Manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the seventh inning and the bullpen blew the lead in the eighth, spoiling a very promising start by Michael Pineda. Not only did they surrender four runs, including two homers in the eighth frame, but the loss now has them eight games back of the O’s in the AL East. The loss also gives Baltimore a two-game sweep of a series cut short by rain that postponed Tuesday’s game.
There’s still a month and a half left of the season, but last night’s loss looks to be the one that officially ousts the Yanks from any chance of making a run at the division title. The main reason that the Yanks are out of the division race is the same reason the Orioles will win the East — consistency. The O’s have it and the Yankees don’t.
The starting pitching injuries have certainly made it an uphill struggle for the Bombers, but Baltimore has had their injuries as well. The difference is that Baltimore has gotten consistent contributions from so many different players that it has prevented any type of major slump. The Yankees, on the other hand, have been through so many peaks and valleys that it’s hard to keep track of them all. After taking three out of four from the Detroit Tigers last week, they’ve now lost four out of five. It seems that every time it looks like they’re going to gain some ground, it only takes a few days before they give it right back.
Amazingly, the Orioles haven’t lost two games in a row since the end of June when they lost Saturday and Sunday games to the Tampa Bay Rays. That was a pretty long time ago, and since June 30, the O’s haven’t lost back-to-back games and have a 27-11 record.
So basically the point being made here is that regardless of if the Yankees can start playing more consistently, there isn’t enough time left in the season to make up eight games. For example, hypothetically, New York could win five out of six games and only gain a game or two on Baltimore because the O’s never hit a losing streak. Baltimore hasn’t lost three or more games in a row since May.
The only thing that could realistically give the Yanks a chance lies in the eight remaining games between the two teams this season, including a double-header in Baltimore on Sept. 12. The only problem is that it isn’t all that realistic that New York will win seven or all eight of them, which is almost what they would need to do to catch the O’s.
Overall, it looks almost impossible that the Yankees will be able to whittle down an eight-game deficit by the time the end of September rolls around. It also means that the Orioles will most likely win their first AL East division title since 1997.
Despite being eight games out of first in the AL East, the Yankees still have one of the highest average prices for MLB Tickets in the league according to RazorGator.