Friday, September 10, 2010

Was Meatloaf right: Two out of three ain't bad?

This week's Flashback Friday post on Roar from 34 revisits the last time the Baltimore Orioles swept the New York Yankees in the Bronx. It happened back in 1986 and woulda, coulda, shoulda didn't happen earlier this week thanks to a Nick Swisher walk-off home run.

It's not just the road where the O's have struggled to complete a sweep of the Yankees. Baltimore hasn't swept New York at home since the final three games of the 2000 season. So while two out of three ain't bad, and the games don't really mean anything in the standings for the Birds, it still would've been great to take that third game in New York this week.

All this got me wondering where Wednesday's loss ranks in terms of missed sweep opportunities against the Yankees. At the very least it's the worst sweep-averting Yankees win since 2001, but to my mind it's easily the worst sweep-averting Yankees win this decade, and century for that matter.

Since 2000 the Orioles have entered the third game of a series against the Yankees with a chance at the sweep 13 times. They've won that third game exactly once. Three of the 12 losses have come by one run, and three of the twelve losses have come by 10 runs (the score was 13-3 each time).

On only two occasions before Wednesday had the Orioles lost a "sweep game" in the ninth inning or later. Both times it involved a bases loaded walk.

In 2004 Jorge Julio issued a bases loaded, ninth inning walk at Yankee Stadium in a game the Birds lost 4-3. In 2001, Willis Roberts failed to hold the lead for the O's at home in the ninth inning, surrendering a sacrifice fly that tied the game at four. The Yankees then won the contest in the 10th inning on a bases loaded walk by John Parrish.

Here's the full rundown of potential sweep games against the Yankees since 2000.

April 6 to 8, 2009 @ Home - Lost the last game 11-2
Sept. 11 to 13, 2009 @ NY - Lost the last game 13-3

April 18 to 20, 2008 @ Home - Lost the last game 7-1
May 26 to 28, 2008 @ Home - Lost the last game 4-2
July 28 to July 30, 2008 @NY - Lost the last game 13-3

June 26 to 28 @ Home - Lost the last game 8-7
July 27 to 29 @ Home - Lost the last game 10-6

April 6 to 18 @ Home - Lost the last game 13-3

Sept. 3 to 5 @ NY - Lost the last game 4-3

Aug. 23 to 25 @ NY - Lost the last game 5-2

June 25 to 27 @ Home - Lost the last game 3-2

Sept. 21 to 23 @ Home - Lost the last game 5-4

Three game sweep to end the season, Sept. 29 to Oct 1. Scores: 13-2, 9-1, 7-3


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