The New York Yankees have always proven to be a pain-in-the-you-know-what for the Baltimore Orioles over the years, and last night was no exception.
For the second consecutive game, both teams went into extra innings; however, once again, the Yankees emerged victorious as they defeated the Orioles, 6-4, in ten innings.
After starting 3-0, Baltimore is now 3-3. We as fans can feel better that the games have not been blowouts; however, at this point – are the Orioles what they are?
So far, I think the Orioles are better than last year, but mediocre teams cannot give good teams umpteen chances to come back. In this series against the Yankees, they have done it time and time again.
In order to become a good baseball team, the Orioles need to secure a lead and close out a game. That’s the bottom line.
Of course, the Orioles had a golden chance to win in the 9th inning as Adam Jones – who had a chance to a hero in the clutch – struck out with the bases loaded against reliever Rafael Soriano. That’s fine and well, and there’s no shame in striking out for Jones, but the Orioles have to capitalize on that situation.
Kevin Gregg – who got booed during the Opening Day pre-game ceremony – didn’t help out his public image. I feel for the guy, but last night he did not get the job done. Granted, he pitched two innings of relief, but got in trouble in the top of the tenth as he allowed a runner to reach base and gave up a devastating home run to Nick Swisher. It's not like he will be looking for oilfield jobs, but he has been terrible with the Orioles.
In the bottom of the tenth, it was game, set, match for the Orioles as Mariano Rivera put them away and earned his second save of this season, and his 605th of his career.
Starter Jake Arrieta who had a dazzling Opening Day debut, pitched 6 2/3 innings; however, didn’t get the decision. He started the game on a rocky note, giving up a lead-off double to Derek Jeter, and then Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer to give the New Yorkers an early 2-0 lead.
Arrieta left in the seventh inning, with the Orioles up 4-3; however, Luis Ayala came into the game in relief of Arrieta and gave up a game tying double to Curtis Granderson.
Overall, Arrieta has pitched well and looks like a leader on Baltimore’s staff. He is certainly pitching with a lot more consistency and focus this year, in comparison to what I’ve seen in the past.
Arrieta has only had two starts, granted; however, I think this is going to be a watershed season for him. Meanwhile, big C.C. Sabathia went six innings and gave up four runs.
Mark Reynolds and Robert Andino each plated in two runs.
J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters – who is red hot and batting .364 as of today – and Ronny Paulino each had two hits.
It’s too bad that the Baltimore lost two close games this week against the rival New Yorkers, but they just have to keep grinding it out.
At least we all can take solace that the Orioles have not been blown out of as of yet and have been competitive this week.
They have a tough customer with the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend, as they embark on a long ten-game road trip.