Nothing like April baseball in the northeast. Cold. Stadium half-empty, and tonight Camden Yards was mostly quiet. Which was a change from the first two nights when the locals made considerable noise rooting for the home team. It was a welcome sound, actually, seeing as how Camden Yards is usually full of Yankee fans during the summer. The game was delayed for close to a half-an-hour so maybe the faithful decided it was best to stay home.
It feels as if the Yanks have been playing an extended version of the same game for six days now. Nothing has come easily, a string of hits or a bunch of runs. They did make some nice plays in the field tonight–Brett Gardner snagged a line drive, Curtis Granderson made a nice running catch, Robinson Cano robbed Matt Wieters of a base hit in eighth inning. And Boone Logan pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Granderson hit a two-run home run in the first inning but C.C. Sabathia quickly gave up two and he struggled through six innings. He didn’t have much of a rhythm and while he wasn’t terrible he threw a lot of pitches (especially in the second and third) and gave up four runs. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta was impressive for the Orioles–hard fastball, nice breaking ball, good control. He had Alex Rodriguez’s head spinning and feet shuffling back to the dugout just as soon as he dug in at the plate.
Granderson tied the game with a base hit in the seventh. The Yanks left runners at second and third in the eighth. Eduardo Nunez later got picked off first. Almost everyone not named Jeter has endured frustrating at-bats in Baltimore.
When the O’s put runners of first and second with two out on in the ninth against Rafael Soriano, the fans chanted “Let’s Go O’s, Let’s Go O’s, Let’s Go O’s.” They booed when Soriano intentionally walked Nick Markakis to face Adam Jones (hitless in six career at-bats against Sori). The first pitch was on the outside corner but was called a ball and Joe Girardi leaned back, closed his eyes. Didn’t look like he was breathing. Soriano poured three more fastballs, right down the pike, and Jones swung through each one of them.
For the second night in a row, extra innings. Mark Teixeira hit a bloop double to left with two outs and then Nick Swisher worked the count full, got a meatball over the plate and deposited that weak sauce over the wall in right field.