Game 36: Orioles 5, Yankees 8

Taking two of three against the Rays – and almost completing the sweep with a valiant (though failed) comeback yesterday – is pretty good. Only a two-game set with the Yankees remains in the “hard” stretch, before the O’s get to face KC and Washington.

The Good:

  • Jason Hammel started the game out quite nicely, touching 96 with his fastball and getting some whiffs on both it (5 total) and his slider (5 also, plus another on the curve). Control didn’t hold up, but against a good offense (with a poor defense behind him) he ended up pitching relatively well; 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
  • Xavier Avery picked up his first Major League hit with a rocket double in the right-center field gap, and then later added a stand-up triple down the first-base line. He’s pretty fast. Also showed a good approach at the plate in general.
  • JJ Hardy had a couple of hits as well, including his 9th home run of the year (also hit a ball to the deepest part of the park that Curtis Granderson ran down). If Hardy stays healthy, it looks like he might have a decent chance of posting another 30 home run season.
  • Nick Johnson walked twice, raising his walk rate on the season from 5.8% to 8.9%.

The Bad:

  • Chris Davis had a brutal game, going 0-3 at the plate with a strike-out and a double play, and making an error in the field plus misplaying another ball that helped lead to runs scoring. He’s just 3-28 (all singles) with 14 K’s  and no walks over the last 7 games (starting with the one he won in Boston) – so he’s actually hit worse than your average pitcher
  • The last three innings for Hammel weren’t the best, and though Luis Ayala managed to minimize the damage in the 6th after entering with no outs and the bases loaded, he did give up the game-winning home run to Teixeira in the 7th.
  • Dana Eveland somehow navigated the middle of the New York order without giving up a run the 8th, but wasn’t as luck in the 9th. Totaled 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 0 K. The O’s traded not one, but two prospects for him. Even if they weren’t particularly good ones, that’s still pretty bad.

The Final:

With the 7-5 loss, the O’s drop back into a tie for first in the AL East. It was not the prettiest game – more like Orioles-Yankee games of old.