Friday, April 7, 2017

Bullpen Blows Ballgame In Baltimore, Yanks Fall 6-5

Tonight, the New York Yankees were in Camden Yards to face off against the division rival Baltimore Orioles in a three-game weekend set. Luis Severino took the mound for the Yankees tonight and pitched pretty well,but was really let down by the first poor bullpen outting of the season. Ubaldo Jiminez got the start for Baltimore and was hit hard early and often, leading to an early departure from the game. But, his offense rallied late and slugged their way to a come-from-behind win.

Jiminez struggled right out of the gate; throwing 30 pitches in the first inning as he gave up the early lead. Gardner led off the game with a single, advancing to second on a stolen base. After Gary Sanchez walked, Greg Bird went down on strikes as the first out of the inning. Since he didn't get a chance to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the designated hitter yesterday, DH Matt Holliday celebrated today with a line drive opposite field single that plated Gardner and gave the Yankees a one run lead.

But the O's were quick to respond as they went on to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Seth Smith started off the frame with a line-drive double to right field, scoring when the next batter Adam Jones squibbed a single just inside the first base bag. Like Jiminez, Severino also needed a lot of pitches(24) to get through the first.

 After both starters cruised through an easy second inning, the Yankees used the long ball to re-take the lead in the top of the third.  Brett Gardner started the rally with another single, advancing to second on a fielders choice by Gary Sanchez. After Gardner stole another base (third), Matt Holiday rocked a split finger fastball into the left field seat to put the Yankees up 3-1.

After being on the ropes all game long, Jiminez was finally knocked out of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Once again, Brett Gardner got to the righty; this time for a one out double, his third hit of the night. The next batter Gary Sanchez unloaded on a Jiminez fastball to the tune of a 400+ft homerun to left, extending the Yanks lead to four. Manager Buck Showalter popped right out of the dug out and pulled Jiminez for right-handed reliever Oliver Drake. Jiminez departed with a final line of 4.1 innings pitched, allowing five runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five.

Severino cruised through innings two, three and four but was touched up in the bottom of the fifth. Jonathan Schoop started the fifth with a single, advancing to second on a rare Severino two out walk of Adam Jones. Manny Machado proceeded to drive in both runners by blasting a Severino fastball over the left-centerfield wall, pulling the O's back to within one at 5-4. Severino would get Chris Davis to ground out, but because of his high pitch count, was pulled to begin the sixth. The young rghty left the game with a final line of five innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits with just the one free pass and six punchouts.

The Yankees bullpen finally allowed their first run of the season, which was all the more disappointing because it was at the expense of the lead. Tyler Clippard started the seventh by giving up a ground ball to Schoop that was errantly thrown by Headley to first, allowing Schoop to reach second base. After a JJ Hardy bunt advanced Schoop to third, Seth Smith hit his first Orioles homerun over the wall in right to put his guys up 6-5. After the Headley error, it looked like the air was taken right out of the Yankees dugout and were overmatched the rest of the ballgame.

Let's hope the offense keeps it rolling and the bullpen can put this one behind them as they take the field tomorrow at 4:05 PM for game two.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)