Things were looking okay for the Yankees as they headed into the bottom of the sixth inning of last night's game with a 3-2 lead against the Orioles. Right hander Nathan Eovaldi, who was making his second start of the season, ran into a little trouble at times but was able to get out of some jams and strike out nine. The only problem was that those jams and his high pitch count left manager Joe Girardi with no choice but to go to the bullpen early, and when the inning ended, the Yankees were staring at a four-run deficit. So what happened?
For the next batter, Alejandro De Aza, Carpenter decided to use his fastball. Pitch one was a strike on the outside corner that De Aza fouled off, pitch two (in green) was called a ball by home plate ump Sean Barber.
Pitch three was a fastball over the plate that Aza lined into left center for a single.
Carpenter was taken out and lefty Justin Wilson came in to face Delmon Young who replaced Travis Snider. And Young did what he always seems to do against the Yankees, hit an RBI single to put the Orioles up 4-3.
To be fair to Wilson, Young had to reach down to get contact on that ball and he got it. It wasn't as if it were a meatball over the plate. And even though the next at bat to the Chris Davis lasted a little longer, with Wilson throwing five pitches instead of one, the result was even worse because Davis ended up hitting a two-run double.
This was another pitch off the plate that the batter had to reach to get and he did. Stuff happens.
Wilson was then taken out and righty Chris Martin was brought in.
Martin got Manny Machado to fly out for the second out of the inning and it looked like maybe the scoring could be over for the Orioles.
Caleb Joseph hit the first pitch he saw from Martin for a single which scored Davis and the Orioles went up 7-3.
Again, it wasn't necessarily a bad pitch. A 94 mph pitch, on the hands to most right handed batters, in most circumstances, should not result in a single, but it did.
Martin got the next batter, David Lough, to ground out softly to bring the bottom of the sixth to a much-needed and merciful end.
It wasn't fun to watch in real time and the Yankees, though they made a valiant effort to try and make a comeback, ultimately fell short and lost the game 7-5. They have now lost three series to open the season for the first time since 1991.
In the game of baseball, sometimes one aspect of the game goes spectacularly bad for a team and last night it was the pitching's turn. Other nights, so far this season, it has been the defense and who knows? Next time it could be the offense.