Friday, June 11, 2010

Series In Review: Baltimore Orioles

If it seems like the Yankees win 2 out of 3 against the Baltimore Orioles every time they play each other, that’s because they virtually do.

Since the turn of the century, the Bombers have bombarded the Orioles nearly every time the two teams compete. Over the past decade at Camden Yards, the Yankees have gone 61-35 (.635). At home in the Bronx, the Yankees have established a dominating 65-30-1 record (.684) in that same span of time. Throw this all together and it’s an unbelievable 126-65-1 (.660). The Yankees have nearly averaged a 2-1 record over a three game series during the past 10 years against the Birds.

Now THAT’S dominance.

Moving on to the more relevant news and information from the midweek series...

The Yankees continued their thrashings of the Orioles by taking 2 out of 3 games this week. The story of the series is not the play of the Yankees, but rather the current status of Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was pulled from the game last night in the bottom of the 1st inning after his groin tightened up on an Adam Jones RBI single. He was quoted saying, "Not only do I usually make that play, but it is a routine play… I just locked up." When Joe Girardi was asked about Alex, he stated, “"Hopefully, it's just a day-to-day thing. We might need to give him a couple days off. We'll know more after he's seen the doctor." Rodriguez, along with millions of other fans, hopes to be cleared by the doctor and play tonight against the Astros.

Other than the injury sustained by the 12-time All Star, the series was very much routine for the Yankees.

Despite Tuesday night being a slugfest, Phil Hughes continued his campaign for an all star game bid by pushing his win total to 8. Hughes logged 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 9 hits while striking out 4.

The Yankee offense, lead by Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson, finally broke through on the road. After scoring only 7 runs in 3.5 games in Toronto, the Yankees backed Hughes with 12 against the O’s at Camden. Half of those runs came with two swings of the bat when Nick Swisher hit an “Absolutely SWISHALICIOUS” 2-run dinger in the 1st followed by a “Granderslam” courtesy of Granderson in the 3rd. These were only 2 of the 15 hits by New York on Friday night that helped the Yankees romp the O’s 12-7.

C.C. Sabathia took the ball on Saturday and did exactly what he has done the past four times he’s pitched against the Orioles… beat them. Sabathia’s last four wins have come against the Battered Birds. He surrendered 9 hits, but buried down when he needed to by allowing only 2 runs. He got his outs in fashionable style by striking out 8 including a huge bases loaded strikeout of Luke Scott to end the 7th. The best offense in baseball would only produce 4 runs via small ball, but they were enough to edge the O’s 4-2.

A.J. Burnett was neither Dr. Jekyll nor Mr. Hyde on Thursday night as he had his first mediocre outing of the year. Between a rough 1st inning and 6th inning, Burnett was able pitch very well. His line was 6.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.

Jake Arrieta, in his 1st MLB outing, was successful in shutting down the Yankee offense and the bullpen shot down any hopes of late inning heroics. The Orioles won a tight game by the score of 4-3.

It’s necessary to dedicate an entire paragraph to recognize the triumphant of Robinson Cano. After going 3 for 14 against Toronto (.176), Cano went on an absolute tear in Baltimore. He went 7 for 11 (.636) while scoring 4 times. Not only does Robinson Cano do it with the bat, but he has quickly become a gold glove caliber 2nd baseman and saved a run on Wednesday night. The MVP-front runner increased his average to a MLB-leading .376.

Some quick notes on the series:

-The Yankees are now 10-2 against Baltimore this season.
-Robinson Cano went 10 for 25 (.400) during the six-game road trip and is 23 for 47 (.489) vs. the O’s.
-Jorge Posada continues to struggle since returning from the DL [0 for 9 vs. Baltimore, 3 for 27 (.111) since returning from DL].
-Chad Gaudin’s ERA since rejoining New York: 7.86.
-Derek Jeter has reached base in his last 28 consecutive games.
-Sabathia is now 13-1 against the Orioles in his career.
-Yankees are now 18-16 on the road.

New York lost no ground on Tampa (won 2 of 3 against Toronto) and gained 1 game on the Red Sox (lost 2 of 3 to Cleveland) over the last three days.

The Yankees will begin a huge nine-game homestand tonight as they send Andy Pettitte to the mound to pitch against his former team, the Houston Astros, for the first time. First pitch is at 7:05 on YES Network!

*Quotes taken from ESPN article written by the Associated Press.

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