It was all lined-up. The Yanks drove Zach Britton’s pitch count up while Bartolo Colon kept his down. Britton threw 120 pitches over seven innings but he had the Yankee hitters off-balance with soft stuff away and a cut fastball inside. They didn’t get a runner past second base. Colon blinked first, giving up a double and a single in the seventh inning, and the Orioles had a 1-0 lead.
The game moved along briskly. In the bottom of the eighth, a couple of bloop hits put runners on the corners with nobody out for the Orioles. The game in the balance. A ground ball back to Colon, who checked the runner at third, then threw to second for the force. Then a strikeout, three pitches, caught-looking. But J.J. Hardy lined a single through the left side–fastball up–and Colon’s day was over.
In the 9th, the Yanks sent up Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez against Kevin Gregg. Granderson struck out on a full count fastball. Teixeira hit an 0-2 pitch off the first base bag, good for a single. The fans chanted, “Let’s Go O’s.” Rodriguez hit into a 6-4-3 double play and—thud.
O’s 2, Yanks Zip. First place, slipping away.
It was a long night in New York. The storm wasn’t as bad as predicted, at least not here on the high ground of the Bronx, but the constant news coverage and the anticipation was exhausting. It was a relief to watch baseball, to see the Yankees play, but the results were less than satisfying, despite Colon’s performance. The Yanks have now lost four of their last five, against the A’s and O’s.
Summertimes Blues, indeed.
[Picture by Cloni]