Camden Yards has helped yield another victory for the Baltimore Orioles over the New York Yankees tonight in a crucial game that will help determine the playoff outlook. The last time the Yankees were in Baltimore, they lost all three contests. The Yanks fell a whole game behind the O’s tonight, but only a half game behind the idle Tampa Bay Rays, who are in sole possession of the second wild-card spot.
Chris Tillman, who has been the Orioles best pitcher this year, put the hot swinging bats of the Yankees asleep. The Yankees scored a total of 29 runs in the previous series against the Boston Red Sox, but could only muster two runs and four hits against Baltimore’s ace. Tillman was previously 3-4 with a 7.43 ERA when facing the Yankees, but history was not a factor tonight as he went seven strong innings, while striking out a career-high nine Yanks.
This was a tough pill to swallow for the boys from the Bronx, having to win basically every game as they try to make a final push with just 18 games remaining. The game started out well with an Alex Rodriguez home run in the first inning, but the Bombers only got two more hits in the next six innings. In the top of the eighth, Lyle Overbay led off with a solo home run and that was the end of Tillman’s night. The rest of the game was uneventful and the Yankees went down without much of a fight.
There are still three games remaining in this series, and the Yankees could very well end up sweeping the rest, but it was not a good start for their final trip to Baltimore of the year. It was very disheartening to see the bats go so cold after a slugfest of a series against the rival Red Sox. The Yankees must start to put better swings on the ball, because recently their starting pitching has been suspect and the bullpen is completely overtaxed from a long, drawn out four-game set with the Sox. Hopefully, Tillman was the reason for their frigid lumber and it doesn’t become a trend, because this is not the time for a collective slumping of their sticks.