The Yankees aren't tied in this series because of a lack of quality pitching.
Starters CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were tremendous in the first two games of the ALDS in Baltimore, but the Yankees nearly wasted both of their excellent outings by struggling offensively. While the Yankees woke up in the ninth inning Sunday to capitalize on Sabathia's performance, the bats went silent for Pettitte on Monday and the Yankees are now tied in the series 1-1 instead of up 2-0.
"You don't want to miss those opportunities," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on a conference call Tuesday. "We had a chance to win that game. We didn't get it done. So now it comes to the best two out of three, and we need to get it done. "
Sabathia tossed 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball in Game 1 to earn the win. Pettitte was tagged with the loss for seven innings of three-run ball. While the starters have kept Baltimore's lineup in check, the Yankees' offense has also been held down and hasn't given the pitchers much to work with.
Excluding the five-run outburst in the ninth inning Sunday, the Yankees have totaled four runs in the other 17 innings of the series. Unless the Yankees start hitting and capitalizing on their good pitching, they could potentially find themselves squandering great outings like they did on Monday.
HOLD ON LATE: Including the postseason, the Orioles are now 10-10 vs. the Yankees this year as they've emerged from the cellar of the AL East. Girardi credits the Orioles with an improvement in their pitching and ability to close out games late, as evident in Monday's 3-2 win, as reasons for their improvements this season.
"I think they're a talented group, number one. It's a pitching staff that knows how to pitch behind in the count, pitch ahead in the count. They've had a very good bullpen throughout the course of the year," Girardi said.
"They're a team that hits the ball out of the ballpark. It's how their score a lot of their runs. They've been very good in tight ballgames, so they're used to playing them. But it's a talented group. And to me the biggest difference is the improvement in their pitching staff from last year to this year, where they've always had some talented position players, but they've lost some games late at times and some tough games, and those games they're winning this year.
MARTIN CLUTCH: Russell Martin had the biggest hit for the Yankees thus far this postseason, hitting the go-ahead homer in Game 1, and his manager described his as a "clutch player." Martin is hitting .167 in the series, but has an on-base percentage of .375.
"I think he's always been a clutch player, and I think he's always relished the moment, and he's very talented and very skilled, and it has shown up, especially in the last month of the season in some of the walk off homers that he's had for us," Girardi said.