The Baltimore Orioles were shut out tonight against the nearly-eliminated New York Yankees in a game where the only enthusiasm shown was by Joe Girardi as he managed to use three pitchers to record all three outs of a ninth inning in which his team was winning by five runs.
Michael Pineda started for the Yankees tonight and since returning from the disabled list he's been quite good. He was especially good tonight as the O's managed just two baserunners against him in 7 1/3 innings pitched. In the fifth inning, J.J. Hardy singled to left field. In the eighth inning, Christian Walker...walked. How appropriate! But that was it. The only other baserunner for the O's was thanks to a ninth-inning walk by Nick Markakis.
Wei-Yin Chen started for the O's and while he gave up four runs in six innings pitched, only two were earned. Ryan Flaherty started the third inning by making a throwing error that allowed Ichiro Suzuki to get on base. I know that of the current three-headed monster that is manning third base, Flaherty is considered to be a defensive upgrade over Kelly Johnson and Jimmy Parades, but really, they're all garbage. Jose Pirela, who made his major league debut tonight, drove a ball to left-center field that looked like it had a chance to a home run. Instead it bounced on the warning track and Pirela had to settle for a triple as his first major-league hit. That gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead that increased to 2-0 thanks to a ground out by Derek Jeter that has been lauded by critics as Derek Jeter's most clutch ground out on September 14, 2014 ever.
The other two runs that Chen gave up were on a double by Jeter in the fifth inning that knocked in Brett Gardner (who had walked) and Pirela (who singled, because of course the rookie that played in 800 minor league games before his first trip to the majors got on base multiple times). That gave Jeter a three-RBI night, his most clutch 3-RBI night since September 9, 2012 (aka the last time he had three RBI in a game).
Ryan Webb gave up a home run to Chase Headley for the Yankees' fifth run, because Ryan Webb forgot how to be a good pitcher. Buck Showalter called on Joe Saunders with two outs and the bases empty to replace Webb, because why not? Saunders struck out Stephen Drew.
That move of course was like a dare to Joe Girardi, who let Shawn Kelley start the ninth inning but after he struck out Jonathan Schoop, pulled him in favor of possibly the only lefty reliever in the ballpark who is as crappy as Saunders: Rich Hill. Then, with two outs and one runner on, in the ninth inning of a 5-0 game, Girardi AGAIN went to his bullpen.
Have you ever known someone that you kind of couldn't stand, but then you realized that person hated the same person you hate, and because of that you bonded to that person for just a brief moment in time? That's how I felt when I heard Yankee fans booing their own manager for making them sit through another pitching change with one out in the game left.
Since clinching the AL East last Tuesday, the Orioles are 2-3 and that might be causing some of you panic. I wish you wouldn't, but I gotta say the team looked pretty awful tonight. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.