Yankees even score, beat Birds 11-2 at The Yard

April 09, 2009 | Drew Forrester

4:40 pm -

Nick Swisher doubled in two more runs in the top of the 9th to give the Yankees an 11-2 lead at OPACY.

The O’s fall to 2-1 on the year, but I improve to 3-0…in terms of predictions, that is.

Don’t look now — and, admittedly, it’s early — but Chris Ray has struggled so far in 2009.

O’s and Rays for three this weekend in Baltimore.
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4:30 pm -

Chris Ray is on the mound for the Birds and the energy that accompanied the O’s early 2-game winning streak has left the building.

They’re just trying to finish this one up without anyone getting hurt.

Ryan Freel is in at 2nd base for the O’s.  He just muffed the throw to 2nd base by catcher Chad Moeller to end the warm-up for the top of the 9th.  You know it’s boring when you’re writing about the throw from the catcher to 2nd base during the warm-up.

It’s 9-2 in favor of New York.  

The O’s need a major rally.

Meanwhile, Chad Campbell is now -7 after birdies at 12 and 13 and he leads the Masters by one shot over Jim Furyk.

Tiger Woods made birdie at 9 – his first red number of the day – to get back to even par.

Ramiro Pena just led off the 9th with a single for the Yankees.  Are they trying to run up the score or what?

And Mark Teixeira (2-4, 1 HR) steps to the plate.  The 3,000 O’s fans who are still hear let out a meek round of boos.

 

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4:20 pm –

Just as I was approving Dave Trembley’s decision to leave Brian Bass in to save his bullpen for the weekend, in comes Matt Albers to start the 8th inning.

Brian Bass was the victim of both is own bad pitching and bad fielding.  His 2-run throwing error led to a couple of runs during New York’s 5-run 6th inning.

It’s 9-2 New York in the top of the 8th.

Both teams would probably vote to just end the game right now.  The O’s looked disinterested at the plate in the 7th inning and the Yanks are just happy to get a win.  Of course, they still have to get 6 more outs without giving up 6 runs. 

I think they’re gonna hang on.

 

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4:10 pm –

Robinson Cano just POUNDED one to left field for his first HR of the year and it’s now 9-2 in favor of the Yankees.

Anyone know of a good Waffle House in Norfolk for Brian Bass?

Dave Trembley is leaving him in there, though.  And why not?  Why bring someone else in now?  Just let Bass play this thing out unless it gets completely out of hand and save the rest of the guys for the weekend series with the Rays.

 

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4:00 pm –

I said it was good, solid crowd here at OPACY today.

I didn’t think it was 28,534.  

I still don’t, in fact.

Then again, that’s PAID tickets.  

And, that’s what they’re saying they sold today.  

OK, I’ll believe them. 

My guess is that there are 24,000 here in the stadium.

Nearly 100,000 for the first series of the year is a good start for the O’s, but we all know the New York faithful made up about 20% of that, at least.

It will be interesting to see what the Rays bring over the weekend.

Still 7-2 in favor of New York with 2 outs in the top of the 7th.

 

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3:45 pm –

Brian Bass came in with the score 3-2 and 18 minutes later, it was 7-2 New York.

Bass was mostly responsible, although Ty Wigginton could have made a play on two grounders that made it into left field and led to the 5-run uprising.  

Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira have both been tough at the plate today for the Yanks…and A.J. Burnett continues to throw hard on the mound.

The O’s will need some late heroics if they’re going to sweep the Bronx Bombers.

 

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3:35 pm –

You’ll have to excuse Brian Bass if he would like to go back and start all over again.

Bass has just thrown away 2 runs and it’s now 6-2 in favor of the Yankees with one out in the 6th.

After giving up a run-scoring single to Nick Swisher (which, honestly, was probably field-able by Ty Wigginton), Bass then took a comebacker to the mound and instead of soft-tossing it home to Chad Moeller, put a little extra “umph” on it and it sailed past Moeller and allowed two runs to score.

 

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3:25 pm –

Mark Teixeira put an end to Alfredo Simon’s first start with a lead-off single to open the 6th inning and Simon has been removed in favor of Brian Bass.

Simon goes 5.0 innings, allows 3 hits and 3 earned runs.  (UPDATE:  One of the runs in the 6th was charged to Simon.  He allowed 2 EARNED runs and four overall in 5.0 innings of work.)

Meanwhile, Teixeira just gave that piano he’s been carrying on his back to someone in the stands.  Talk about the weight of the world being lifted off his shoulders.  ”Tex” has a HR and a single in today’s game.  It’s about time he earned that $180 million.

 

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3:15 pm –

I like what I’ve seen of O’s starter Alfredo Simon so far.

In fact, honestly:  I like what I’ve seen of him more than what I saw of Uehara last night.

He’s done a nice job mixing his fastball, breaking ball and slider and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters, even when he’s behind in the count.  To borrow that new baseball catch-phrase – “he’s pitching to contact”.

He’s only allowed 3 hits in 5 innings of work, albeit two of those three hits are HR’s that have put NY in the lead.  But he’s a work in progress, I guess.  

And, not a bad one at that.

So far, so good, for Alfredo Simon.

Pronounce his last name however you like.

 

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3:05 pm –

Luke Scott’s first home run of the year in the bottom of the 4th has cut New York’s lead to 3-2.

And a gamble from manager Dave Trembley backfired.

With one out, Felix Pie (single) was caught stealing at 2nd.  Two pitches later, Chad Moeller belted a double off the center field wall that would have likely scored Pie from first. 

A Cesar Izturis ground out ended the rally with Moeller at second.

Sending Pie there probably wasn’t a bad idea, what with the light hitting Moeller and Izturis due up.  Hey, if Trembley would have seen the script and would have KNOWN Moeller was going to double off the wall, he wouldn’t have sent him, right? Right.

3-2 in favor of the Yanks, through 4 complete.

Shingo Katayama is your clubhouse leader at Augusta with a smooth little 67 (-5).  Chad Campbell is -5 through 8 holes.  Tiger Woods is even-par after four holes.

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2:55 pm –

Nick Swisher’s 2-run homer just over the outstretched glove of Nick Markakis has staked A.J. Burnett and the Yankees to a 3-1 lead through 3.5 innings at Camden Yards.

The inning started with Mark Teixeira beating one 410 feet to straight away center field for his first home run of the year to tie the game at 1-1 in the 4th.

Despite his 4th inning struggles, Alfredo Simon continues to challenge hitters and doesn’t appear to be out of his element at all.  

I shouldn’t even mention this, but I will, I guess.  Is there anything more aggravating than seeing Swisher’s ball clear the fence and having 10,000 Yankees fans stand up and cheer?  It’s a good crowd here today — maybe upwards of 20,000 — and a lot of them are wearing blue.

 

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2:35 pm –

It only took 3 innings for A.J. Burnett to get fired up.

The O’s went ahead 1-0 in the 3rd inning on a Brian Roberts RBI single, but Burnett struck out Aubrey Huff with the bases loaded on a 3-2 pitch and then gave a leg kick and fist pump that Huff didn’t appear to like.  Huff gave a long look in the direction of Burnett after strike 3, but the O’s still lead, 1-0.

The boo birds are out right now which can only mean one thing.  No, Greg Bader isn’t in the press box.  Mark Teixeira is at the plate for New York. 

And, well, Mark Teixeira has just hit his first home run as a NY Yankee and it’s 1-1.

 

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2:20 pm –

Alfredo Simon got Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon on infield ground outs to squelch a 3rd inning threat from the Yankees as the scoreless tie continues at Camden Yards. 

Brett Gardner delivered the game’s first hit, followed by a walk to Jose Molina, but Jeter and Damon failed to produce for New York.

Simon looks – at first blush – to be a more controlled version of Daniel Cabrera.  His wild pitches are “out there” but he appears a tad more reliable than D-Cab.  

A.J. Burnett – to borrow a pitching term – has been “filthy” thus far through 2 innings.

And, just as I say that, Felix Pie raps one over Derek Jeter and into left field for the O’s first hit of the game.

 

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2:00 pm –

A.J. Burnett struck out Ty Wigginton on a 99 mph fast ball in the 2nd inning.  So says the scoreboard, anyway.

I don’t believe it, personally.  99 mph?  Really?  It was FAST…but not THAT fast.

Still scoreless – and hitless – through 2.

Alfredo Simon-Simon has been effective for the O’s as well.

Burnett, it should be noted, has already pitched better than Sabathia and Wang (combined) after just two innings of work today.

 

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1:52 pm –

Nick Markakis doesn’t get caught looking at strike 3 very often, but A.J. Burnett just fooled him with a breaking ball to record his 2nd strikeout of the inning.  Adam Jones also went down via the “K” in inning number one.

No score, no hits…either way.

 

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1:48 pm –

Almost forgot.  I’m calling this one a 6-3 Yankees win today.  I’m 2-0 on the year (prediction wise) just like the O’s.  

I’d like to be wrong today, actually.

Decent crowd here, by the way.  I said on the air this morning I figured they’d do 16,000.  It looks more like 18,000 or so.

 

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1:38 pm –

We’re underway at Camden Yards.

Feel free to chip in or chirp in throughout the day.

I’ll be here for the duration.  

Or at least until Tiger makes a back nine charge at Augusta and forces me upstairs to watch it on TV.

Alfredo Simon just struck out Derek Jeter to get the game started.

Anyone have an extra broom I can borrow?

 

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1:10 pm –

Are you allowed to eavesdrop here?  Nothing wrong with that, right?

One certain former major league who knows a thing or two about pitching was talking with a member of the O’s broadcast team about 15 minutes ago when I happened to wander by.  I didn’t hear much, but I did hear this:  ”For his first start, he did a good job of not getting in trouble and being forced to throw a lot of pitches.  He’s going to be good if he can keep his pitch count in the 80-90 range.  He’ll have problems if he’s forced to throw more than 90 pitches in a game because he’s just not that strong.  They were smart to get him out of there early.”

I didn’t hear a name actually mentioned.

But I don’t think they were talking about Sabathia, Guthrie or Wang.

 

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12:25 pm –

OPACY once again looks like Yankee Stadium South during Yanks’ batting practice.

The entire left field-line lower deck is swamped with folks in blue.  

I hope it evens out a little bit before we get started in an hour.

I’m sure it will…after all, this is as close as some Yankees fans get to the players all year.  So, they get here early to get a glimpse of their heroes.  Most O’s fans are probably working a half-day and then coming in.

Looking like a great day for baseball. 

I’ll be live-blogging from my seat in the press box.

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Breaking news from the west coast today as the Los Angeles Angels are dealing with the death of pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed in a hit-and-run car accident last night after his start against the Oakland A’s.

Adenhart was a native of Silver Spring, MD.

Here’s the latest update on the Adenhart tragedy.

 

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The O’s and Yankees tip off in about 100 minutes here at sunny Camden Yards and the Birds are going for the sweep over a listless New York team start the ’09 campaign.  

The Yankees send A.J. Burnett to the mound today to try and get their first win of the year and they might have the perfect guy going for them:  Burnett is 3-0 with a 3.91 ERA in four career starts at OPACY.

Baltimore counters with Alfredo Simon.  No one is sure how to pronounce his name.  I keep waiting for him to stand up in the locker room and say, “Simon SAYS:  you pronounce it: sigh-mon (or see-mone)”  I don’t care really.  It’s just aggravating to hear people associated with the team say it differently.  Who cares when you’re 2-0, right?

Here are the lineups.  Gregg Zaun takes a seat today and Chad Moeller makes his first start behind the plate.  Melvin Mora will rest his sore-but-not-serious hamstring strain and Ty Wigginton will start at 3B.

I’ll be live-blogging beginning at 1:30 or so.  You’re welcome to join me throughout the afternoon.  Oh, yeah, Ross Fisher is your early leader at Augusta.  Fisher is 4-under par through 13 holes.  My pre-tournament pick, Tim Clark, is currently -3 after 14 holes of play.

Orioles –

Brian Roberts – 2B
Adam Jones – CF
Nick Markakis – RF
Aubrey Huff – 1B
Ty Wigginton – 3B
Luke Scott – DH
Felix Pie – LF
Chad Moeller – C
Cesar Izturis – SS

Alfredo Simon – P

 

Yankees –

Derek Jeter – SS
Johnny Damon – LF
Mark Teixeira – 1B
Xavier Nady – DH
Robinson Cano – 2B
Nick Swisher – RF
Cody Ransom – 3B
Brett Gardner – CF
Jose Molina – C

A.J. Burnett – P

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