The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the Baltimore Orioles with an urgency to win over a team they should win over. The Yankees have a relatively easy next 9 games with the O’s, the Indians, and the Rangers. These are all games the Yankees should win before facing a difficult end of the season against the Red Sox, Jays, and Rays. They need to at least win these 3 upcoming series to stay in contention for a wild-card berth. Last night they took the first step toward that goal by besting the Orioles 7-2.
Gerrit Cole wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter
New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole’s night did not start well. Cole had the luxury of first stepping to the mound with a two-run lead, but he almost blew it. Cedrick Mullins faced Cole and doubled to the left-field wall. Ryan Mountcastle popped out to first. Anthony Santander ground out, but Mullins advanced. Trey Mancini, with two outs and a man on third, walked. Austin Hays walked to load the bases. Ramon Urias struck out to get Cole out of a bases-loaded jam. New York Yankees 2 Orioles 0.
It was evident from the start that Cole did not have his best stuff working. After the first inning, Cole was pretty much what a Yankee ace is supposed to be. Cole managed five innings of shaky ball, giving up just one run, walking three while striking out seven Oriole’s batters. He lowered his ERA and got the win in the game. The only thing he didn’t accomplish was helping out the bullpen by going deep into the game. He had 108 pitches, 62 for strikes in his 5 innings of work.
The real Yankee pitching hero of the night was Michael King. With Cole only going 5 innings, it might have taken four or five relievers from an already overworked bullpen to close out the game. But King came in and pitched a brilliant three innings in relief, not allowing a single hit. Some might question why Aaron Boone did not allow King to close out the game as he was a stretched-out reliever with only 47 pitches. Boone brought in Sal Romano, who only lasted one out, giving up a run on two hits, requiring Boone to bring in Aroldis Chapman to close out the game.
Home runs power the Yankees
1-2-3-4-5, count ’em five home runs power the Yankees to a win in the first game of a 3 game set against the Baltimore Orioles. Aaron Judge started the power assault with a two-run homer in the first inning, driving in DJ LeMahieu. The third inning was devastating for Orioles’ starter Alexander Wells. Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the mound and crushed one into the left-field stands, scoring another two runs. To add insult to injury, Luke Voit then got a solo back-to-back shot, putting Wells into a five-run hole.
But the New York Yankees were not done. In the eighth inning, Joey Gallo got his 34th homer of the season. Finally, in the top of the ninth, DJ LeMahieu deposited a long ball into the left-field stands for his 10th homer of the season and giving the Yankees nine players with double-digit home runs.
Torres moved, but the same result
The New York Yankees rearranged the entire infield for one player, Gleyber Torres. The main reason was to relieve stress on Torres that they thought his excessive errors at short might be affecting his poor hitting behind the plate. Manager Boone even announced that the change would be for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, the experiment didn’t work. Torres possibly made his worst performance error at his new position when he bobbled an easy double-play ball.
Torres’s move to second also meant that Gold Glover DJ LeMahieu was moved off of second base to the hot corner. That move caused stellar third baseman Gio Urshela to move to shortstop. Both of these players proved earlier that they could handle their new positions. In the remaining days of the season, we will have to see how this experiment works out, but it didn’t look good for Torres last night.
Notes: Sal Romano earlier yesterday was awarded a Major League contract from the Yankees. The contract was worth $583K after earning just $47K in 2020. Luckily for the Yankees, the contract is for only one year. Last night on the first night of that contract Boone called him out to close the game, he pitched horribly lasting only 1/3 of an inning, requiring Chapman to close out the game.
Tonight the Yankees will face off with the Orioles in game two at Camden Yards. Nestor Cortes Jr. will be on the mound for the Yankees and John Means for the Orioles. The 7:05 pm EDT game will be televised on the YES Network and MASN.
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