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Yankees 11, Orioles 2: Back to Normal

I missed today's game, so the following is written by Eat More Esskay:

Going into today’s game, the thing that Orioles fans were probably dreading the most was the starting rotation entering the section of pitchers whose last names are not Guthrie or Uehara. Though Alfredo Simon had a strong spring, who knew what the team would get out of him once the regular season began?

As it turned out, Simon (0-1) gave the Orioles five innings in which he gave up three earned runs, and came out for the sixth, though he was quickly given the hook by Dave Trembley after giving up a single to Mark Teixeira, even though he had only thrown 89 pitches. For the second consecutive game, the bullpen was given the reins in the sixth inning.

The game was not out of hand at this point. Brian Bass entered the game with the Yankees leading by a score of 3-2 and struck out Xavier Nady and looked like he would hold down the fort. Two cheap singles past a diving Ty Wigginton at third base and a walk later and the Yankees were ahead 4-2 with the bases loaded as Brett Gardner stepped up to the plate, perhaps with visions of his first career grand slam dancing through his head. Instead, he chopped the ball weakly back to the pitcher’s mound. Bass fielded cleanly, at which point he was possessed by the vengeful spirit of Daniel Cabrera, resulting in an errant toss to the plate that flew past Chad Moeller and allowed two runs to score.

Across Birdland, Orioles fans could only heave a resigned sigh as the familiar pitching miscues reared their ugly heads.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Orioles were up against the third of the Yankees’ high-priced free agent trio, A.J. Burnett (1-0). He struck out six in 5.1 IP, getting an early exit as the hitters were doing a good job of working pitch counts to get him up near 100. While they got to look at a number of pitches, other than a Luke Scott home run in the fourth, the Orioles only enjoyed success against Burnett in the third, getting first-and-third with none out and bases loaded with two outs and only scoring one run on a Brian Roberts single.

Replacing Burnett, the Yankees bullpen combined to retire the final 11 Orioles they faced to bring an end to the game.

  • The Camden Yards crowd was notably pro-Orioles for the first two games of the series, but there was no home field advantage today. In the first Orioles at-bat of the game, Brian Roberts fouled a ball down the left field line. Johnny Damon gave chase and reached full-extension into the stands and came away with the ball. On the TV replay it seemed the area was full of pinstripe jerseys.
  • The box score tells you that Nick Swisher homered to right in the top of the 4th inning. The photo on this story tells you the rest of the story.
  • Nick Markakis went 0-for-3 with 3 strikeouts, though the third strike of his last at-bat was a “There’s two outs in the bottom of the 8th of a 9-2 game on getaway day” third strike.
  • Chris Ray pitched the ninth and gave up two runs, lowering his ERA to 27.00.
  • The team had a moment of silence at the start of the game in memory of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident by a suspected drunk driver last night.

One Note by SC from the box score: After walking 14 times and striking out twice in the first two games, the Orioles walked once and struck out 12 times today.