The Yankees are the best team in baseball, and before yesterday hadn't lost back-to-back games at home since 17-18 June. The Orioles finish the season 5-13 against them, and when you compare rosters it's not hard to understand why. But this final series, despite today's ugly loss, was one of the most satisfying that I've watched this year.
Friday night's game was delayed by over an hour due to rain that continued to fall pretty much all night. The Yankee Stadium crowd was louder and more intense than usual. And Chris Tillman (born in 1988 for crying out loud), in his 9th major league start, responded by striking out 8 Yankees and getting the win.
On Saturday, Brian Matusz (born in 1987 and making his 8th major league start), dominated the Yankees for 7 innings. After allowing a two out double to Alex Rodriguez in the first inning, Matusz didn't give anything else up until a 1 out walk to Melky Cabrera in the 5th inning. When he finally got into a little bit of trouble in the 7th, he reached back and found something extra, striking out Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter to end his day.
So they lost today. Oh well. I didn't watch the game but from what I can tell Jeremy Guthrie got knocked around a bit but controlled the damage pretty well, and then the Yankees feasted on two pitchers (Chris Waters and Bob McCrory) who have no business being in the major leagues. The Orioles offense wasn't able to do much against CC Sabathia to no one's surprise, but rookies Justin Turner and Nolan Reimold put up a good show. Turner reached base three times and had an RBI, and Reimold had two hits, including a double.
The Orioles are a long way from contending in the AL East, but if and when they do get there, it'll be thanks to Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and the other young pitchers the O's are hoping will turn out. Andy MacPhail has said that the Orioles probably can't match the offenses that the Yankees and Red Sox are capable of assembling, so instead they have to grow enough arms to compete that way. If this weekend is any indication, Andy MacPhail knows what he's talking about.