only run coming in the 6th when Derek Jeter doubled and eventually scored on a Cano ground out.


Joba Chamberlain had off-season Tommy John surgery, then wrecked his ankle in a trampoline accident. Last night, bad luck struck again when Matt Wieters broken bat nailed Chamberlain in his right elbow. He threw a few warm up pitches, but the elbow began to swell and Girardi went to the pen. His status for Game 5 is up in the air.

Ibanez did hit for Rodriguez in extra innings, but Rodriguez wasn't okay with the move this time aroundl, mainly because everyone else had struggled and not been pulled.

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