God bless the Baltimore Orioles, am I right? I know the Yankees dropped 2 of 3 to them a few weeks ago, but they are so bad. They’re exactly what a scuffling team needs after a first dose of Minnesota Twins. The Yanks pounded the Orioles 7-2 last night after jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first 3 innings. May every game go like that from now until Halloween.
Let’s get right to the (delayed) takeaways.
When the Big Bats Hit, the Yanks Are Tough to Beat. This is something of an obvious takeaway, but it bears repeating nonetheless. The Yankees have been an inconsistent mess all season, but that doesn’t mean they’re not super talented still. If anything, that’s what makes this season so freaking infuriating – and its why, despite my many lamentations and frustrations on here lately, it’s dumb to truly give up hope on the 2021 Yankees until the fat lady sings. They just have so much talent on this team, especially offensively.
Last night, the Yankees’ top 4 hitters – LeMahieu, Judge, Rizzo, and Stanton – went a combined 7-16 with 3 HR, 5 RBI, and 2 walks. Now that is what I’m talking about. Zoom out a little bit further and batters #5 (Luke Voit) and #6 (Joey Gallo) also both left the yard. That would be your 7 runs right there.
I know it’s the Orioles, and I know that the Orioles pitching staff is essentially a glorified batting practice squad, but it’s worth repeating: there is so much offensive firepower on the Yankees. If – and this is a huge, uncertain, unlikely if – they all get hot at once, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Yanks don’t lose until 2022. That said, these guys have to play every day to get hot.
This is as close to the “A” lineup as we’ve seen all season – only Sánchez was missing – and it needs to be put out there every single day. Night in, and night out. There’s no excuse anymore for load management or rest regimes. These guys all need to play, and they all need to hit. If that happens, the Yankees will be tough to beat – and they may even hold on to that first Wild Card spot. But I’m not holding my breath. Look at this incredible stat:
You just can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.
Gerrit Cole is a Godsend. To that end, man is it nice to have Gerrit Cole around, huh? He was not especially good last night, just making it 5 innings against the Orioles, but he still allowed just 1 run on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts. The dude had nothing – he walked 3 Orioles – and had a 30 pitch first inning. It did not matter. He is able to bear down and get outs anyway. Not a lot of pitchers are able to do that, Orioles caveat aside. It is also just so fun to watch him pitch.
Let’s not get too deep into Cole’s start last night, because I don’t think it’s necessarily worth it. Instead, I want to take a bit of a bigger picture look at his season. He is essentially having a Cy Young caliber season – 2.75 ERA (2.63 FIP) with a 35% strikeout rate in 163 innings – and it’s been amazing to watch. He has been absolutely everything the Yankees paid for, and what a godsend that is.
This was a good recipe for success, in other words. Ace on the hill, A lineup ready to face bad pitching, and, of course, the Orioles. That recipe worked out perfectly last night, and it was great.
- A good night for Michael King, who lasted 3 scoreless innings in relief of Cole. Glad to have him back.
- Things got a little interesting in the 9th – of course! – but it felt in control the entire way anyway. Sal Romano had something of a mini-meltdown, but Aroldis Chapman (lol) came in to pick up the pieces. Not ideal, but who cares. A win is a win, and the Yankees need every one of those these days.
The Yankees and Orioles will meet again this evening at 7:05 pm, where the Yankees will look to turn back-to-back wins into a mini winning streak. Nestor Cortes Jr. (2-2, 2.70 ERA) will take on John Means (5-7, 3.42 ERA) in that one. Have a good day, everyone, and see you later.