[WE data via FanGraphs]
This is a great example of when a Win Expectancy can put a final score into perspective. The ultimate tally of 12-7 doesn't necessarily represent a blow out, but the Yankees snuffed the Orioles' chances of winning into the single digits as early as the third inning and had them under 1% almost exclusively from the seventh inning on.
It started early. Almost as early as possible, in fact, as Derek Jeter worked a walk to leadoff the game - something that he's only done two other times in 56 plate appearances this season. Moments later, Nick Swisher pounded the first pitch he saw - an 88 mile per hour fastball - over the wall in straight away center field and the Yankees were up 2-0 before Kevin Millwood could record an out. Mark Teixiera and Robinson Cano would both reach base around a strikeout by A-Rod but the two run jack by Swisher was the only blood in the inning.
The hit that really broke the game open came off the bat of Curtis Granderson in the third inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Granderson took a 2-2 slider deep onto the plaza/terrace/patio atop the wall in right field, extending the margin to 6-0.
By the end of the fifth, the O's had plated three runs off of Phil Hughes, but the Yankees blew the game open again in the top of the seventh on a bases-clearing double by Swisher which was promptly proceeded by a two run homer from Mark Teixeira. Fucking finally.
The slumping Teixeira really came to life in his hometown tonight. He went 3-4 (thanks mostly to two well-placed singles) with two walks and might have driven in more than two runs if that selfish bastard Nick Swisher didn't sweep up five for himself. This may or may not be a memorable turning point or a change in the winds of fortune for Teixeira, but it was certainly fun to watch.
The game was played at a glacially slow pace and I can't help but think that it affected Phil Hughes. Even in the innings the Yankees weren't scoring, they were putting runners on base - they had 15 hits and 6 walks while Hughes was the pitcher of record. Still, he made the obligatory quality start of six innings and three earned runs and picked up an easy win.
Chad Gaudin was the main reason the game looked closer than it was. He was asked to pitch the eighth and ninth innings and during the course of his sloppy mop-up work, he allowed four runs, not to mention stranding three more runners in the process. If there was one blemish, this was probably it, but no one is going to remember it in the morning anyway.