- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS:The Yankees really are not playing good baseball. They have now lost nine of their last 12 games. They have such a big cushion in the AL East it might not matter, but the O's are suddenly 5 1/2 games and can go for the sweep on Wednesday afternoon. The Yankees lead in the East is still larger than any first place team in baseball.
SMASHING START: Derek Jeter led off with a double and Curtis Granderson followed with a RISP hit, an RBI single. Next, Robinson Cano smacked the first pitch he saw, nailing a no-doubt-about-it two-run shot. He broke Cano's 0-14 slump and gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead before the fans who could even become comfortable. The Yankees would go on to score two more runs. Russell Martin had an RBI and the other run scored on an error. It looked like it would be a good night for the home team.
UNLUCKY SEVEN: Ivan Nova, who has given up as many extra base hits as anyone in baseball, got crushed in the second. After an easy first, Nova allowed a touchdown in the second. All the runs came with two outs. It was ugly, topped by a Chris Davis grand slam. Amazingly, Nova had given back the the lead and he did it quickly.
The only other Yankee in Live Ball Era to give up nine-plus runs and 10-plus hits to the Orioles was Bob Turley in 1962, according to ESPN Stats & Info's Katie Sharp. Nova is the first to do it at home
CAREER WORST: It never got much better for Nova, though, he lasted until through the fifth inning. He gave up a career worst nine runs on 10 hits. All of them were earned. He was not the best pitcher in the universe.
SILENT NIGHT: After the huge first inning, the Yankees' put their bats away. They put up zeroes. In the seventh, Derek Jeter singled and Cano was hit by a pitch, which created a chance for a one-out rally. Instead, Nick Swisher grounded out and Raul Ibanez struck out. Another failed opportunity with runners in scoring position.
WHAT IS NEXT: Yanks and O's finish up things with a 1 p.m. game. Phil Hughes (10-8, 4.08) faces Zach Britton (1-0, 5.74)
COMING ATTACTIONS: Wally Mathews will write a column. Mike Mazzeo and I will fill up the blog. And look for post-trade deadline edition of Bombers Beat.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT:Do the Yankees have enough starting pitching?
16hESPN Stats & Information