The New York Yankees have been waiting these past weeks for a change in fortune. Yesterday they got it, the pitching was stellar, and the offense demolished Baltimore’s pitching. It was probably the best two games in a row for the Yankees, this entire season. All this while the Yankees honored those that died in the 9/11 attacks, in a pregame ceremony at the Stadium. The Yankees also donned NYPD caps, honoring the New York Police and Firefighters who lost their lives responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center.
In game one, Gerrit Cole, the Yankees signed for $324 million in the offseason, showed postseason dominance on a day that the Yankees might have been taken out of postseason contention. Plain and simple, he was brilliant. Cole pitched the game right into the seventh inning, saving the bullpen for another time. Cole pitched his only game of the season without giving up a home run. He got his first complete game shut out of the year.
The Yankee offense started right away, where in the first inning DJ LeMahieu greeted Oriole starter Alex Cobb by slamming a solo home run over the left-field fence. But the Yankees weren’t done. Next up was Luke Voit who doubled. Then, the mostly dormant season for Brett Gardner came to an end, when he had a long ball into the right-field stands, driving in Voit, and just like that the Yankees first three hitters, all scored off of the veteran Cobb. This allowed Cole to take to the mound with a three-run lead, without throwing a pitch.
At the bottom of the second inning, Mike Tauchman singled. Tauchman went 3-3 in the game. Next up was Kyle Higashioka who homered to left field, driving in Tauchman, and the Bronx Bombers were alive, making it 5-0 in only the second inning. Tauchman also drove in the Yankee’s sixth run in the bottom of the sixth. Final score Yankees 6 and the Baltimore Orioles 0. Cole was the winning and Cobb the loser.
In the second game, hoping the momentum would continue, Masahiro Tanaka took the mound for the New York Yankees, for his eighth start of the season. At the top of the first, D.J. Stewart who had hit four homers in five games did it again off Tanaka for his fifth homer in six games. Little did the O’s know, but that would be the only run they would score off of Tanaka.
In the bottom of the frame, Keegan Akin would take the mound for the O’s. With the Yankees on second and third, Clint Frazier grounded to third. DJ LeMahieu took off for home, and a bobbled catch by catcher Sisco allowed DJ to score. Gleyber Torres singled to left and Voit scored. Miguel Andujar doubled driving in two, and it was 4-1 Yankees.
There was no further scoring until the Yankee half of the fourth inning. Luke Voit took to the plate and with two on, homered into the Yankee bullpen, driving in three runs and it was Yankees 7 and the O’s 1. Meanwhile, at the top of the fifth, Masahiro Tanaka put down his twelfth Oriole in a row. At the bottom of the frame, Luke Voit again at the plate, just one run behind Mike Trout for the most home runs in baseball, sent a long ball into the left-field stands for a three-run shot making it 10-1 Yankees. Tanaka was the winner and Akin the loser for the Orioles.
Major takeaways: Both Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka had masterful games. Cole had a two-hitter and Tanaka a three-hitter. It was a big night for Luke Voit who hit in both games. He had two homers in game two to tie Mike Trout for the most home runs in baseball. Clint Frazier who has improved immensely in his defense had two amazing catches in the games. All in all, it was a wonderful night for the New York Yankees who pushed the Orioles back two more games, from a postseason spot.
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