This game looked going in like it would be a bit of a slugfest: Feldman and Nova aren't exactly aces (though Nova's been quite good this year), and both have struggled against today's opponents. But the O's wasted an outstanding outing from one of their starting pitchers, and with as much as the offense has dropped off since April and May, they can't afford to waste such opportunities.
Ivan Nova set the tone early, retiring the side in order in the first on eleven pitches and getting a pair of strikeouts. Scott Feldman then gave up a run in the bottom half, when Brett Gardner led off with a double and, one batter later, Robinson Cano drove him in with his own double.
The Orioles and Yankees then traded zeros for six innings. The O's managed their only real rally in the second, as Ivan Nova led off the inning by hitting Adam Jones and giving up a bloop single to Matt Wieters, but got out of it with Nick Markakis's double play ball and J.J. Hardy's flyout. Feldman got himself into a couple of jams in the fifth and seventh, but both times, Derek Jeter hit into inning-ending 4-6-3 double plays. I would be much more smug about this had it ended up mattering.
Troy Patton relieved Scott Feldman in the eighth and gave up a homer to leadoff batter Robinson Cano, giving the Yankees an insurance run. Buck Showalter then turned to Kevin Gausman, who dazzled with upper-90s heat and got a pair of strikeouts. The O's couldn't overcome the deficit in the ninth, despite a leadoff infield single by Nate McLouth, and lost, 2-0.
The Orioles haven't played a must-win game yet - after all, it ain't over till it's over. But with every loss, they force themselves to have to play even better over the remaining games to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs. Now in fourth place and 4.5 games back from the second Wild Card, they're really going to need at least one team ahead of them to struggle in addition to going on a tear themselves.
Wei-Yin Chen will face Andy Pettitte tomorrow, as the O's will try to once again avoid a sweep in the third game of a series.