Bronx, NY – The Yankees dropped a Labor Day matinee to the newly resurgent Baltimore Orioles, 4-3. The Orioles had the worst win/loss percentage in the majors until the hiring of new manager Buck Showalter on August 2. The club has compiled an impressive 20-13 mark under the guidance of the former Yankee skipper.
AJ Burnett again did not have full control of his pitches. In seven innings on the mound, the right hander walked four, threw a wild pitch and surrendered four earned runs. It was his fourth straight loss in a game that he had pitched at least seven innings.
The defeat was the fifth suffered by Burnett im his last seven starts. The defeat dropped his record to 10-13 and his earned run average climbed to 5.15. Despite the disappointing stats, Yankee manager Joe Girardi was pleased by Burnett’s outing, “I like the way he threw the ball today. I think it was a step forward.”
The Yankee manager’s opinion was seconded by Yankee captain Derek Jeter, “I really thought he threw the ball well. He looked a lot sharper today. It was a step in the right direction.”
Burnett was not satisfied at his inability to prevent the Orioles from coming back and taking the lead after the yanks had scored, “I take pride in shut downs. Every time, you want to shut them down. I get the lead and I blow it. That’s the story today.”
One of the bright spots for the pinstripes was how Alex Rodriguez swung the bat. In his second game after a stint on the 15-dat DL, Rodriguez drove in two runs to reach the century plateau. In the fourth, he took a 2-1 pitch into the stands in left-center to tie the game at one. Rodriguez’s 22nd round tripper for the season was the 605th of his career.
In the sixth, with the bases loaded, Rodriguez flied deep to right for a sacrifice fly. His second run batted in gave him 100 for the 2010 season. He tied Hall of Fame sluggers Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Foxx with 13 consecutive seasons of having achieved at least 100 runs driven in. He now holds the career mark with 14 such productive seasons.
When informed by official scorer Bill Shannon of A-Rod’s accomplishment, Girardi commented, “This shows how consistent he’s been, how healthy he’s been. He came up at a very young age and was productive right away.”
The events of the Monday’s game seems inconsistent with the fact that the two teams have exact records in reverse. The Yanks, 86-52 and the Orioles, 52-86. Yet, the yanks still have the best record in the majors and remained 2.5 games in front of the second place Tampa Rays.
The above standings are exactly where Girardi want his team to be, “Our focus is on [winning] the division. I want to have the best record and have home field advantage.”
In the second of the three game series, CC Sabathia will be attempting to win his 20th game of the year. Jake Arrieta (4-6) will oppose him on the mound. The final game of the 10-game homestand will be the sixth afternoon game in the last seven on Wednesday.