Heading into the ninth inning tied at 3-3, the Orioles took advantage by scoring a pair of runs off reliever Shawn Kelley.
The Yankees attempted to answer back but only managed to score one run off a sac fly, and lost the game 5-4.
Reality bites, but if closer David Robertson had been available, the Yankees odds of winning the game, and taking the series go up dramatically.
D-Rob’s experience and career numbers vs. the active Orioles line-up compared to Kelley’s, and the rest of the bullpen lack there of proves it.
(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)Career Pitching Stats vs. Active Orioles Bats
The real blame for this loss falls directly on the Yankees brass and front office for not acquiring insurance for D-Rob during the off-season.
Spending so recklessly to improve the team, only to skimp out on the bullpen prior to their first season without Mariano Rivera is already proving irresponsible.
Last night is what I call an avoidable loss.
And honestly, teams in the AL East cannot afford any hiccups if they plan to win a postseason berth.
Starter Masahiro Tanaka did give up a three-run homer in the second, but he settled in fanning 10 O’s over 7 innings, and kept the Yankees in the game.
Bottom line is this should have, could have, and would have been a walk-off-win for the Yankees if they had been better prepared in case D-Rob went down or gets overwhelmed.
I will leave you with a funny, Tigers fan tweet from last season to help you get my point.
@jonahkeri right now I will trade verlander and Cabrera for Mariano Rivera, so you know. Sincerely, Tigers fan.
— Drew Lindsay (@drewmarvell) June 12, 2013