Reporting Scott Garceau
Who knows what’s in store for the Orioles in the final days of the 2013 season, but I do know this the Yankees came to town and ripped a chunk out of our baseball hearts. Oh the pain, 3 straight tormenting losses to the guys in pinstripes. It was a month ago in Arizona when the Diamondbacks danced after 3 straight walk off wins over the Orioles. This may have been worse the hated Yankees came into our town and by the time they left, Birdland was an emotional mess.
It couldn’t have started better, Monday night Buck Showalter challenged Joe Girardi to a steel cage match and Chris Tillman backed his skipper up with 7 strong innings. Tommy Hunter struck out the side in the 8th and Jim Johnson took care of the 9th for his 43rd save in a 4-2 Orioles win. With 3 games left the O’s needed just 1 more win to take their first season series from the Yankees since 1997. It didn’t happen!
Tuesday night the Orioles had a 4-1 lead in the 5th but the Yankees got to rookie pitcher Kevin Gausman for 3 runs in the 8th. Alfonso Soriano hit 2 homers in the game, Mariano Rivera got his 44th save and the Yankees ended their 6 game losing streak at Camden Yards with a 7-5 win.
Wednesday night the Orioles let another lead get away. Chris (Deputy) Davis drove in a couple runs and the Orioles were on top 3-1. Alex Rodriguez homered to tie the game in the 6th inning and in the 9th Robinson Cano broke the tie taking Tommy Hunter deep. The Yankees win 5-4 and move a half game ahead of the Orioles in the race for Wild Card 2.
Thursday night the final blow. This time it was the Orioles coming from behind. Down 5-1 they battled all the way back and tied the game on Danny Valencia’s 3-run HR in the 8th. It was the kind of moment that championship seasons are built on. The Orioles should have had the lead but Soriano made a great play reaching into the left field seats to rob Manny Machado of a homer. Still momentum had made a major swing to the Orange side.
That was until Jim Johnson had a meltdown with 2 very wild throws in the 9th. The first sailed into centerfield when he fielded a bunt had trouble griping it and threw it to Adam Jones instead of Brian Roberts. Johnson still had a chance to get out of the inning, but with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out he picked the worst time to throw his FIRST wild pitch of the season. Matt Wieters had no chance to block it, 6-5 Yankees. Then for the final time in his brilliant career Mariano Rivera took the Camden Yards mound and turned out the lights getting the Orioles 1-2-3.
Good night, drive home safely. Three gut wrenching losses in 3 days by a total of 4 runs. This a Yankee Spanky the Orioles and their fans may not be able to get over until next year. So say it with me now, Damn Yankees!