Results tagged ‘ Brad Bergesen ’

Orioles Seem To Have Stranglehold On 5th Place

As spring training camps open it is time to look at the American League East competition for the New York Yankees. How will the other teams fare as they gear up to dethrone the 2011 division champions? Do these teams have the pitching? Is there enough offense? Let’s see.

PART 1 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES

The 2011 season began with a lot of optimism because of the great job Buck Showalter did in turning around the Orioles at the end of the 2010 season.

But 2011 was much like every season for the Orioles since 1999. It fizzled into frustration in a hurry. They finished with a record of 69-93 and they were a distant fifth in the A.L. East, 28 games behind the Yankees.

This coming season promises to pretty similar because the Orioles have not made a lot of changes to their roster. With the exeption of Jeremy Guthrie, Luke Scott and Derrek Lee, this pretty much the same group that floundered through much of 2011.

STARTERS

One big reason is that the Orioles banked their future hopes on a collection of young starting pitchers like Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman. They progressed through the minors but none of them have established themselves as major-league quality starters. And if you want to compete in this division, you have to have good starting pitching.

The Orioles compounded that issue by trading their best starting pitcher, Guthrie, to the Colorado Rockies for starter Jason Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom. As a result, the Orioles’ “ace” is former Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter, who was 4-4 with a 4.68 ERA in an injury-shortened season.

The Orioles, led by general manager Dan Duquette, are now shifting their sites overseas and the team signed two pitchers from the Japanese League in Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Chen, 26, is a left-hander from Taiwan who has compiled a 36-30 record and a 2.48 ERA in four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons. He also has pretty good stuff with 500 career strikeouts in 631 1/3 innings.

Wada, 30, is another left-hander and he has overcome two injury-plagued seasons to compile a combined 33-13 record with a 2.29 ERA in the last two seasons with Fukuoda Softbank Hawks. While Chen has better stuff, Wada is considered to have better control.

Both figure prominently in the Orioles plans for 2012 and both likely will be in the rotation this season, depending on how they progress in the spring.

Hammel, 29, was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA last season with the Rockies. The tall right-hander figures to be slotted as the No. 4 starter.

The Orioles still have high hopes for Matusz, Britton, Arrieta and Tillman. But it appears Britton and Arrieta are going to get most of the attention this spring. The lefty Britton suffered a shoulder injury last season and he finished the season 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA. Arrieta was 10-8 with 5.05 ERA.

BULLPEN

The bullpen was a strength of this team when Koji Uehara was around but he was dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline last July.

The closer job is up for grabs between incumbent closer Kevin Gregg, who saved 22 games but blew seven chances and was 0-3 with a 4.37 ERA, and Jim Johnson, who saved nine games and was 6-5 with a 2.67 ERA. Lindtsrom, who saved 23 games for the Astros in 2010, can also be shifted into the closer role.

The rest of the bullpen will likely be made up with lefty Darren O’Day and former starters Alfredo Simon, Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken.

STARTING LINEUP

A few years ago, the Orioles seem to invested their future into second baseman Brian Roberts, right-fielder Nick Markakis and center-fielder Adam Jones and have built around those players.

Unfortunately, Roberts has suffered through injury after injury and Markakis and Jones have underperformed expectations.

With the Orioles lack of ability to attract high-priced free-agent talent, the Orioles have to rely on that trio as the core of the team again.

The Orioles may also begin getting what they expected out of catcher Matt Wieters, who hit 22 home runs and won a Gold Glove for his defensive work behind the plate. The former No. 1 pick also is showing some signs of leadership on the team.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy finally shook off injuries that plagued him since he was with the Brewers in 2008 as he hit 30 home runs and drove in 80 runs.

Third baseman Mark Reynolds was pretty much as advertised. He did not hit for average and struck out 196 times but he also hit 37 home runs and drove in 87 runs.

Former Rangers first baseman Chris Davis is pretty much a carbon copy of Reynolds at first base only he does most of his striking out from the left side.

The Orioles will likely platoon veterans Endy Chavez and Nolan Reimold in the outfield and look for the Orioles to make a late bid for a DH.

They could re-sign veteran Vladimir Guerrero or chose from among Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui to replace Scott.

BENCH

Former Yankee Wilson Betemit will be the top reserve on the infield and middle infield reserve Robert Andino will return to provide glovework behind Roberts and Hardy. Former Rangers backstop Taylor Teagarden will be the backup to Wieters.

The Orioles could use the spring to look for some veteran help in the outfield to bolster their bench a bit.

ANALYSIS

With Jones, Wieters, Hardy, Reynolds and Davis the Orioles seem to have plenty of firepower. Plus when Roberts is healthy and Markakis is going good, they can get on base and steal a base or two. But the overall offense may be too geared towards power over putting the ball iin play and advancing runners.

The Orioles, as a team, strike out way too much and it cost them because their pitching is not that strong.

The Orioles are gambling on two Japanese League pitchers and two journeyman American starters (Hunter and Hammel) to give them time to develop their young pitchers like Britton and Arrieta. The jury is still out on Matusz, who looked like a surefire star in the making in 2010.

Without a consistent starting rotation, any effort Showalter makes in the bullpen could prove futile. A good bullpen only limits the damage. The bullpen should be strong but it is obvious they are going to tire quickly if they are constantly coming in the fourth or fifth inning.

Barring another Showalter miracle, this team is headed for more frustration in 2012. They simply can’t compete with the big boys (Yankees, Rays, Red Sox) and they merely hold their own against the Blue Jays. If I were a betting man, I would suspect that the Orioles will finish fifth again.

It is a spot for which they are built.

ON TUESDAY – PART 2  TORONTO BLUE JAYS

 

Orioles Can’t Overcome Early Yankee Deluge

GAME 42

YANKEES 13, ORIOLES 2

The rain that fell throughout Camden Yards was a perfect metaphor for the game on Thursday night. Once the skies opened up, the Yankees dumped a umbrella-full of runs on the Orioles they could not possibly overcome.

Nick Swisher drove in four runs and Mark Teixeira homered and drove in three while CC Sabathia continued his personal domination of the Orioles as New York scored five runs in the first inning and went on to drown Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in a game delayed at the start by a 48-minute rain delay. The Orioles, in retrospect, wished it was much longer.

Sabathia (4-3) pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up seven hits, walking none and fanning a season-high nine batters. Sabathia ran his career record over the Orioles to 16-2 and he was in command from his first pitch to his last, which struck out Vladimir Guerrero swinging.

The Yankees, fresh off a game against the Orioles in which they could not by a key hit until Robinson Cano’s two-run double in the 15th inning, jumped all over Orioles starter Brad Bergesen (1-5) in the first inning. Swisher capped off a nine-batter assault with a two-out bases-loaded double to left that plated all three base-runners. Bergesen gave up eight runs on five hits, three walks and hit a batter in just 3 1/3 innings. He entered the game with an 0-3 career record and a 6.65 ERA against the Yankees.

With the victory, the Yankees improved their season record to 23-19 and they moved to within one game of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Orioles are 19-23 and in last place, fives game behind the Rays.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Swisher added a RBI single in the fourth inning for his second four RBI game of the season. It was a welcome sight for the Yankees to see Swisher getting key hits. He entered the game hitting .215 and he had been ineffective all season long hitting left-handed. He is now hitting .223 with two home runs and 19 RBI.
  • The Yankees hit three triples in the game. Curtis Granderson hit an RBI triple in the first inning to plate the game’s first run. Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter hit-back-to-back RBI triples in the fourth that finally chased Bergesen from the game. In all, the Yankees collected nine extra-base hits. In Wednesday’s 15-inning game, Cano’s double was their only extra-base hit of the night.
  • Sabathia cruised with the big lead he was handed. He has made two starts against the Orioles this season and the Yankees have won them by a combined score of 28-5. In those two games, Sabathia has given up just three runs on 13 hits and one walk and struck out 16 batters in 16 innings. Sabathia, in a word, simply “owns” the Orioles.
  • Eduardo Nunez, 23, may be a bit rough in the field but he is showing great promise as a hitter. He entered the game to spell Alex Rodriguez in the eighth inning and hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning off reliever Troy Patton, his first of the season and his second in the major leagues. In limited play this season, Nunez is hitting .300.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

There were no negatives in this one. The Yankees played as perfect as they possibly could. After losing six in a row, the Yankees have now won three straight.

BOMBER BANTER

Manager Joe Girardi chose to use Mark Teixeira as the DH on Thursday and inserted Jorge Posada at first base to give Teixiera a bit of a break. It was Posada’s first use in the field this season and his 28th career start at first base. He handled all the chances without an error. Posada, who has maintained he is better hitter when he plays in the field, was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI in the game.  . . .  A CT scan performed on outfielder Chris Dickerson indicated just a slight concussion and Girardi said he should be available to play on Friday. Dickerson was struck in the helmet in the 15th inning on a pitch by Michael Gonzalez in the 15th inning of Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Dickerson sported a welt over his left eye and a small cut on his forehead but said he felt lucky he was not hit in the eye.  . . .  Bergesen hit Cano in the left thigh with a pitch in the first inning. Despite the fact Bergesen’s command was off, Sabathia chose to send a message to the Orioles in the bottom of the inning. After retiring the first two batters, Sabathia hit Nick Markakis in the back with a fastball. Home-plate umpire Larry Vanover warned both dugouts about further incidents. Yankee reliever Amauri Sanit hit rookie Brandon Snyder with a pitch in the ninth inning but Vanover elected not to eject him.

ON DECK

The Yankees return to the Bronx to open the first part of the 2011 Subway Series with the New York Mets.

The Yankees will start right-hander Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22 ERA). Garcia gave up a season-high four runs on six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings against the Red Sox in his last start. Garcia has a record of 21-8 with a 2.92 ERA in interleague play. He is 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA against the Mets.

The Mets will counter with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08 ERA). Dickey gave up four runs on six hits in the first inning against Houston in a loss on Saturday. He is 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA against the Yankees in his career.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by MY9.

Bombers Blast 5 Homers As CC Shackles Hapless Orioles

GAME 17
YANKEES 15, ORIOLES 3
If the Baltimore Orioles ever wondered why the New York Yankees are nicknamed the Bronx Bombers they got a front-row seat to view the reason why at Camden Yards on Saturday night.
Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam home run and drove in six runs and Russell Martin blasted two home runs and drove in four as the Yankees pounded five home runs en route to an easy victory over the shell-shocked Orioles.
CC Sabathia (1-1) was the beneficiary of the run support as he pitched eight solid innings for his first victory of the season. He also ran his career record against the Orioles to 14-2 and 9-1 at Oriole Park.
Brad Bergesen (0-3) was hammered for six runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings and he was saddled with the loss.
With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 11-6 and they have a three-game cushion over the second-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. None of the other four teams in the division are even at the .500 mark. The Orioles fell to 8-11, four games in back of the Yankees.
PINSTRIPE POSITIVES
  • Sabathia actually was dominant in seven of his eight innings. He shut out the Orioles in those seven innings on four singles and no walks and fanned six. However, in the seventh inning, he gave up a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis and a single to Derrek Lee. Then Adam Jones nicked the left-hander for an opposite-field three-run home run to right to get Orioles back into the game at 6-3. But the Yankees’ offense took off from there.
  • Rodriguez opened the Yankees’ scoring with a two-run double in the first inning. He added the 22nd grand slam of his career with two outs in the eighth inning off Josh Rupe to make the score 13-3. A-Rod needs only one more grand slam to tie Lou Gehrig for the all-time lead. His six RBIs in the game moved him past Carl Yastrzemski into 10th place on the all-time RBI list with 1,847.
  • Martin has more than served notice that he has regained his 2007 form at the plate. He now has six home runs, 15 RBIs and is batting .333 on the season. With two out in the top of the eighth inning Rupe hit Martin with his first pitch, which rankled Martin. But he is quickly earning the respect of A.L. pitchers.
  • Posada hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and he now has six home runs among his nine hits this season. 
  • Don’t look now but it appears Brett Gardner may be about to shake his season-long funk. He doubled in the second and hit a two-run home run in the ninth after Martin was plunked to close out the Yankees’ season-high 15-run assault on the Orioles.
NAGGING NEGATIVES
  • Nick Swisher was the only starter who did not register a hit in the game. He was 0-for-4 but he did draw a walk and scored a run. His batting average dipped to .254.
  • Sabathia was rolling into the seventh inning having thrown only an amazing 56 pitches over the first six innings. But he was tagged for three runs on four hits and a walk in the next two innings and he threw 47 pitches over that span. He also did not help his cause by failing to cover first on an infield single by Markakis in the eighth. But Sabathia got out of the inning without giving up a run.
BOMBER BANTER
Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Saturday and said that he plans to make a minor-league rehab start in five days. Hughes was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 15 with inflammation in his right shoulder.  . . .  Manager Joe Girardi has set his starting rotation through Wednesday. On Monday, the Yankees begin a four-game home series with the Chicago White Sox. A.J. Burnett will pitch the opener. He will be followed by Ivan Nova on Tuesday and Bartolo Colon on Wednesday.  . . .  The rainout of Friday’s game with the Orioles might have been a big help to Sabathia. Reports are that Sabathia was suffering from chills, a scratchy throat and stomach problems on Friday. Girardi said Sabathia would have pitched despite the flu-like symptoms but that the veteran left-hander felt much better on Saturday.  . . .  With his RBI single in the first inning on Saturday, Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He went to go 3-for-5 in the game with two runs scored. He also raised his batting average to .324.
ON DECK
The Yankees will look to win the rain-shortened two-game series against the Orioles on Sunday before the team returns home.
The Yankees will start 34-year-old right-hander Freddy Garcia (1-0, 1.29 ERA), who pitched six innings of two-hit shutout baseball against the Texas Rangers last Saturday in his first start of the season. Garcia is 4-6 with a 4.46 ERA against the Orioles in his career.
The Orioles will counter with 25-year-old right-hander Jake Arrieta (2-1, 5.06 ERA), who has lasted six innings in three of his four starts this season. He is pitching in place of Chris Tillman, who has tightness in his right groin. Arrieta is 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA against the Yankees lifetime.
Game-time will be 1:35 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

Rain Washes Out Yet Another Yankees-Orioles Contest

GAME 17
NEW YORK YANKEES at BALTIMORE ORIOLES (Postponed Rain)

The game scheduled on Friday between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was postponed due to rain. No makeup date for the game has been announced.
This is the Yankees’ third April postponement and their first on the road. The Yankees had a home game on April 6 with the Minnesota Twins and a April 12 home game with the Orioles rained out. 
Manager Joe Girardi said that Friday’s scheduled starter, CC Sabathia (0-1, 2.52 ERA), will pitch on Saturday against the Orioles. The Orioles also will send their scheduled starter for Friday, Brad Bergesen (0-2, 3.38), to the mound on Saturday.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.
BOMBER BANTER

The Yankees made a roster move to shore up their bullpen on Friday. The Yankees recalled right-hander Buddy Carlyle from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and sent right-hander Hector Noesi back to Scranton.
Noesi was called up on April 13 but he has not seen any action this season. Carlyle has a record of 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in five relief appearances this season. To add Carlyle to the 40-man roster the Yankees designated pitcher Jose Ortegano for assignment.

‘Swishalicious’ Walk-Off Homer Hands Yanks Victory

GAME 140
YANKEES 3, ORIOLES 2
The Yankees were right in the crosshairs of history as they began the ninth inning down by a 2-1 score to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon.
They were on the verge losing their status as the only team in Major League Baseball not to have lost four games in a row this season. The team also had not been swept in a series at the new Yankee Stadium and they had not been swept at home at the old Yankee Stadium since the Detroit Tigers did it to them in 2008. The Yankees also had not been swept in home series against the Orioles since 1986, when Nick Swisher was five years old. 
With one out and one on and Orioles closer Koji Uehara on the mound looking to record his second save of the series, Swisher stared down the throat of at all that history and said, “Not today.”
Swisher, looking for a fastball up in the strike zone to drive, took two low split-finger fastballs but pounced at a 2-0 fastball up and out over the plate and drove in up and out on a line into the Orioles’ bullpen in left-field to give the Yankees a dramatic come-from-behind, walk-off victory to end their 10-game home-stand with a 7-3 record.
Swisher took his victory lap around the bases as his Yankee teammates gathered at home plate to celebrate with their hero of the moment. A few minutes later, Swisher became the fourth recipient this season of a whipped-cream facial from teammate A.J. Burnett.
The taste of sweet victory.
The Yankee fans among what was left of a crowd of 44,163 that paid to see the game exulted in delight as their team had pulled another victory out of some very tight jaws of defeat.
The bottom of the ninth inning started with Alex Rodriguez lining a first-pitch fastball from Uehara into the hole between shortstop and third base and into left-field for a single. As Rodriguez ran to first, he exhorted his teammates in the dugout with a “Let’s go.”
Eduardo Nunez replaced Rodriguez as a pinch-runner at first. Robinson Cano followed by flying out to relatively deep center on an 0-2 pitch for the first out. That was Swisher’s cue and he didn’t let the fans down by hitting his 26th home run if the season.
After the game, Swisher paid homage to the fans: “The fans have been great to me, the city has been amazing and you want to go out there and give it all you got for this organization.”
He also mentioned something unusual about his home run. “I’ve never [hit a home run] out over there. That is a first for me but the wind was blowing out that way.”
The playoff winds seem to be blowing right for the Yankees as well. The victory gives them a major-league-best 87-53 record and the second-place Tampa Bay Rays took an 11-5 thrashing from the Boston Red Sox to fall 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East.
PINSTRIPE POSITIVES
  • Swisher missed three games last week due to a sore left knee and did not return to the lineup until Monday. He was 0-for-7 in the previous two games before going 2-for-4 on Wednesday. The two RBIs also give him 82 for the season, which ties the total he drove in for the Yankees last season. His career high in RBIs is 95 set with Oakland in 2006.
  • Ivan Nova pitched a career-high six innings for the Yankees and he pitched well enough to have won. Nova gave up six hits and walked two (both intentional) and fanned six. His only mistake was serving up a 3-0 fastball that Matt Wieters slammed into the second deck in left-field for a two-run home run in the fifth inning. In his four starts, Nova is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
  • Once again, the bullpen shined and allowed the Yankees to mount their comeback by holding the Orioles to two runs. Boone Logan, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain combined to give up no hits and no walks and strike out six in three innings. Chamberlain (3-4), who pitched a scoreless ninth inning, won the game in relief.
  • Curtis Granderson, Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner worked in unison in the third inning to give the Yankees an initial 1-0 lead. Granderson drew a walk from Orioles starter Brad Bergesen and stole second. He moved to third on Cervelli’s groundout to first and scored on Gardner’s double to left. Gardner was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
NAGGING NEGATIVES
  • Derek Jeter was 0-for-4 and he finished the 10-game home-stand 5-for-36 (.139). He is hitting .172 for the month and his season average is down to .262. Yankee fans are still wondering what is happening to their captain.
  • Mark Teixeira started the home-stand 9-for-13 (.692) in the four games against Oakland. In the next six games he was 3-for-20 (.150), including an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Wednesday.
  • Gardner really hurt the Yankees badly by getting thrown out at third in the third inning but he really hurt them worse with his at-bat in the fifth inning. With one out and Lance Berkman at second and Cervelli on first, Gardner grounded into an inning-ending double play and allowed Bergesen to wriggle off the hook for another inning.
BOMBER BANTER
Yankee fans were wondering why Jorge Posada did not pinch-hit for Cervelli in the eighth inning with Cano at third and Granderson on first with two out. The reason was that Posada was sent to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for neurological tests after Posada complained of feeling “foggy” after taking a foul tip off his mask on Tuesday night. The results of the tests were negative and Posada is listed as day-to-day.  . . .  The Yankees announced on Wednesday that Phil Hughes will be skipped in next start scheduled for Sunday in Texas. Dustin Moseley will get the start instead. The Yankees are concerned about Hughes reaching his innings limit and decided to skip him for one turn.  . . .  The Yankees also said they do not expect left-hander Damaso Marte or right-hander Alfredo Aceves back for the rest of the season. Aceves is having his strained lower back re-evaluated and may require surgery. Marte has been bothered by left shoulder inflammation and has been unable to resume a throwing regimen.
ON DECK
The Yankees will get a day off on Thursday to travel to Arlington, TX, to begin an 11-day, nine-game road trip with the Rangers on Friday.
Javier Vazquez (10-9, 5.01 ERA) will get the start in the opener for the Yankees. Vazquez should be channeling his anger towards the Rangers from his last start on Saturday in which he was removed form the game by manager Joe Girardi one out away from a potential victory. Vazquez allowed five runs (but had only allowed three and had a 5-3 lead when he left) on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. He is 2-2 with a 6.56 ERA against the Rangers lifetime.
The Rangers will rely on left-hander C.J. Wilson (14-6, 3.10 ERA). Wilson had a seven-game winning streak snapped by the Minnesota Twins with a 6-5 loss on Friday. Wilson is 7-1 with a 2.67 ERA in his 10 starts after the All-Star break. He is 0-3 with a 3.47 ERA against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 8:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

O’s Feel Seasick As Yanks Take Them On Hughes Cruise

GAME 53
YANKEES 9, ORIOLES 1

After Wednesday night’s game in Yankee Stadium, it safe to assume one thing: The Baltimore Orioles have had their “Phil” of the New York Yankees.
With nine runs of run support really not necessary, Phil Hughes folded, spindled and mutilated the Orioles for seven innings as the Yankees beat the Orioles for the 16th time in their last 18 meetings.
Hughes (7-1) gave up only one run on six hits and a walk and fanned seven batters in seven innings of work boosted by an early 6-0 lead the Yankee offense provided him. The 23-year-old Hughes is tied for second in the American League with wins with teammate Andy Pettitte and Boston’s Clay Buchholz.
The
Yankee offense was led, as it has been almost all season, by Robinson Cano, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games, his multiple-hit game streak to eight and drove in two runs as the Yankees won their fourth straight.
Brad Bergesen (3-4) was treated quite rudely by his Bronx hosts as he was pounded for six earned runs on seven hits and two walks in just 2 1/3 innings.
With the victory the Yankees are now 33-20 and they have tied their season high at 13 games over .500. They remain 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The Orioles dropped to 15-38 and they are 20 1/2 games behind the Rays in the division’s cellar.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Cano defies any logical description at this point. He was 3-for-4 with two singles and a home run, scored three runs and drove in two. He is batting .373 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs and he is leading the Yankees in those Triple Crown categories. During his 16-game hitting streak he is 32-for-68 (.471) with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
  • Curtis Granderson appears to be getting in a nice groove also. Granderson was 3-for-4, including a two-run double in the second inning that opened the Yankee scoring off the Orioles’ right-hander Bergesen.
  • Nick Swisher also contributed three hits and drove in three runs with a two-run ground-rule double in the second inning and he capped the Yankee onslaught with an RBI single in the eighth. Swisher is now hitting .320 on the season.
  • Brett Gardner also quietly contributed two hits, scored two runs and drove in one run as he raised his average from .299 when the day started to .306.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Mark Teixeira saw the Yankees pound out 15 hits but he did not join the party. Coming back after leaving Tuesday’s game with a bruised left foot he suffered by fouling a ball off his right foot in the first inning, Teixeira was 0-for-5 though he hit two line shots right at Ty Wigginton at first base.
  • Francisco Cervelli, who has caught all but two games since Jorge Posada went on the disabled list, was 0-for-3 and his batting average has now fallen to .302. In his last eight games, Cervelli is 3-for-24 (.125) and his average has dropped 52 points. The good news for Cervelli is that Posada was activated on Wednesday but Posada likely will not catch any games until perhaps the weekend.
  • Chad Gaudin pitched the last two innings of the game and he did not look too sharp. He gave up three hits and a walk and the only reason the Orioles did not score on him is because Miguel Tejada was gunned down at the plate off a Nick Markakis double by a perfect relay throw from Brett Gardner to Ramiro Pena to Cervelli that nailed Tejada trying to score.
DIAMOND NOTES

When Posada was activated the Yankees optioned first baseman Juan Miranda back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That means that catcher Chad Moeller will remain with the team until Posada is able to resume catching regularly. Posada was 1-for-3 and a walk in Wednesday’s game. He batted in his customary sixth spot in the batting order.  . . .  Teixeira said his left foot was sore but it was not enough of a hindrance to keep him out the lineup. As a result he was cleared to play in Wednesday’s game. If he was unable to play the Yankees said they would have kept Miranda and optioned Kevin Russo instead.  . . .  During this recent home stand, the Yankees have scored a total of 50 runs in five games. On their previous road trip they scored only 15 runs.
THE NEXT GAME

Now that the Yankees have won yet another series, the Yankees will be looking to sweep the Orioles in the final game of their six-game home stand. The Yankees will have No. 1 starter CC Sabathia on the mound.
Sabathia (4-3, 4.16 ERA) has been very un-Sabathia-like in four of last five starts. In those four starts he has given up 19 runs on 30 hits and six walks in 21 2/3 innings. That is ERA of 7.89. He was shelled for seven hits and five runs in six innings on Saturday but he left with a five-run lead that the bullpen gave up as the Indians rallied from a 10-4 deficit to beat the Yankees 13-10. There is still good news for Sabathia, though. He is 11-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 16 career starts against the Orioles. He is 2-0 this season.
The Orioles will counter with their hard-luck ace Kevein Millwood. Millwood (0-5, 3.89 ERA) got absolutely no support in his 5-0 loss to Toronto on Saturday. He allowed four earned runs in six innings. Millwood is 1-8 with a 6,16 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

Yankees Lay Big Goose Egg As Orioles Romp

GAME 21
ORIOLES 8, YANKEES 0

Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Garrett Atkins drove in two runs apiece and Brad Bergesen pitched shutout baseball into the sixth inning as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the New York Yankees 8-0 on Thursday at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
Bergesen (2-0) scattered three hits, walked one and struck out two in 5 2/3 innings for the victory. Alfredo Aceves (1-2) took the loss.
The Yankees’ Grapefruit League record dropped to 9-12. The Orioles are 9-13.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • There was not much to be positive about in an 8-0 thrashing but Randy Winn was the only Yankees’ hitter who seemed ready to play. He was 3-for-3 with a double. He was 60% of the Yankees’ offense, which managed just five hits.
  • Chan Ho Park was impressive again in his two innings of work. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck two batters.
  • David Robertson walked a batter and gave up a hit but was able to get through his one inning without giving up a run. He seems to have a virtual lock on a spot in the bullpen.
  • Sergio Mitre, a loser in the No. 5 starter sweepstakes, had his sinker working well. Though he gave up a run on two hits, he retired five of the six batters he got out on ground balls.
  • Derek Jeter and Ramiro Pena collected the Yankees’ other two hits.
  • As far as we know, nobody in the crowd was injured while Aceves was pitching.
THE NEGATIVES

  • I am not sure whether it was just a bad day or if Aceves was shaken by not being named the fifth starter, but he was not himself at all. He gave six runs (five earned) on six hits and two walks in two-plus innings of work. After owning a 0.90 ERA going into his fourth start on Saturday, Aceves’ spring ERA ballooned to 6.06. He is going to have to recover soon just to make the bullpen now.
  • Robinson Cano did not make the day any better when he threw a ball away in the third inning that allowed a run to score in an inning where the Orioles scored two unearned runs.
  • Nick Johnson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher combined to go 0-for-14 in the game.
  • Our favorite non-roster invitee, Marcus Thames, finished the day 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and he is now hitting .094. Thames leads the team in strikeouts. He has 13 in only 32 at-bats. It would be a miracle if Thames made the roster with those stats.
DIAMOND NOTES

The Yankees were probably surprised by the Orioles onslaught because the Orioles have been hitting .249 as a team this spring.  . . .  A standing-room crowd of 8,017 packed Ed Smith Stadium to see the Yankees play the Orioles.  .
. . Adam Jones hit a two-run home run off Aceves in the second inning that struck one of the Yankees’ team buses.  . . . The Yankees brought their starters with the exception of Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner to Sarasota. . . . CC Sabathia, who was in line to pitch, stayed behind in Tampa, FL, to pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a game against the Phillies’ Triple-A Lehigh Valley club.  . . . Home-plate umpire John Hischbeck took several foul tips, including one to the throat, during Thursday’s game and left with paramedics after three innings. Third-base umpire Bill Welke then had to suit up to replace Hirschbeck, causing a 14-minute delay.
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will play host to the National League champion Phillies on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Phil Hughes, the newly anointed No. 5 starter, will start the game for the Yankees on three days rest. The Phillies will counter with veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer in their final meeting of the spring.
Game-time is 7:05 p.m. EDT and the contest will not be telecast.

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