Score and situation: For the first time ever, every LDS matchup will go with the distance with all 20 games being played. The Baltimore Orioles made it so by stealing Game 4 from the New York Yankees with a 2-1 victory in 13 innings at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
Leading lads: It took quite some time but the Orioles finally squeezed across a run in the top of the 13th when Manny Machado hit a leadoff double for Baltimore's first runner in scoring position since the fourth inning. One out later, the rookie came home with what would end up being the winning run on a double by J.J. Hardy. Nate McLouth scored the team's first run with a solo homer in the top of the fifth.
As is the story of the 2012 Orioles, they wouldn't have been in a position to win without their bullpen. Darren O'Day and Pedro Strop were phenomenal in relief for the Orioles, pitching a combined total of 4 2/3 innings and allowing a total of only two Yankee baserunners. Closer Jim Johnson got over his blown save by earning one with a perfect 13th.
Head hangers: David Phelps was tagged with the loss after giving up the winning run to the O's, but you can't pin the loss on him. The Yankees offense was simply ineffective, especially late. Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson were a combined 0-for-24 with four strikeouts. The Yankees didn't put a runner in scoring position past the eighth inning.
Interesting stat: Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts and has five straight multi-strikeout games for in the postseason. According to ESPN Stats and Info, only Darryl Strawberry has a longer postseason streak with eight. A-Rod was replaced with a pinch-hitter for the second straight night with Eric Chavez ending the game with a lineout to third.
What they'll be talking about: It's been a tightly-played series with three of the four games being decided by only one run. Does the Baltimore bullpen have it in them for one more game? Will CC Sabathia do for the Yankees in Game 5 what Justin Verlander did for the Tigers out in Oakland? (Thursday's loss was a big one as it'll push Sabathia's ALCS availability back to mid-round if the Yankees advance.)
As for the talking points of Game 4, the incredible bad luck of Joba Chamberlain continued after he was struck on the right elbow by the barrel of Matt Wieters' broken bat. Is there a more snakebit baseball player around? Also, the struggles of Alex Rodriguez are one thing, but he's not alone for the Yankees. A-Rod always has been and always will be the easiest target, but Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have been right there with him in the LDS.
What's next: A decisive Game 5 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. Will Orioles magic continue? Will the Yankees lineup finally start to hit? CC Sabathia and Jason Hammel will begin to answer those questions as they're scheduled to get the starts. First pitch is scheduled for 5:07 pm. ET and the game will be televised on TBS.
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