(Well it took a while, but at least we can celebrate. Courtesy of The AP)
Well today was an adventure, wasn't it? The game starts off with single, home run, walk, walk for the first 4 Yankee batters, and it looked like another woodshed beating of Orioles starter Jake Arrieta was in the cards. But Arrieta got it together and managed to throw 6 innings of 1-run ball from there to keep his team in the game, striking out 9 Yankees in the process.
Arrieta was countered by Freddy Garcia, who turned in a" Godfather: Part II"-version of his first start of the season, again going 6 shutout innings, again allowing just 2 hits, but this time also having 7 Ks. He had good life on his fastball, consistently reaching the upper-80s, and he changed speeds brilliantly between that, his slider, and his curveball, generating 15 swinging strikes and keeping the Oriole lineup off balance all day. When he has all 3 pitches working, he can be tough to get good swings against, and he had all 3 working and then some today.
Unfortunately for Freddy, he must have been pitching too well for Joe's liking, as Girardi inexplicably pulled him after 6 innings, with a pitch count only at 90, and after he had just struck out 2 batters the previous inning. Garcia showed no signs of tiring, no signs of losing his command, but Joe's position as a slave to his bullpen binder and a slave to his predefined bullpen roles forced him to make the first of multiple bad bullpen decisions that cost Garcia a win and the Yankees the lead (Trust me, this will covered in much greater detail tomorrow).
After Joba gave up a 2-run homer and Mo coughed up the lead for the 2nd straight outing in the 9th, the Yanks traded 0s with the O's into the 11th, where, after a rain delay, they managed to strike for 3 runs thanks to some timely hitting and bad fielding from Baltimore. It wasn't pretty, and it certainly didn't end up finishing the way it looked like it would at the beginning of the day, but the Yanks get another W, they sweep the series, and they now sit 12-6 heading into their series with the White Sox tomorrow.
Other quick game notes:
- Jorge looked awful again: 0-4 with 2 Ks. With as bad as he has been at the plate, you have to wonder at what point the Jesus-O-Meter will start percolating again.
- No Soriano in the 8th today? What was up with that? At least Joe didn't go COMPLETELY by the book with that call, but I'd still like to hear an explanation.
- 4-6 for The Captain today, including a 2B. Sure, not all of them were well struck, but at least they found holes.
- Brett Gardner is flat out lost at the plate. 0-5 today with 4 Ks for his first golden sombrero of the year. I know he had a couple XBH yesterday, but it's time for Joe to start thinking about getting Andruw Jones some more at-bats.