Game 54: NYY vs. BAL — Delayed victory despite looming skies

Weather has certainly been something this season. Delays elongating game days, postponed games creating a slew of doubleheaders, and just some lousy weather for this lovely outdoors-based sport. No exceptions, no one’s exempt. So when this afternoon’s game was delayed due to inclement weather in the area (as evidenced by the looming dark skies at just 4:00 pm), it was really just “more of the same” this year.

And after a one hour and 44 minute delay, the Yankees sent in Masahiro Tanaka to start this middle game in Baltimore. Tanaka threw 97 pitches into the 6th inning, gave up 8 hits, a walk, and 4 runs, and struck out 7 batters along the way. The Orioles got on the board first with a 1-out solo homer in the 1st inning, which they doubled in the 3rd with another 1-out solo homer.

A lead-off solo homer in the 6th got the inning going for the O’s. With 1 out, Tanaka gave up a single and a walk before the opted to end his night and call on Jonathan Holder. After another out, Holder gave up a double to scored the lead runner before closing the inning.

Green threw a scoreless 7th, which Betances followed suit with a flawless 8th inning. But then David Robertson then struggled his way through the 9th inning. And much like he’s been all season, when he’s on, he’s great. When he’s not, things happen. A lead-off double watch Robertson fire 6 pitches for 2 perfect strikeouts before scoring on a long single to cap off the Orioles’ runs today (or rather tonight at this point).

Meanwhile, the Yankees found their spots and advanced in small doses. With 2 outs in the 2nd, Hicks singled and then scored as part of Miguel Andujar’s 2-run home run. Gardner led-off the 3rd with a double, and 2 outs later, Giancarlo Stanton smacked a big 2-out 2-run home run into the right field bleachers, right in the middle of a Bachelorette Party there (great idea, by the way, and congrats to the Bride!).

The 6th inning was really key for both teams’ offenses, both teams having big contributions. For the Yankees, Stanton led-off with a single. Sanchez hit into a grounder that got Stanton out at 2nd but a messy throwing error on the relay to 1st (for the failed double play) allowed Sanchez to make it to 2nd safely. Didi Gregorius’ single scored Sanchez, but then a fielding error allow Gregorius to make it to 2nd. And the O’s defensive sloppiness continued when Aaron Hicks singled to score Gregorius and Hicks ended up at 2nd on a throwing error.

After that, the Orioles opted for a new reliever who was certainly better at fending off the Yankees’ bats and through the 7th inning. But in the 8th, the Yankees poked another hole. Gregorius led-off with a single, stole 2nd, and then scored on Hicks’ single. Miguel Andujar’s double then scored Hicks to finish the Yankees’ offense tonight.

It’s worth noting that both pitching staffs each earned 12 strikeouts. And really, tonight, the Orioles lost because of their sloppy defense.

Final score: 8-5 Yankees

While you’re contemplating your votes for the All-Star Game, it’s worth noting that Gleyber Torres was just honored with AL Rookie of the Month for May. He has certainly been a distinctive contributor for the Yankees’ offense, including hitting all 9 of his home runs this season in that month. After winning Player of the Week just last week, the awards and recognition is stacking up already for the young infielder.

It’s worth noting that Gary Sanchez won AL Rookie of the Month in August 2016 (easily his breakout month) and Aaron Judge dominated last season, winning it 4 times (April, May, June, and September). Sanchez came in 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2016, and we all know Judge earned the honor in 2017. Torres is in some lofty company. Deservedly so.

He’s on my All-Star ballot. Is he on yours?

Go Yankees!

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