Yankees 6, Orioles 4: Travis Hafner saves the day


The Yankees played a very weak game for most of the night, collecting only four hits (three were home runs) heading into the ninth inning. They probably scored enough off Freddy Garcia to secure a win with CC Sabathia on the mound, but CC proved to be ineffective. They had the lead, CC gave it up, then they retook the lead and CC gave it right back again. CC Sabathia has now given up 21 hits in his last two starts, which is not just ugly, but also worrisome considering his velocity problems. He needs to figure out how to make his stuff work if he's going to have lower velocity from now on.

The Yankees scored first with a solo home run from Robinson Cano in the first inning, marking his 13th of the season and made him the dinger leader for the American League. In the second inning David Adams hit his first home run in his major league career to make it 2–0.

Chris Davis responded to Cano's homer with one of his own to make it 2–1 and regain a tie for first place in home runs.

In the top of the fifth inning Reid Brignac had an injury scare when he awkwardly stepped on first base, but it ultimately proved to be nothing. In the bottom of the inning Steve Pearce doubled and hit Austin Romine in the head on his backswing, creating another injury scare. Thankfully, the Yankees' only catcher stayed in. Nick Markakis singled to tie the game 2–2.

In the sixth inning Brett Gardner walked and was nearly picked off of first base by Matt Wieters, but replay showed that he may have been out. That call was just one of a few calls that went in the Yankees' favor and made Buck Showalter livid. Garcia ended his night needing only 66 pitches to get through six innings, so if the Yankees were going to score they would need to do it against Baltimore's bullpen.

They did just that when Lyle Overbay hit a home run off Troy Patton to make it 3–2. The biggest part was that he has hit an ugly .119/.136/.190 against lefties so far this season. But CC has been shaky recently and couldn't hold the lead for even an inning. He gave up a single to Alexi Casilla and a double to Markakis to tie the game at 3–3. J.J. Hardy then doubled to right field to score a run and knock out Sabathia with the game at 4-2. Shawn Kelley came in and struck out two batters (and one in the eighth) to get out of the inning. Kelley has a ridiculous 15.58 K/9 so far this season, which is second in the league among relievers.

In the top of the eighth Vernon Wells pinch hit for Brignac, but replaced Brett Gardner in the field while Jayson Nix played shortstop. Somehow Ichiro was still in the game, though maybe that ended up being a blessing.

In the top of the ninth Travis Hafner hit a game-tying home run off Jim Johnson to save the game and get the Yankees into extra innings. The Orioles closer had come into the game having blown his last two save opportunities and now the man they call Pronk ensured that he would go for a third.

In the top of the 10th inning Ichiro, who had done nothing all day, doubled to start off the inning against Pedro Strop and Vernon Wells hit a ground rule double to take the lead. Austin Romine laid down a perfect bunt to move Wells to third base with one out, but Jayson Nix failed to do anything and Robinson Cano was walked. Brian Matusz was brought in to face Travis Hafner, who greeted the left-hander with a run-scoring single to make the game 6–4. It would seem that lefties don't faze Yankee hitters.

Mariano Rivera came in and collected his 17th straight save of the season; business as usual.

CC Sabathia finished with the ugly line of four earned runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. At least he didn't walk anyone, but four of the hits he gave up came with two strikes. Shawn Kelley pitched an inning with three strikeouts and an intentional walk to Chris Davis and Boone Logan came in to get two outs in the eighth inning and give up a hit. David Robertson struck out two and gave up a hit, while Rivera struck a batter out to close out the game.

Cano, Hafner (2), Overbay (2), Adams (2), Ichiro, and Hafner had the nine Yankee hits of the night. Cano had two walks and Gardner had one, but the lineup as a whole struck out eight times.

  • Despite hitting some home runs the Yankees offense looked dead against Freddy Garcia until he left the game.
  • Ichiro looked lifeless for most of the night, but a timely double will likely keep him in the lineup for another three weeks.
  • It's amazing how Lyle Overbay can keep producing even though he's been playing in every single game since Kevin Youkilis went down. I keep waiting for him to fall apart, but he's still going strong.
  • It's nice to see David Adams do well with a single and a home run and, for those who are wondering, the Sterling call was "David is Goliath," which is disappointing because I prefer AN ADAMS BOMB. Oh well.

More From Pinstriped Bible

Monday starting lineup vs. Orioles and injury updates

Released Yankees: Where have you gone?

Yankees vs. Orioles preview: Q&A with Mark Brown of Camden Chat

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