Avert your eyes and take the children out of the room. Because this was baseball at its ugliest. Pretty much everything went wrong for the Orioles tonight as they were demolished by the Yankees 14-4 in the Bronx. Woof.
The O’s did hold a lead in this game at one point, but that’s only because baseball rules require that the visiting team hit first. In between a trio of ground outs by those around him in the lineup, Manny Machado scorched a ball over the fence in center field to give the Birds a brief 1-0 advantage. For a moment, I was happy while watching this game. Of course, my positivity would dissipate swiftly.
Because baseball rules also require that the Orioles provide a pitcher, and that is where they have continually struggled in this 2016 campaign. The team used three different hurlers tonight, but they all were pretty equally terrible.
First to the mound was starter Yovani Gallardo. His stay proved to be both brief and destructive. It was really quite something. In the bottom of the first inning, the Yanks put the O’s in their rear view mirror and left them there for the remainder of the evening. Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez, who terrorized Baltimore all night, got things going with a two-out single and then retiring first baseman Mark Teixeira (boo? Are we still doing that?) launched a bomb to right-center field. 2-1 Yankees. OK, not so bad. The Orioles have come back from one-run deficits before.
It was the second inning where things began to crumble. First, the O’s failed to score in their half of the inning. Then, when the team went out to defend, Nolan Reimold trotted to center field instead of Adam Jones. gulp Apparently, it is a hamstring injury and the timetable for his return is unknown. Without Jones, the Orioles do not have a center fielder. Reimold proved that in this game.
How is he on the team still?
With one out and runners on first and second, Ronald Torreyes hit a shallow fly ball to center field. Reimold came running in and looked to have the ball in his sights, but just flat out dropped it. There was no dive or slide or anything. Sure, it wasn’t as if it was a can of corn, but it’s a play that a major league outfielder makes 95 percent of the time.
Now with the bases loaded, Brett Gardner singled, scoring Chase Headley from third and Aaron Judge from second. Jacoby Ellsbury followed a single of his own to drive in Torreyes. Then Sanchez doubled to bring in Gardner and Ellsbury. That was it for Gallardo. Oh good, Vance Worley will fair much better, right? Nope. He proceeded to give up three consecutive singles to Teixeira, Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro before getting out of the inning. All said and done, that second inning consisted of six runs on seven hits, one walk and one error. 8-1 Yankees.
At this point, I really preferred to do a number of things: take a nap, watch a movie, read a book, stare at a blank wall for an hour a half. Really, anything but watch this shellacking that was unfolding. But I persevered, because I am a dedicated baseblogger.
The beating continues
New York put together three more productive innings, scoring two runs each time. The fourth inning runs came from another home run. Castro got on with a two-out single and then Headley hammered a dong to right field. 10-1 Bombers.
More of the same in the fifth inning. Ellsbury delivered the single ahead of Sanchez. The rookie then blasted his 10th homer of the season. He went 3-for-5 on the night and is now batting .403 in 20 games of MLB action. 12-1 Yanks.
But in the sixth, there was relief for the Birds. Yes, they rediscovered their ability to score...sort of. But it was really just a result of Machado’s powers on a night where the rest of the bats seemed unable to square up much of anything. Hyun Soo Kim hustled out an infield single and then Manny blasted another bomb, this time to right field to make it a 12-3 game. NOW WE HAVE A CHANCE!!!
Nevermind, New York took those runs right back in the seventh inning with a pair of doubles from Judge and Torreyes and then a single from Gardner off of Mike Wright, who had come in to begin the sixth frame. 14-3.
The Birds pulled back a pity run in the top of the ninth with Jonathan Schoop singling in Steve Pearce, but the double digit deficit remained and the Yankees bullpen finished things off to put an end to the misery.
All of the Birds pitchers struggled mightily:
Gallardo: 1.1 innings, six hits, eight runs (seven earned), one walk, zero strikeouts
Worley: 3.2 innings, eight hits, four runs, one walk, two strikeouts
Wright: three innings, four hits, two runs, zero walks, two strikeouts
Meanwhile, the Yankees used more pitchers, but it was four guys that no one has ever heard of. Ever. Not once.
Luis Cessa: six innings, five hits, three runs, one walk, five strikeouts
Blake Parker: one inning, zero hits, zero runs, zero walks, one strikeout
Ben Heller: one inning, zero everything else
Kirby Yates: one inning, two hits, one run, one strikeout
As a team, the O’s collected seven hits to the Yankees 18. The only Oriole with multiple hits was Machado. Kim, Davis, Pearce, Schoop added singles. Pedro Alvarez had a double.
Remove the memory of this game from my brain as soon as possible. Please! How can we do that? A Dylan Bundy (7-4, 3.33 ERA) start! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! He will be opposed by 25-year-old righty Chad Greene (2-2, 3.66 ERA). This rookie faced the O’s as a reliever back in July. He went 2.1 scoreless innings and gave up just two hits.