Tonight the Yankees took on the Orioles for the first time this year and lost by a score of 5-2. A lot was left to be desired after this one. It’s early in the year, so it’s hard to call this one a “heartbreaker” but nevertheless... it still stings.
Masahiro Tanaka got the ball for the Yankees against Andrew Cashner for the O’s. It was a back and forth pitchers duel until the bottom of the 6th when Aaron Judge lifted his 2nd homerun of the year over the wall to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. A great sign for Judge as that was his 2nd homer in as many days.
Next frame and Adam Jones says, “I can do that too” as he took one of the few mistakes Tanaka made all night, just over the wall in left to give the O’s a 2-1 lead. After a Trey Mancini single, Aaron Boone decided Tanaka’s night was done as he signaled for Chad Green. Tanaka was great up until the 7th, however, he didn't deserve to take the loss.
Whenever Chad Green comes in, it’s hard not to think he’ll automatically give you 1-2 innings of lights-out pitching. Not the case tonight. A double by Anthony Santander made it 3-1 and then with men on 2nd and 3rd, Colby Rasmus lines a 2-run single to break the game open 5-1. Chad Green has been so reliable, it felt really weird to see him struggle. Oh well, there’s never a good time to struggle, but better to get it out of his system now.
Bottom 7 and Didi Gregorius stays red hot with a lead off double. Neil Walker would single him in to give the Bombers their 2nd run to make it 5-2 but that would be all for the Yanks in the 7th.
Bottom of the 8th, the Yankees would present a false sense of hope as they would load the bases after back-to-back hit by pitches. The crowd offered all of their support to Neil Walker, who stood at the plate for the Yankees in the biggest spot of the game, but it wasn’t enough as he grounded the ball back to Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day to end the threat.
On a slightly positive note, Dellin Betances pitched the top of the 9th and struck out 3 while giving up no runs. Yeah, it wasn’t the high pressure situation that resulted in the mess of an outing he had in Toronto, but if you believe in baby steps, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Sadly, that was the end to the positive news for the night. Tyler Wade would walk in the bottom of the 9th but that would be all the offense they would offer as Brett Gardner would strike out swinging to end the ballgame.
Again, it’s a bit extreme to call this one a “heartbreaker” but Michael Kay said something on air tonight to what I’m about to say, that I agree with completely. Yeah, it’s too early in the year to judge the outcome of the season already, but to say these games don’t matter because it’s “early” is foolish. The bullpen has been scary (not in the good way) and the lineup continues it’s inconsistency. You can’t win games if you can’t hold the lead or take the lead. (Obviously)
Don’t panic. Sometimes it takes some players a little bit longer to shake off the off-season cobwebs. The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow for game 2 of this 4 game set. CC takes the ball for the Yanks at 7:05 PM. No better guy to have on the mound after a tough loss.