BALTIMORE -- We all know that honesty is the best policy. Unless, of course, you're a fan of a team on which one of the players has the nerve to tell the plain, unvarnished truth.
Such is the case of Shawn Kelley, who had the double misfortune of allowing the game-winning home run to Adam Jones in Wednesday night's 5-3 Orioles win over the Yankees, and then giving an honest assessment of his team's chances to win the American League East.
When informed that the Yankees were now eight games out of first place, and asked if he felt as though time was running out on them, Kelley said, "That’s where we are? Well, I think we were more looking at that second wild-card spot. That’s a little bit better number that seems a little more achievable at this point. But we got to win every day. We got to go out there and we got to win series and we got to win in our division. We didn’t get it done. We didn’t take care of business."
No one but the most blindly-partisan fan could take issue with any part of that statement. Eight games is a lot to overcome with just 43 to play, and with an offense that has averaged just under four runs per game (3.98) and a team whose run differential -- the difference between runs scored and runs allowed -- is now minus-31.
Perhaps realizing that his words could come back to haunt him, or worse, Kelley quickly recovered when asked if he believed the division title was out of reach.
"Not to me," he said. "I don’t think anybody else in this locker room would say it’s out of reach."
Well, actually, one already pretty much had. If Shawn Kelley thinks he had a rough Wednesday night, wait until he sees the next couple of days.
Girardi seeing things: Yankees manager Joe Girardi was adamant that home plate umpire Gerry Davis had gotten it wrong when he called Stephen Drew out for running out of the baseline in the seventh inning. In fact, he was so convinced of it that he came racing out of the dugout to continue arguing the point after the original argument was over, and wound up getting himself tossed from the game. After the game, he was still as hot about the play as ever.
"Gerry was wrong. Gerry got fooled," Girardi said. "The catcher was on the right side of the line, the first baseman was on the left side of the line, and he said the runner was outside the line. Well, the runner was not outside the line. But it appeared, it looked funny, because it looked like he had to throw around him because the first baseman and the catcher were not on the same side. So he told me to go check, so I went and checked. And I came back, I was right, and I let him know."
Well, I checked, too, and so can you. And it shows Drew was clearly running inside the baseline, on the infield grass, for the last 10 yards or so, and Davis was well within his rights to call him out for interference. And incidentally, that play is not on the list of reviewable plays, so Davis' word was the last word on the subject.
"I can't tell you that that's going to make a difference," Girardi said. "But it's a runner and maybe we score a couple of extra runs and it's a different game."
Cervelli: Blame me: Dellin Betances gave up the home run, but Francisco Cervelli took the bullet. The Yankees catcher said he called for the wrong 0-1 pitch to Jonathan Schoop in the eighth inning that turned into the game-tying home run.
"I put down the wrong finger," Cervelli said. "I take that shot. It’s my fault."
Should he have called a fastball instead of a slider?
"Yeah," he said. "Or I don’t know. Something. Anything. But that’s my fault."
Betances, for his part, said, "That pitch I hung. It didn't do much. It was a terrible pitch and he put a good swing on it."