(Just sit down. All of you. Courtesy of The AP)
The Yankees have been collecting bad losses like baseball cards since they went in the tank against the White Sox. I mean some REALLY bad losses. But last night's had to be the most devastating. After salvaging a win against the Rays to regain the division lead outright before traveling to Baltimore, the Yanks came out last night and laid another big egg, this one with all the key ingredients to their recent sucktitude mixed in. They got another poor starting pitching effort, the offense spent most of the game doing nothing, and had just 1 run to show for their efforts through 7 innings, and the bullpen collapsed in a big way. There's still a lot of baseball to be played, but with the way this team is constructed and the way they're playing, it's hard to envision them making the playoffs, let alone hold on to win the division.
- David Phelps got the ball against the Orioles for the second time in a week, and for the second time in a week he looked overmatched. He gave up 3 consecutive singles in the bottom of the 1st to put Baltimore on the board, then gave up a 3-run HR to Matt Wieters to make it a 4-0 game.
- The Yankee offense picked up some hits against the returning Jason Hammel, but nothing substantial. In the 3rd and 4th innings alone they recorded 5 hits, but all of them were singles, and there was only 1 run to show for the effort.
- Joe had the bullpen up in the 1st inning, but Phelps did manage to settle down a bit and give the Yankees a few innings. He still wasn't very sharp, evidenced by the HR he gave up to the mighty Robert Andino in the 4th, but he didn't completely implode.
- Offense went back into hibernation after the 4th inning, but not without grounding into a few more double plays for the sake of appearances. For some reason, Joe continues to refuse to pinch hit for his guys in lefty-on-lefty matchups, and Eric Chavez hit into a DP in the 6th as a result.
- Give the middle relief crew some credit. They were asked to pitch multiple innings again, and the team of Clay Rapada, and Justin Thomas did alright getting through the 7th. Joba gave up a HR, but looked better for the second straight outing.
- Just when it looked like you could turn the lights off on them, the offense found itself in the 8th. With 2 outs Alex Rodriguez doubled home Nick Swisher to start the rally, and the next 5 batters reached base to tie the game at 6. Curtis Granderson singled home a run and pinch hitter Chris Dickerson drew a bases-loaded walk against Pedro Strop to force in a run.
- The Yankees had new life, but it was quickly extinguished by what's supposed to be the reliable part of their bullpen. I don't know when D-Rob decided to just abandon his curveball and try to be Mo throwing nothing but cutters but it needs to stop. He gave up a HR to Adam Jones, a single to Wieters, and a HR to Mark Reynolds to push Baltimore back in front 9-6.
- Robertson gave way to Boone Logan, who gave up the Orioles' 6th (!!!!!!!) HR of the night to Chris Davis on his first and only pitch of the night. From extreme high to extreme low in about 10 minutes.
- C-Grand: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K. Good to see Curtis get a couple of base hits. He hasn't had many of those lately.
- Ichiro: 3-4, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. Same could be said here.
- Phelps: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, L. In his biggest test to date, Phelps just flat out didn't have it last night. Kid was probably a little juiced up in that 1st inning and it bit him in the ass hard. Even though he managed to settle down and work a few more innings, Phelps was hit hard all night. Outings like these are momentum killers, and the Yankee rotation has been turning in too many of them.
- D-Rob & Logan: 0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 K, 3 HR. Jesus fucking Christ.
- Raul Ibanez: 0-2, 1 LOB. Dude's not even a factor anymore. Just play Nix in left field at this point, and let Ibanez rot on the bench.
This series runs through the weekend, and a dominant showing for one side or the other really sets the tone for the next week of ball. The O's have a leg up in that competition after last night, and the Yankees need to find a way to pick themselves up off the mat after getting smacked down to it twice in one night. Phil Hughes needs a good showing just as much as the team does tonight. He'll go against We-Yin Chen.