The Yankees lost to the Orioles, 4-3, tonight at The Boss when D.J. Mitchell, in his third inning of work, allowed an RBI single by Ronny Paulino in the ninth inning. Mitchell, a potential candidate to be the long man out of the Yankees' 'pen, had pitched well in his first 1-2/3 innings but not well enough to be one of our three stars of the game. Those honors go to:
Star #1: Raul Ibanez, who was robbed of a home run by Jason Heyward on Wednesday but hit one nobody could pull back tonight, a blast into the last row of the bleachers far behind the right-field fence in the first inning. Ibanez followed with an RBI single in the sixth and although his average is still floundering at .125, his bat is showing signs of coming to life.
Star #2: Chris Dickerson, for doing unto Nick Johnson -- yes, that Nick Johnson -- what Heyward had done unto Ibanez on Wednesday, pulling a home run back into the ballpark in the seventh. Surprisingly, only Johnson's feelings were hurt by the play.
Star #3: A lukewarm vote for David Phelps, who started and got hit hard at times in his five-inning, seven-hit, three run stint, but impressively escaped a fifth-inning jam by striking out Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters in succession with runners on second and third and none out. Phelps remains, along with Mitchell and Adam Warren, a candidate for a bullpen spot if Joe Girardi chooses to add one more arm, as he hinted this afternoon.