In Game One, CC Sabathia kept the Orioles off the scoreboard often enough to give the Yankees time to explode in the ninth inning for a win.
Andy Pettitte tried to do the same thing in Game Two, but the explosion never came. The Yankees lost 3-2 to move the ALDS into a tie as it shifts to the Bronx for the final two or three games.
Pettitte has been known as a master of Game Two, but he couldn't close the Orioles out in the third inning and it came back to kill him. The Orioles loaded the bases with two outs and Chris Davis, bumped up to the third spot in the lineup in a move that paid off for Buck Showalter, singled in a pair of runs.
Two more hits in the sixth plated an insurance run that loomed large once the Yankees finally found a way to score a second run in the seventh. Wei-Yen Chen kept the Yankees in check after avoiding a mess in the first and the Orioles bullpen recovered some lost mojo with 2.1 shutout innings.
How hard was it for the Yankees to score on Monday night? Ichiro Suzuki had to bust out some crazy Matrix mixed with parkour mixed with breakdancing moves (Seriously. Watch the video. Twice) to score on Robinson Cano's double in the first inning.
That could have been worth more runs if not for a terrific diving catch by Robert Andino on an A-Rod liner with runners on first and second with no one out to turn a double play. It could have been a triple play if Ichiro didn't make an alert baserunning play that then got trumped by his play at the plate.
The Orioles snuffed out that chance for a big inning. The rest of the work was solely the work of the Yankees.
Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter failed with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and Nick Swisher dropped to 1-for-33 with runners in scoring position in his postseason career with a flyout to end the seventh with runners on second and third. The Yankees had runners on all night, but went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position as a team with only one of the hits actually leading to a run.
The failure to hit with runners on was the root of all Yankee evil during the regular season and it was the reason for their downfall once again on Monday night. Give Chen and the Orioles relievers plenty of credit, but this story isn't improving at all with age.
The Yankees have allowed five runs in two games. That's a big plus sign next to the pitching staff.
The series is tied. That's a big minus for the offense.