What might have been one of the best wins of the season (had they been able to put it off) ended up being one of the most deflating losses, as the Yankees and Orioles move back into a tie atop the AL East after tonight's loss. The Yankee offense rallied with two outs for five runs in the eighth inning off Randy Wolf and Pedro Strop to tie the game at six each. Before an out was recorded in the bottom of the frame, David Robertson had given up a solo shot to Adam Jones and a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds, his second of the game.
Without recording an out, Robertson was pulled in favor of Boone Logan, who served up a home run to Chris Davis before turning the ball over to Derek Lowe, who mercifully ended things. After climbing out of the mess starter David Phelps made in his four innings (six hits, five earned runs - four coming in the first inning), it seemed like the Yankees may be able to steal one from what felt like certain defeat early on. The bullpen fell apart, and so did the hopes of starting a ridiculously important series off on a good note.
The offense was only out-hit by one, but it really didn't seem that way. Ichiro Suzuki singled twice and stole a base in addition to tying the score with his bases-loaded single that plated two after Chris Dickerson walked with the bases loaded. The slumping Curtis Granderson even showed signs of life with two RBI singles of his own.
Really can't fault the offense for this one, though. Maybe they should have found a way to push runs across earlier in the game, but Jason Hammel made his pitches when he needed to. The Yankees' staff has seemed allergic to shutdown innings and protecting leads lately, and that bit them tonight. David Robertson has to pitch better than he has as the second best reliever in the pen.
Phil Hughes gets the task of evening the score as he gets the start tomorrow against Wei-Yin Chen. If the offense is going to finally awaken, the pitchers need to do their part. Tomorrow would be a good time for that to start.