Game 160: BAL vs. NYY — “Well, it’s not what you want”
The day after the Yankees got the news that they were eliminated from the postseason, the Yankees turn to host their final series in the Bronx, against the Orioles. And it rained. One reporter commented that those who were at the game tonight, in the rain, without any hope for the postseason could legitimately called themselves “true Yankee fans”. Especially those who stuck it out to the very end of this game.
Michael Pineda got the start tonight and struggled his way into the 5th inning, throwing 85 pitches, giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, striking out 5 Baltimore batters. He actually held them off for the first third of the game, but things started falling off for him in the 4th inning. With 2 outs, Pineda gave up 2 singles and then a 2-RBI double to get the Orioles on the board.
In the 5th, the Orioles added to their lead with a lead-off solo home run. A single and an out later, Pineda then gave up a 2-run home run to push them further into the lead. The Yankees went to their bullpen for relief, but it wasn’t immediately found in James Pazos. Pazos got a strikeout, but then gave up a double and a walk who easily scored on yet another home run this inning.
But then going to the bullpen again, the Yankees found the relief they needed. Anthony Swarzak threw a nice 2 clean innings, Chasen Shreve got himself into a bases-loaded, no-outs jam only to work his way out of it. And Ben Heller closed things out with a similar situation but kept the Orioles from adding to their huge lead.
The Yankees had limited opportunities to add to their offense tonight — just 3 allowed hits and 6 walks. Only the 4th inning did they cobble together a run. With 1 out and Sanchez on 1st, McCann singled moving Sanchez all the way to 3rd. This was helpful as he then scored on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly. It would be the only time the Yankees could do anything all night.
Final score: 8-1 Orioles.
Girardi mentioned that while the Yankees aren’t in the postseason anymore, they are really embracing the idea of being a spoiler for the Orioles, who are fighting to keep their spot as a Wild Card candidate. And certainly, tonight’s game didn’t help. There’s a line Girardi uses a lot when the outcome is, well, less than ideal: “It’s not what you want.” And that seems to be how everyone kind of felt about tonight’s game, and really the overall outcome of the season. Disappointing, but once it’s done, there’s not much you can do about it except get up, dust yourself off, and try not to do it again.
Before the game tonight, Mark Teixeira was presented a specialized electric guitar by 1980s rock band Twisted Sister. Teixeira is a huge 80’s music fan, even guest appearing on the 80’s rock musical Rock of Ages a few years ago. This year, Teixeira’s walk-up music has been the band’s big hit “I Want to Rock”, but tonight’s gift was a complete surprise for the retiring infielder. The Yankees will do their own special ceremony before the final game on Sunday afternoon.
And if you’re wondering what’s been going on with recently retired Alex Rodriguez, well, he’s certainly been enjoying his retirement — speaking at business and college conferences and reporting for “daddy duty”, including driving his daughters to their first day of school earlier this month. But now, he’s reporting for a different duty — minor league instructor. He suited up to work at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa to work with some of their young prospects, several who will participate in the instructional league this fall. Rodriguez has also agreed to be part of the FOX broadcast team for the postseason, so Yankee fans (and Rodriguez fans) will get to see him once again, suited up and talking baseball.