BALTIMORE, Md. — Maybe it’s the fact that a statue of Babe Ruth is outside the Park but the New York Yankees felt right at home in Baltimore. It didn’t matter that the Miami Marlins roster nearly reaching COVID-19 herd immunity shifted the Yankees schedule from the Philadelphia Phillies because they were prepared for the Baltimore Orioles.
The mini sweep gave the Yankees 18 consecutive victories against the Orioles. This marks the first time since 2003 that the Yankees have started the season 4-1. Coincidentally, that was an otherwise great season ruined and ended by the Marlins. Anyhow, your series recap below!
It was pretty much par for the course as the Yankees posted a football score in a 9-3 victory against the Orioles. The only thing missing was Gleyber Torres tormenting poor Gary Thorne in the O’s booth. Everything else was a piece of crab cake.
DJ LeMahieu was doing damage in the Delmarva. Right off the rip, the Yankee second sacker socked an 0-1 fastball from Asher Wojciechowski for a leadoff homer. The smash to right was his first of the campaign.
Nearly to the date (July 28, 2015) that Jacoby Ellsbury did it twice in a game, two Yankee hitters reached on catcher’s interference in the first frame. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both made it on what was a brutal evening for O’s backstop Pedro Severino.
After an Aaron Hicks walk loaded the bases, Mike Ford plated Judge on a sacrifice fly to right-center.
YA DONE GOOD WITH T-SHIRT TIME A-ARON
Here at BP, we have a new free t-shirt HR contest player and it’s the aforementioned Mr. Judge. Leading off the third inning, the Yankee right-fielder continued with his pulls shots from the exhibition season, driving a 1-2 fastball to right for a solo shot.
Gerrit Cole provided the Yankees with another quality outing. His commitment to his craft was on full display on the field and in the dugout. Pitching on an extra day’s rest, Cole was somewhat shaky during the first frame. Cole issued a leadoff walk to Austin Hays and a one-out RBI-double to Jose Iglesias in the first inning.
Yet, from there, Cole gathered himself and shoved right through the O’s order. The New York ace was bending off his knuckle-curve in Mike Mussina’s old haunts. His slider and fastball weren’t too shabby either.
Cole retired 14 consecutive batters in one stretch. I was kind of surprised manager Aaron Boone allowed him to exceed 100 pitches with a fresh bullpen but Cole finally ran out of gas with two outs in the seventh inning, yielding a double to Renato Nunez and a two-run homer to right by Dwight Smith Jr.
It was a relaxing outing to watch otherwise by Cole.
As mentioned above, along with Hicks, LeMahieu, Judge, and Stanton had quite the evening and added on some insurance. During the sixth inning, LeMahieu, who was 4-for-5, singled to left off reliever Evan Phillips to plate Ford. Judge, who went 2-for-3, singled to center to plate Gio Urshela.
Capping off the scoring in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, Stanton drilled an RBI-single to left off former Yankee farmhand Cody Carroll.
Finishing out the game, making his MLB debut in that midnight Yankee blue was Brooks Kriske. If you’re named Brooks, good things happen to you in Baltimore. Wearing No. 82, Kriske yielded a leadoff walk to Nunez but shook that off to retire Smith Jr. on a line out to center and proceeded to strike out Severino and DJ Stewart to conclude the contest.
This game was perplexing in so many ways. Yet, in the end, the Yankees remembered they’re the Yankees and the Orioles remembered they’re the Orioles. An 8-6 victory earned the Yankees a short sweep.
Orioles pitchers are lucky, Rob Manfred will only suspend you if you don’t hit a batter. During the first frame, O’s starting pitcher John Means plunked Judge and Torres. Torres would eventually leave the game with a right elbow contusion but X-rays were negative. The ensuing batter Stanton continued his torrid hitting with an RBI-single to left.
So much for February Cy Young J.A. Happ. The Yankees only needed to pay $6 million more AAV to sign Patrick Corbin instead but oh well. It’s pretty clear the Yankees have essentially one starting pitcher unless they want to call up Jordan Montgomery one of these days.
Happ surrendered a two-run tater to Hanser Alberto to left-center in the bottom of the first inning. The second stanza wasn’t much better. Happ yielded another two-run homer, this time a shot by Rio Ruiz to right-center, and all of a sudden it was 5-4.
WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?
MLB’s plan of having no plan and wining it on the fly was on full display. On the one hand, they don’t want teams lingering around the ballpark for a long time. Yet, the Yankees and Orioles waited out a 94-minute rain delay after the fifth inning.
Apparently, Tommy Kahnle wasn’t available and neither was Chad Green and maybe the organization should’ve re-signed Dellin Betances. Jonathan Loaisiga replaced Adam Ottavino in the sixth inning. Loaisiga was able to wiggle out of trouble in that sixth with a 4-6-3 double play and had a smooth seventh.
Yet, that third inning in the eighth was pushing the envelope. Following a strikeout of Renato Nunez, Loaisiga hit Anthony Santander and followed by allowing a two-run smash to left by Severino. Hence, coughing up what was a 5-0 advantage.
Zack Britton recorded the final three outs but Judge earns the save. An inning after Voit tried to hit one to the moon Gary Sanchez followed suit by whiffing with runners on, Judge would come through in the ninth inning.
Gio Urshela coaxed a leadoff walk against Cole Sulser. LeMahieu reached on a one-out hit to right. Judge followed with a rocket to left, making it 8-6 for the eventual game-winner.