Monday, April 25, 2011

Mo's April Shower Brings 11th Inning Flowers

Uh-oh, for the 2nd time in a week, Mariano Rivera blew a save. This time it was yesterday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Yankees scored twice in the 1st inning, on Curtis Granderson's league-leading 7th home run, and once in the 5th, on an RBI forceout by Alex Rodriguez. Freddy Garcia had a 2-hit shutout after 6. Unfortunately, manager Joe Girardi ignored this, and sent Joba Chamberlain out to pitch the bottom of the 7th. He gave up a home run to Mark Reynolds, to make it 3-2.

David Robertson pitched a scoreless 8th, but in the 9th, Mo showed that, as he has had before, is in the middle of a troublesome run in April. He let the O's tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Boone Logan pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th, and in the top of the 11th, Jason Berken came in to relieve for Baltimore. His first batter was Robinson Cano, who doubled, and then stole 3rd, putting the potential winning run on 3rd with less than 2 (or even 1) out. Now that's the kind of aggressive baseball I like.

But Nick Swisher struck out. Eric Chavez was sent to pinch-hit for Eduardo Nunez, who had pinch-run for Jorge Posada and stayed in as the DH. Berken walked Chavez intentionally, to set up an inning-ending double play. Big mistake, as Robert Andino, the Oriole shortstop, mishandled Russell Martin's grounder, scoring Cano and sending Chavez to 3rd. Brett Gardner struck out, but Derek Jeter and Granderson hit back-to-back RBI singles.

Logan got the first out in the bottom of the 11th, and then Buddy Carlyle came in for his 2nd straight relief outing and got the last 2. Final score, Yankees 6, Orioles 3.

WP: Logan (1-1). No save, as Carlyle did not come in with the tying run on base, at bat, or on deck, and it was a 3-run lead that he was protecting for less than 1 full inning. LP: Berken (0-1).

Jeter went 4-for-6, to inch -- or maybe even foot -- closer to the magic circle of the 3,000 Hit Club.

The Yankees have come home to start a 4-game series with the Chicago White Sox, following a 3-game weekend set with the Pesky Blue Jays of Toronto. Hopefully, this is just a Mo pattern we've seen before, and he has gotten those clunkers out of his system (there's usually only 2 of them at a time), and will be (mostly) fine for the rest of the year.

Jeter 2945 55
Rivera 566 35
A-Rod 618 145
Magic Number 138 (to eliminate Scum, Rays and O's; to eliminate Jays, 137)

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