Phil Hughes is lost right now. He’s lost velocity on his pitches and is now lost in space. He threw more BP fastballs tonight and the O’s feasted on that weak sauce to the tune of five runs in four-and-a-third innings. It’s clear that something ain’t right, but what that something is, well, that’ll keep the angst-meter on blast for the foreseeable future, won’t it?
The Bombers inched their way back into the game behind a strong relief outing from Bad Bart Colon and trailed 5-4 going into the eighth. Colon put runners on the corners with one out and was replaced by Joba Chamberlain who uncorked a slider past Russell Martin. Felix Pie charged home from third but Joba beat him to the plate and blocked Pie’s leg, took the throw from Martin and made the tag for the second out.
Went something like this:
Joba struck Mark Reynolds out looking with some easy cheese on the outside corner, end of inning.
That looked to be the last thing to get excited about as Alex Rodriguez, still hot, and Robinson Cano had two out hits in the bottom of the inning but Nick Swisher, ice cold, rolled over a grounder to end the inning. Joba pitched a scoreless ninth and then Jorge Posada hit Kevin Gregg’s first pitch into the right center field bullpen to tie the game.
And Yankee Stadium was happy.
Even more so when Curtis Granderson lined a ball off Nick Markakis’ glove in right field for a double. But Martin could not get a bunt down and whiffed. Brett Gardner, who has looked overmatched, did the same and Derek Jeter tapped out to short and the inning was over.
Yet all praise the Great Mariano, who worked around a lead-off single, and got the Yanks back up in short order. The lefty Mike Gonzalez walked Mark Teixeira on a full-count pitch to start the inning and then Rodriguez, who has been hitting just about everything on the screws, ripped a double to left. Second and third, no out. Robbie. Worked the count even at two, smacked a line drive right at the shortstop, one out.
The O’s chose not to walk Swisher, batting from the right side. Swish hit a hump back liner to Markakis in right, deep enough to score the winning run.
A.J., pie, game.
Yanks 6, O’s 5. Applause.
[First picture by Michel Gravel]