It wasn’t fun, pretty, or enjoyable, but the Yankees rallied in the ninth inning to starve off a sweep against the Baltimore Orioles. After Alex Rodriguez singled to open the ninth inning and a Robinson Cano flyout, Nick Swisher crushed a two-run home run to left field for a walk-off 3-2 win. With the win, the Yankees move to 87-53 and extend their lead over the Tampa Bay Rays to two games.

Initial Reaction:

Ivan Nova started the game and once again, pitched extremely well. Over six innings, Nova yielded two runs on six hits while striking out six. Nova’s only mistake came against Matt Weiters who crushed a two-run bomb in the 5th inning.

I really can’t be too critical when the Yankees win a game, but boy, some of the Yankees looked really bad. Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 and committed a brutal throwing error in the ninth inning. Mark Teixeira struck out three times in four at-bats. Joe Girardi totally botched the seventh inning. With runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs and Francisco Cervelli coming to the plate, I was expecting Jorge Posada to hop out of the dugout to pinch hit. It just didn’t happen because Posada is dealing with concussion-like symptoms.

Positives from the Game:

Nova’s Performance: Nova consistently throws strikes. Sixty of Nova’s 93 pitches were strikes. His only mistake came on a 3-0 pitch to¬†where O’s manager, Buck Showalter turned¬†Wieters loose.

Swish Likes Pie: Another walk-off win, another pie for Nick Swisher. Gotta love it when that dude hits a walk-off jack.

Negatives from the Game:

Jeter: I think we can all pretty much write his performance off until the calendar turns to October.

Seven Hits?: The Yanks could only muster seven hits off of Oriole pitching today. The offense is obviously in a funk so let’s hope they pick up their hitting shoes at the airport in Arlington.

Interesting Stats:

First Series Loss: This was the first time the Yankees have dropped a series to the O’s this year.

2 of 3: The Orioles have taken 2 of 3 games from both the Yankees and Rays in the last week.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will kick off a nine-game road trip, starting in Arlington on Friday night.

Friday, 8:05 PM, YES: Javier Vazquez (10-9, 5.01 ERA) vs. CJ Wilson (14-6, 3.10 ERA)

Last Start:
Vazquez:ND, 4 2/3 innings, five runs, six strikeouts (vs. TOR)
Wilson: Loss, 5 1/3 innings, six runs, five strikeouts (at MIN)

**Vazquez allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings last month in Texas. He did not figure into the decision.

**Wilson did not figure into the decision against the Yanks. He gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings.