By Cole Hoyt, Contributing Writer and loyal Yankees fan
What has happened to the New York Yankees? This simple question is almost inexplicable. The New York Yankees had a chance Thursday night to build on their slimmest lead a top of the AL East standings this season. Thursday was the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s breaking Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak. The Yankees rallied back in the top of the eighth inning to level the score.
The Orioles came out swinging by scoring four runs in the first inning. Even with the monster offensive eighth by the Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles’ Dave Robertson, Mark Reynolds, and Chris Davis all hit home runs for B’More in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead.
Yankees catcher Russell Martin’s reaction after Reynolds’s blast left the yard? Russell sank into his knees in disgust. The Orioles hit an additional three in the game for a total of six slammers.
The Yankees are now 0-52 after trailing the eighth inning. Baltimore has been the Yankees kryptonite as they have won 8 of the last 11 games. Yankees starter David Phelps had a night to forget. The hostile environment of Camden Yards got to Phelps who looked extremely nervous. In the first inning, he gave up a home run and allowed five straight hits. When Yankees fans though that nothing could get worse he balked not one but two runners over.
Mark Teixeria is the key for the Yankees to get back to their old winning ways. Out with a strained calf, he ran some sprints but not at full speed. Not only will Teixeira’s bat greatly help the ailing offense but his presence in the locker room and command on the field will energize the sloppy Bombers. Teixeira plans to be back in action this weekend.
Orioles All-Star outfielder Andrew Jones found out how explosive Camden Yards can get when the steaks are high. Jones told reporters after the game, “That’s the biggest hit I’ve ever had in my life. Everything else up to this point has been leading up to this.” (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/story/2012-09-06/baltimore-orioles-new-york-yankees-mark-reynolds-east/57655818/1).
The Orioles win has put them atop the standings but sharing the top spot with the Yankees. Orioles skipper and former ESPN analyst noted that the crowd which was estimated to be over 90% for the Orioles made a true difference in the win for Baltimore Thursday night.
Even with the slump, Girardi believes the clubhouse is relaxed and going about their work. The Yankees rich experience will help them through this rough patch in the season. Phil Hughes is set to take the mound Friday night to regain sole possession of first place of the AL East.
(Heading to the game? Be sure to check out Fanzooloo’s Orioles page for tickets and info!)