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Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Orioles’

The Orioles refusal to push up Saturday’s doubleheader to Friday, and the Yankees subsequent vocal criticism of that decision, has created a strain between the two organizations. Until this morning, the harsh words were mostly directed by Joe Girardi and Yankees’ players toward the Baltimore organization, but this morning, Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter took the opportunity to fire back.

Showalter pointed his finger at the Yankees for complaining about the Orioles' weekend scheduling.

According to the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, Showalter not only called the Yankees hypocritical, but implied their reaction was insensitive in light of the recent death of former Orioles’ player, broadcaster and executive Mike Flanagan. “Some of stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny. That doesn’t sit too well with me,” Showalter told reporters.

Admittedly, I am big fan of Showalter, and his desire to defend his organization is admirable. However, by evoking the death of Flannigan, he has crossed the line and, ironically, done a greater disservice to his memory.

As Jack Curry reported Wednesday night, the Yankees had broached moving the doubleheader up one day as early as that afternoon. Unfortunately, almost concurrently, Flannigan was in the midst of taking his own life. In other words, the Orioles refusal to adjust the schedule likely had nothing to do with the aftermath of Flannigan’s death.

So, why did the Orioles refuse to bow to common sense and play two games on Friday? The answer seems simple: money. With a hurricane bearing down on the region, the number of Yankees’ fan flocking to Baltimore would be limited, so instead of trying to squeeze five games into one rainy weekend, why not schedule one game for another week? Undoubtedly, more additional tickets will be sold for the newly minted September 8 game than the makeshift one that would have been played on Friday afternoon.

If Showalter had criticized the Yankees for being hypocritical from a business standpoint, he would have had a legitimate point. However, by mentioning Flanagan, he lost the moral high ground. Whether or not the Yankees’ brass responds to his retort, Showalter’s next comment on the subject should be an apology: one directed not at the Yankees, but the family of Mike Flanagan and all those who mourn his loss.

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Seattle isn’t the only city with streakers. A whole team of them just ran through Oakland.

Over the past three-plus seasons, the Yankees have had their way with the Athletics. Since 2008, the team has compiled a 24-4 (.857) record against the A’s, which, following the recent sweep at the Collisseum, now includes a current 10-game winning streak.

The last time the Yankees lost to the Athletics, a 4-2 defeat on April 22, 2010, the result was obscured by the on-field confrontation between Dallas Braden and Alex Rodriguez. However, ever since Braden showed New York how it was done “in the 209”, the Athletics haven’t even been in the same area code as the Yankees.

The Yankees’ dominance over the Athletics is not unlike the way the Bash Brother teams of the early 1990s used to manhandle the Bronx Bombers. At one point, Tony LaRussa’s powerhouse A’s reeled off 16 consecutive victories over the hapless Yankees, coming within one victory of the longest winning streak by one team against the franchise.

Yankees’ Longest Winning and Losing Streaks by Franchise

vs. W Strk Years vs. L Strk Years
Orioles 21 1927 Red Sox 17 1911-12
Athletics 16 1919 Athletics 16 1989-91
Indians 13 1976-77 Indians 13 1908
Twins 13 2002-03 Tigers 12 1908
Blue Jays 13 1995-96 Orioles 11 1907-08
Red Sox 12 1936, 1952-53 Blue Jays 10 1992
Royals 12 1997-98 Twins 9 1912
Tigers 11 1942 White Sox 8 1967, 1972-73
Rays 11 1998-1999 Brewers 7 1972-73
White Sox 10 1944-45, 1964 Rangers 7 1990
Rangers 10 1961-1962 Angels 5 Several
Mariners 8 1999, 2007-08 Royals 5 1978, 1990
Angels 7 1980-81 Mariners 5 Several
Brewers 7 1971-72 Rays 4 2005
Mets 7 2002-03 Mets 3 Several

Note: Only includes teams against which the Yankees have played at least 25 games.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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vs. Jake Arrieta PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 9 0.375 0.444 0.500 0 1
Curtis Granderson CF 8 0.143 0.250 0.429 0 1
Mark Teixeira 1B 9 0.333 0.333 0.556 0 1
Alex Rodriguez 3B 3 1.000 0.667 2.000 0 1
Robinson Cano 2B 9 0.375 0.444 0.625 0 2
Nick Swisher RF 8 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 1
Jorge Posada DH 8 0.143 0.250 0.286 0 1
Russell Martin C 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 0 0
Brett Gardner LF 6 0.167 0.167 0.167 0 0
Total 62 0.255 0.328 0.418 0 8
             
vs. Freddy Garcia PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brian Roberts 2B 24 0.476 0.542 0.952 2 5
Nick Markakis RF 6 0.750 0.667 0.750 0 2
Derek Lee 1B 12 0.273 0.333 0.273 0 1
Vladimir Guerrero DH 27 0.222 0.222 0.481 1 6
Luke Scott LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Adam Jones CF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Mark Reynolds 3B 4 0.333 0.500 0.667 0 0
Matt Wieters C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Cesar Izturis SS 3 1.000 1.000 1.333 0 0
Total 76 0.377 0.429 0.652 3 14

 

Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2011 Season: 2010 Season: 2009 All-Time
NYY: 3-0 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 1238-843
       
  Last 10 Away vs. RHP
Yankees 7-3 3-3 8-4
  Last 10 Home vs. RHP
Orioles 2-8 5-6 7-7

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vs. Brad Bergesen PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 9 0.000 0.222 0.000 0 0
Curtis Granderson CF 7 0.500 0.571 0.667 0 3
Mark Teixeira 1B 9 0.000 0.111 0.000 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 9 0.333 0.333 0.667 1 2
Robinson Cano 2B 9 0.375 0.444 0.375 0 0
Nick Swisher RF 9 0.250 0.333 0.375 0 2
Jorge Posada DH 2 0.000 0.500 0.000 0 0
Russell Martin C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Brett Gardner LF 5 0.400 0.400 0.800 0 1
Total 59 0.250 0.339 0.385 1 8
             
vs. CC Sabathia PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brian Roberts 2B 45 0.231 0.333 0.256 0 1
Nick Markakis RF 41 0.263 0.268 0.421 1 5
Derek Lee 1B 12 0.333 0.333 0.417 0 3
Vladimir Guerrero DH 30 0.179 0.200 0.357 1 3
Adam Jones CF 30 0.333 0.400 0.519 1 6
Mark Reynolds 3B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Matt Wieters C 16 0.133 0.188 0.333 1 1
Jake Fox LF 6 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Robert Andino SS 8 0.375 0.375 0.875 1 1
Total 188 0.243 0.298 0.387 5 20

 

Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2011 Season: 2010 Season: 2009 All-Time
NYY: 2-0 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 1237-843
       
  Last 10 Away vs. RHP
Yankees 6-4 2-3 7-4
  Last 10 Home vs. LHP
Orioles 2-8 5-5 1-3

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When Phil Hughes walked off the mound to a smattering of boos in the fifth inning, a walk off victory for the Yankees didn’t seem likely. However, thanks to some late clutch hitting and strong relief, pie was back on the menu by the end of the game.

Nick Swisher celebrates the Yankees first walk off victory with a taste of pie (Photo: Getty Images).

In his first two innings, Hughes looked as if he had recovered some of the lost velocity that plagued his previous two starts. However, after topping out at 92 mph in the early going, Hughes’ velocity quickly dissipated and then his command betrayed him shortly thereafter. The signature pitch took place in the third inning, when the struggling right hander left a cutter over the middle of the plate to Nick Markakis, who planted it into the right field stands.  From that point forward, Hughes seemed unable to command the inside corner, and the Orioles took advantage by building a 5-0 lead over the next three innings.

Although there is likely to be some speculation about Hughes’ hold on his spot in the rotation, the Yankees really have no choice but to keep running Hughes out to the mound every fifth day with the hope that he’ll find his missing velocity. Bartolo Colon has pitched well as Hughes’ designated mop-up man, but it would be terribly short sighted for the Yankees to reverse those roles based only three games. Of course, winning helps facilitate rational decisions, so perhaps in some respects, the Yankees comeback saved Hughes more than just a loss.

Phil Hughes’ Pitch Breakdown

Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Count Strikes/% Swinging Strikes/%
FF (FourSeam Fastball) 89.05 90.9 46 32 / 69.57% 2 / 4.35%
CH (Changeup) 80.9 82 6 5 / 83.33% 0 / 0.00%
CU (Curveball) 70.5 72.2 11 8 / 72.73% 2 / 18.18%
FC (Cutter) 84.91 86.3 7 6 / 85.71% 0 / 0.00%

Source: http://www.brooksbaseball.net

Three shutout innings from Colon gave the Yankees a chances to slowly chip away at the Orioles lead, but a defensive play by Joba Chamberlain in the seventh proved to be the real turning point. Upon entering the game with one out and runners on first and third, Chamberlain threw an errant pitch to Mark Reynolds that skipped past Russell Martin. Pinch runner Felix Pie bolted for the plate, but the ball kicked back to the Yankee catcher. As Pie and Chamberlain converged at home, the right hander received the throw from Martin and blocked Pie from the plate with his right leg. After recording the out at home, Chamberlain then struck out Reynolds with a 96 mph fastball to escape the jam.

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vs. Jake Arieta PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brett Gardner LF 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0 0
Derek Jeter SS 6 0.400 0.500 0.600 0 1
Mark Teixeira 1B 6 0.333 0.333 0.500 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Robinson Cano 2B 6 0.400 0.500 0.600 0 1
Nick Swisher RF 6 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 1
Jorge Posada DH 6 0.200 0.333 0.400 0 1
Curtis Granderson CF 6 0.200 0.333 0.600 0 1
Russell Martin C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 39 0.265 0.333 0.441 0 5
             
vs. Phil Hughes PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brian Roberts 2B 14 0.154 0.143 0.231 0 1
Nick Markakis RF 24 0.304 0.333 0.391 0 3
Derrek Lee 1B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Vladimir Guerrero DH 13 0.231 0.231 0.308 0 4
Luke Scott LF 15 0.538 0.600 0.692 0 1
Adam Jones CF 17 0.235 0.235 0.529 1 3
Mark Reynolds 3B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Matt Wieters C 11 0.200 0.273 0.200 0 1
Cesar Izturis SS 8 0.167 0.375 0.167 0 1
Total 102 0.274 0.320 0.389 1 14

 

Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2011 Season: 2010 Season: 2009 All-Time
NYY: 1-0 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 1236-843
       
  Last 10 Home vs. RHP
Yankees 6-4 5-2 5-3
  Last 10 Away vs. RHP
Orioles 6-4 31 5-2

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Buck Showalter’s new and improved Orioles left Yankee Stadium with the same old result: a loss.

Arod's first inning home run gave the Yankees a lead they never relinquished (Photo: Getty Images).

One pattern from past seasons that didn’t hold, however, was the performance of A.J. Burnett. Over the first two innings, the Yankee right hander struggled with his command and mechanics, but managed to pitch around trouble in each frame without surrendering a run. Instead of collapsing in the face of adversity, as had become epidemic in 2010, Burnett rebounded after his rough start to retire 13 of the next 15 hitters before running out of gas in the seventh.

Aside from his ability to overcome early setbacks, the most remarkable thing about AJ Burnett’s fast start has been the evolution in his pitching repertoire. According to Burnett, he threw 16 changeups in the game, or 14% of all pitches. Entering the game, Burnett had thrown a changeup 9.7% of the time, indicating that he is slowly gaining confidence in the pitch. For perspective, Burnett has never thrown more than 3.5% changeups in a full season as a Yankee, so if the right hander can continue to develop the pitch, his margin for error should increase.

Evolution of A.J. Burnett’s Changeup

Year Percentage Average Speed
2002 5.1% 83.9
2003 7.7% 83.2
2004 4.7% 87
2005 9.9% 85.9
2006 4.2% 88
2007 7.1% 88.1
2008 0.5% 86.8
2009 3.1% 87.8
2010 3.5% 88.4
2011 11.3% 88.4

Source: fangraphs.com and brooksbasell.net

The Yankees entered the game with several key figures in the lineup slumping, but Orioles’ starter Chris Tillman provided an early cure. In 1 2/3 innings, the tall right hander surrendered six runs on nine hits, including a first inning three-run homer to Alex Rodriguez’ and a two run double to Robinson Cano. More importantly, however, the first two innings also featured two base hits by Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. For Jeter, the pair of safeties helped move him into a tie with Barry Bonds for 31st place on the all-time list, while Teixeira’s two hits helped break a 0-18 slide that started to reintroduce whispers about the first baseman’s notoriously slow starts.

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vs. Chris Tillman PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brett Gardner LF 5 0.333 0.600 0.333 0 1
Derek Jeter SS 8 0.429 0.500 0.429 0 1
Mark Teixeira 1B 6 0.400 0.500 0.400 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 6 0.500 0.500 1.000 1 3
Robinson Cano 2B 8 0.857 0.875 0.857 0 2
Nick Swisher RF 8 0.167 0.375 0.167 0 0
Jorge Posada DH 8 0.000 0.250 0.000 0 1
Curtis Granderson CF 9 0.286 0.333 0.571 0 2
Russell Martin C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 58 0.383 0.483 0.489 1 10
             
vs. AJ Burnett PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brian Roberts 2B 52 0.300 0.327 0.540 3 10
Nick Markakis RF 55 0.271 0.327 0.313 0 4
Derrek Lee 1B 9 0.250 0.333 0.250 0 0
Vladimir Guerrero DH 63 0.254 0.302 0.458 2 6
Luke Scott LF 34 0.259 0.412 0.630 2 4
Adam Jones CF 37 0.257 0.278 0.514 2 7
Mark Reynolds 3B 2 1.000 1.000 4.000 1 1
Matt Wieters C 21 0.000 0.143 0.000 0 1
Robert Andino SS 9 0.375 0.444 0.750 1 2
Total 282 0.257 0.326 0.458 11 35

 

Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2011 Season: 2010 Season: 2009 All-Time
TIED: 0-0 TIED: 4-4 NYY: 5-1 NYY: 1040-923

 

  Home vs. RHP
Yankees 4-2 4-3
  Away vs. RHP
Orioles 3-0 5-1

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