BALTIMORE - Joe Girardi said on Friday that one of his goals for the weekend was to get Chasen Shreve some work to get the slumping lefty reliever back "on track."
Something close to the polar opposite of that occurred Saturday afternoon as Shreve did further damage to his chances of landing a postseason roster spot. Brought in with two on and two outs in the sixth inning of Game 1 of the doubleheader, Shreve saw his difficulties continue.
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He allowed two inherited runners and two of his own runners to score, turning a 3-0 deficit into a 7-0 hole. He allowed three straight singles, threw a run-scoring wild pitch and issued a walk before finally getting the third out.
"If I get a chance, I'm going to put him back out there tomorrow if the situation presents itself," Girardi said after the Yankees' 9-2 loss to the Orioles in Game 1. "It was a struggle again, but like I said, we're still trying to get him going."
Through Sept. 5, Shreve had a 6-1 record and a 1.86 ERA, and oppposing hitters had a .177/.285/.317 slash line against him.
In nine games since then, however, he has allowed 16 hits (including four homers), six walks and nine runs in five innings. That slash line ballooned to .552/.629/.966.
Shreve came on with runners at first and second, two outs and the lefthanded-hitting Gerardo Parra at the plate. Shreve got ahead of him 1-and-2 before allowing an RBI single, the third of Parra's four hits. Manny Machado's infield single made it 5-0 and Chris Davis slashed an RBI single to left-center. With Matt Wieters at the plate, Shreve threw a wild pitch to make it 7-0.
"I just don't think he's as sharp as he was early on," Girardi said of Shreve, who spent the first five months of the season as one of his most trusted relievers. "He got ahead and then he left a couple of splits up and that's the difference."
If Shreve gets in Sunday and is effective, would that one outing be enough to restore Girardi's faith and earn a spot on the 25-man playoff roster?
"I don't know," Girardi said. "We'll put the roster together when we need to. I don't need to do it tonight. But the big thing is that we still try to get him going."