Yankees: Too many breaking balls, Machado beats Betances

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Yankees best relief pitcher got beat by the Orioles best hitter last night and it cost the team a win, along with one game in the standings as the Red Sox won in nineteen innings.

The Yankees lost a game they should have won last night at Camden Yards. But sometimes these things happen, even with your best reliever on the mound with a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning.

And so it was the Yankees had built up a 6-1 lead by the third inning playing small ball that the Orioles answered with four home runs, two of them coming off the sizzling bat of Manny Machado, his last one the game decider, a 430 ft. walk-off blast against Dellin Betances.

For Machado, it was his MLB leading 3rd walk-off home run of the season. He gives his account of the at-bat against Betances in this video.

The intrigue after the game developed, though, on the matter of Betances’s overreliance on breaking balls in Machado’s at bat and his abandonment of his overpowering fast ball, casting aside baseball’s adage that if you are going to get beat, make sure it’s with your best pitch.

ESPN’s Senior Writer, Andrew Marchand explains:

"It was Dellin Betances’ over reliance on his breaking ball as he only threw four fastballs among his 20 pitches. His final breaking ball hung and Machado deposited it. Betances said afterward he should have mixed in more fastballs."

Which causes me to wonder about the role Yankees catcher, Austin Romine, who was replacing suspended Gary Sanchez, played in this drama. Due to a rain delay, the game ended at 1 AM EST in the morning, so I didn’t witness live the exchange between Romine and Betances about pitch selection.

But as I recall, it’s always the catcher who initiates the “conversation” by putting a sign down first, and then the pitcher either shakes him off or delivers the pitch.

In any event, it’s over and the Yankees played a good, if not perfect game. And there’s good news within the bad news that the Red Sox won, with the good news being they had to play a doubleheader (19 innings) in Toronto to do it.

Yankees Sabathia falters

Yankees starter, CC Sabathia might also have something to think about in terms of his pitch selection as he was pelted for three home runs in an abbreviated 5.1 inning outing. This breaks the string of successive starts in which Sabathia, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino have teamed up going 6+ innings while giving up three or fewer runs.

More from Yanks Go Yard

Offensively, Greg Bird and Todd Frazier drove in a run and Didi Gregorius and Jacoby Ellsbury each contributed two. But overall, the Bombers went 2-11 with runners in scoring position and they left nine men on base.

Once again, the renaissance of Ellsbury is not only welcomed but very noticeable.  And you’ll want to read my colleague Mike Calendrillo’s column titled Jacoby Ellsbury could actually become tradable the first chance you get.

Another must win game

Having failed to win the middle game of the series with the Orioles, The Yankees are right back in a must win situation in the rubber game of the series tonight.

That is, a must win if they are going to fulfill their unstated, but very necessary, goal of capturing every series they play from here on to the end of the season, regardless of what the Red Sox do or don’t do.

Sonny Gray gets the start tonight and he has been nothing short of magnificent as a Yankee, even though the team has been a little short on giving him run support.

Gray will be opposed by Kevin Gausman (10-9, 4.79), the Orioles number two behind Dylan Bundy.

The Yankees task tonight is enhanced by having to beat an Orioles team that has won more than sixty percent of their total wins at home where they have a 44-29 record. Meanwhile, the Yankees continue to struggle to meet that coveted goal of playing .500 ball on the road, where the team is 34-37.

Today In Yankees History (September 6, 1981)

Brought to you by National Pastime.

“I told him to quit threatening me. If he wants me to go, make the move – don’t wait. I can’t take it any longer” – GENE MICHAEL, speaking to the press about his relationship with George Steinbrenner.

Calling it the most the ”most agonizing” decision he has made as the owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner fires Gene Michael and replaces him with Bob Lemon. The former skipper’s demise was prompted by his comments to the press concerning his inability to no longer tolerate the Boss’s constant threats of dismissal and for his refusal to apologize for the August 28th remarks.”

Next: The not so hidden value of Aaron Judge

As always, I invite you to share your thoughts and comments about this story or anything Yankees on the Yanks Go Yard Facebook page.