Game 120: Please, put the Orioles out of their misery

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Another game against the Orioles, another shellacking. The Yankees bashed their way to a 11-8 victory against Baltimore, who mercifully have just two more games against the Bombers this year. Here are tonight’s takeaways:

Brett Gardner is still kicking

I must admit that I didn’t think Brett Gardner would be very good this season. He finished last year in a terrible rut, has a history of tailing off in the second half, and can’t hit lefties. And yet, Gardner is in the midst of a revival at 35 years of age.

Tonight, Gardy gave the Yankees an early lead with this:

Just like that, the Yankees were up 3-zip on Gardner’s triple. He’s now up to a 116 wRC+ this year, far better than anyone could have anticipated. Remember, he was supposed to be a role player. Instead, he’s been forced into playing nearly everyday because of the myriad of outfield injuries the Yankees have suffered.

How does anyone watch the Orioles?

Look, I love watching the Yankees win, but good grief is it difficult to watch the Orioles. They’re an embarrassment. I don’t think you needed tonight’s game to figure that out, but in case you needed a reminder, let’s dig in.

The Yankees plated their fourth run with plenty of help from Baltimore. With Breyvic Valera on second, O’s starter Ty Blach spiked a pitch that bounded away from Chance Cisco. It should have been a wild pitch, nothing more. Instead, Cisco decided to try and throw out Valera at third. Here’s what happened:

Of course that wasn’t the only fielding mishap. Earlier, Gardner’s triple was sort of a misplay by Anthony Santander:

(Baseball Savant)

I guess you could call it a valiant effort, but the odds of him ever catching that were incredibly slim. That should have been played to a double, not a triple, especially with just one out. Fortunately for him, Blach bailed him out and didn’t let Gardner score.

And then, you know, there’s the whole Gleyber Torres thing. He blasted his 13th dinger against the Birds this year. In case you aren’t keeping track, that’s half of his 26 homers this season.

Finally, FINALLY, they intentionally walked Torres in the eighth. Down five with runners on first and second and two outs, Baltimore gave him a free pass. Unconventional, sure. I’m not sure if that’s more or less embarrassing than Gleyber taking them deep one more time. It did work out though, as Gardner grounded out to end the jam.

Lastly, the Yankees basically disrespected the Orioles by throwing Joe Mantiply and Brady Lail out there. Nothing against either of those two, but obviously the Yankees weren’t concerned about outslugging the Orioles tonight.

Is it Orioles pitching, or is Gleyber’s core feeling better?

Whatever the answer may be, it’s good to see Torres raking like this after concern about his mysterious core injury. As mentioned, Gleyber blasted two more homers in the nightcap after hitting one in this afternoon’s affair. Again, half of his homers are against Baltimore this year! Just ridiculous how much he’s tormented them. Some numbers:

One record down, one more to go:

Decent chance the Iron Horse’s record doesn’t stand after this series ends, no? Unless they intentionally walk him every opportunity they get the rest of the way, of course. Tomorrow and Wednesday are the Yankees last two games vs. Baltimore this year.

One last thing on Gleyber: he did make a lackadaisical fielding play in the seventh inning by trying to play a would-be double play grounder off to his side. Mike Axisa touched on this over in his RAB Thoughts Patreon recently, and that play perfectly exemplified it. After that, the O’s struck for three runs on Hanser Alberto’s dinger.

To their credit, the Orioles made this interesting in the ninth

Mantiply and Lail did yeoman’s work in relief of Green. They combined for 5.2 innings and allowed 6 runs. On the surface, that sounds pretty crummy. But, Aaron Boone had to work his bullpen harder than he probably would have liked in game one of the doubleheader, so those two’s contribution didn’t go unnoticed.

The skipper certainly intended to have Nestor Cortes pitch the final two innings with a five run lead, but no dice. With the bases full and one out in the ninth, Boone called on Adam Ottavino for the save. Rio Ruiz greeted him with a two-run single to make it 11-8, but that was all the Orioles could muster. After that, Ottavino struck out Jonathan Villar and induced a fly out from Trey Mancini to end it.

It’s a little frustrating that Ottavino had to come in, to be honest. It was his 56th appearance of the season which puts him on pace for 75 outings this season. That’s too much. Fortunately, with this division lead, the Yankees can afford to utilize him less often down the stretch. Perhaps tonight would have been a good time to try and steal another two outs from Cortes, even at the risk of letting the Orioles creep even closer.

Leftovers:

  • Mike Ford hit his fourth homer of the season. The burly lefty hit it against Blach in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead at the time.
  • Chad Green excelled in the opener role once again. He faced four batters and retired all of them, including one via strikeout. The Yankees are now 12-0 when using an opener this season.
  • Tonight was Lail’s major league debut. Though his pitching line wasn’t overly impressive, he did exactly what the Yankees needed. Nice story for a guy who was the Yankees’ 18th rounder in 2012.
  • Mantiply hadn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016. Although his results weren’t pretty, he got his first major league win. Good for him.

These two sides are back at it again tomorrow at 7:05 pm. Have a good night everyone.

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5 Comments

  1. CountryClub

    I never get tired of watching yanks win. O’s or no O’s.

  2. Johan

    The Yankees lost on Saturday when using an opener.

  3. Wire Fan

    Derek – The Yankees lost a game with an opener in the recent Toronto series. I believe they are 12-1. (still cray impressive though)

  4. William D Hudgins

    Last 9 games vs Orioles have gone over – neither team has enough pitching.

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