Frustrating. It's the only word I can think of after a game like this. David Hernandez pitched an amazing game, Mark Hendrickson followed with a perfect inning, and Jim Johnson a perfect inning after that. For the first 8 innings of the game the Yankees could only manage 3 hits off of the Orioles pitching staff. They added a fourth hit in the bottom of the 9th, a HR by Hideki Matsui.
Hernandez started off the game a little rocky, but considering he is a 24 year old with 6 major league starts who was making his first ever start in Yankee Stadium, I'm certainly willing to cut him some slack. He allowed two hits and a walk in the first but didn't allow a run. In the 2nd he gave up his third hit, a home run to Eric Hinske. That would be the last hit the Yankees would get until the 9th inning.
The Yankees lead the MLB with runs scored per game at 5.54. For the Orioles to hold them to two, even if that second one came in the form of a walk off, is impressive. For a rookie pitcher to give up only 1 run over 6 innings is definitely a positive we can take from this game.
That is the end of the positives. After a first inning Nick Markakis home run, the Orioles were unable to score any more runs despite having numerous opportunities. And here they are:
- Third inning: Matt Wieters led off the inning with a single and advanced on a wild pitch with zero outs. Cesar Izturis and Brian Roberts struck out and Markakis flew out to right field, stranding Wieters.
- Fifth inning: With one out, Nolan Reimold walked and Matt Wieters singled him to third. Izturis struck out and Brian Roberts flew out to center to strand them both.
- Sixth inning: Adam Jones hit an infield single with one out. Aubrey Huff grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw.
- Seventh inning: Melvin Mora led off with a single. Luke Scott struck out and Reimold GIDP.
- Eighth inning: With one out, Izturis singled to left. Roberts doubled down the right field line but Izturis, thinking the ball was caught, started to go back to first and ended up between first and second at the same time as Brian. He got the gist and ended up on third but probably could have scored if he looked at the 3B coach. Markakis then swung at the first pitch and hit a grounder to Teixeira, who threw Izturis out at home. With Adam Jones at the plate, Phil Coke threw a wild pitch. Roberts raced home from third but in trying to avoid the tag with his headfirst slide missed the plate altogether and was tagged out by Coke.
- Ninth inning: Adam Jones led off the inning and was hit by the pitch on his foot. After Huff lined out, Jones stole second. Mora flew out to centerfield. Luke was intentionally walked. Nolan Reimold flew out to left.
That's a lot of chances, right? And they couldn't score one more run. Frustrating. This loss is on the offense, because the pitching did its job. I suppose you could assign some blame to Jim Johnson, but if the Orioles had scored even one more run he wouldn't have pitched the 9th inning, and he hardly ever pitches more than one inning. No, this one is on the offense.