GAME 92: Days before the All-Star break, in a season that is quickly slipping away, the bad news just keeps coming. After a Nick Hundley single to center scored Manny Machado from second, the Yankees watched the Baltimore Orioles celebrate their walkoff, 10th inning victory, 3-2. It was New York’s fifth walkoff defeat of the season.
Once again, strangely enough, it was not the starting pitching that was the culprit. Hiroki Kuroda pitched well enough to win. And the bullpen cannot be expected to hold tie games forever, waiting for the bats to scratch out a run. Tonight, the offense failed to score after the third inning, 0-4 with runners in scoring position and leaving 7 men on base — how many times have we seen this movie?
17 Losses By 2-Runs Or Less
It keeps coming back to the bats. If the lineup was hitting anywhere close to their individual career averages, the team would be in first place. They are losing close games, not getting blown out. Of the 17 losses by 2 runs or less, many where 4-3, 3-1, or 2-1 finals. Not 14-12 games. A sac fly here, a timely single there, a productive out here, would have changed this statistic dramatically. And it’s starting to manifest itself in the standings. And it’s painful to watch.
HITMEN: Brian Roberts (5), Kelly Johnson (6).
Here’s the box score and recap.
MEMORY LANE: On July 11th, 1996, the Yankees beat Baltimore, 4-2 behind a solid outing by Jimmy Key, who out-dueled Mike Mussina, and home runs from Tino Martinez and Derek Jeter. In what would be become a key to that season’s ultimate success, one-two punch of Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland took care of business in the 8th and 9th innings respectively.
Here’s one you can win a bar bet on. Tommie Lasorda in the Yankees organization? On July 11th, 1956, The Kansas City Athletics traded pitcher Lasorda to the Yankees for Wally Burnette. Lasorda never made it to The Bronx, appearing in 22 games for the Yanks’ Triple-A affiliate Denver Bears in 1956–57, and then was sold to the Dodgers in 1957. Who knew? …
YANKEES QUOTES: “Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice versa.” — Casey Stengel