Orioles bench coach John Russell and Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher took out the lineup cards before tonight’s game. No managers. No punches thrown.
So far, so good.
I wasn’t sure if plate umpire Jim Joyce was going to issue warnings during the pregame stretch.
After the bottom of the first inning, both bullpen coaches started screaming at each other and had to be restrained by the closers. OK, not really, but wouldn’t that be kind of cool?
Miguel Gonzalez is going for his career-high 10th win tonight for the Orioles. He threw 24 pitches in the first inning, but stranded Brett Gardner after a leadoff double, striking out Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.
With his next double, Chris Davis will become the first player in Orioles history to hit 40 doubles and 40 homers in the same season. With his next homer, Davis will break Rafael Palmeiro’s club record for most homers in consecutive seasons (81) set during the 1997-98 seasons.
The Orioles have won six straight at home against the Yankees, their longest streak since 1983. It’s tied for the fifth-longest home winning streak against New York in club history.
During the current streak, Orioles pitchers have registered a 2.29 ERA over 55 innings. They started have posted a 3.09 ERA in 35 and are 4-0 in those six games.
The Orioles have committed just one error in their seven home games against the Yankees this year, a Davis fielding error on June 29, and have a .996 fielding percentage.
The Orioles have won five straight games when opposed by left-handed starters. They were 19-23 in their first 42 games against southpaws.
Last night’s win marked the first time in Orioles history that they struck out 10 or more without walking a batter in a nine-inning game against the Yankees.
The Yankees are starting left-handers Andy Pettitte and Dave Huff the next two nights.
The Orioles are just 5-for-45 (.111) with runners in scoring position on the homestand. They don’t have more than two hits in a game with RISP in their last eight games.
Manny Machado has 178 hits, ranking second in the majors behind Mike Trout (179).
Machado was bunting on his own again last night when he sacrificed Nick Markakis to third base in the bottom of the first inning. Markakis scored on Adam Jones’ sacrifice fly.
“Manny’s done that a lot,” Showalter said. “That’s why they call it ‘sacrifice.’ But don’t call it ‘bunt and move a runner.’ They have a word for it.”
Does it become more important to do the little things - and produce fly balls that drive in runs instead of trying to mash every pitch - as the season winds down?
“It’s funny to say, but a couple sacrifice flys sometimes are a huge change in mentality,” Showalter said. “There’s so many parts of something. One, there’s getting on base. You can’t throw that out. Two is, now you’ve hit a double that puts you on second. Now, there’s a bunt. There’s really three parts already. Then there’s the fourth part.
“Guys who are in the arena talk about runners in scoring position and all that stuff, if you forget all the things that it takes to get to that final step, so to say. Then, all of a sudden you look at it and we’re second or third in the league. But it runs in cycles, too. It runs in cycles where you’re real good at it and it runs in cycles where you’re not good at it. A lot of it has to do with who’s pitching.
“They’ve always made it important, but there’s a certain finality about the last 20 games that, it’s basically opportunities are dwindling.”
Showalter said the players are fully aware that going 3-for-37 with RISP in the four-game series against the White Sox isn’t acceptable.
“They know when it’s right and they know when it’s wrong, and they know over the course of a long time what will catch up with them and what won’t,” Showalter said. “You get away with some things sometimes in this game, but over the long haul you won’t.
“Over the course of a long season, there’se no flukey stats in our game. You play too many games, you pitch too many innings, you take too many at-bats. You’ve got a strength that will show up and you’ve got a weakness that’s going to show up. And it’s a snowball sport, too, because we play so much. That’s why teams can get hot at playoff time. Same way with football, the Ravens. All of a sudden, things can snowball good, so that’s why everybody’s trying to grind like hell to get into October and have a chance to roll the dice. But now it’s September roll the dice.
“If you’re scared, you need to get a bigger dog.”
Update: Gonzalez had four strikeouts through two scoreless innings, but Rodriguez doubled with two outs in the third to plate Chris Stewart and give New York a 1-0 lead.
More than a few Orioles are annoyed that the commissioner’s office still allows Rodriguez to play.