Sonny Gray had a great 1st inning in today’s matinée against the Orioles, but with looming skies, the forecast wasn’t good for either the Yankees’ starter or the actual weather over the Bronx. Gray threw 57 pitches into only the 3rd inning, gave up 8 hits, 2 walks, and struck out just 3 batters to continue his bad record of not doing well at home, despite a good record against the Orioles previously.
In the 2nd, Gray gave up a single, a walk, an RBI single, a single to load the bases, and a 2-RBI double before recording an out. Then he gave up another single that scored 2 more runs and another single before the Yankees’ defense finally snapped into action for a great double play — a line drive to right field and then getting the runner doubling off 2nd base.
With the O’s in a huge lead, Gray got the first 2 outs fairly easily. But then he gave up a solo home run that bounced off the net over Monument Park, and then put runners on the corners with a walk and single. And as the rain started in the Bronx, the Yankees called on new Yankee, veteran starter, and today’s spot-starter Lance Lynn to make his pinstripe debut. Lynn, unfortunately, gave up an RBI single (charged to Gray) but then found his momentum with his first Yankee strikeout.
But between innings, the rain became a deluge, and the tarp came out. After a 39 minute delay, including the cleaning and drying of the field, the game resumed. Lynn returned and threw 4 more strong innings for a total of 71 pitches. Green and Holder each threw a scoreless inning of their own in hopes that the Yankees could chip away at that rather hefty Orioles’ lead.
And they did. Gleyber Torres led-off the 2nd with a solo home run, but the other Yankees in that inning loaded up the bases only to leave them stranded there, something that is more of a pattern than I’m sure the Yankees are happy about. The Orioles’ starter actually held the Yankees off for most of the game.
It wasn’t until the 8th that they got another chance to change the narrative. They loaded up the bases with a single to Hicks and walks to Torres and Bird. It would be Miguel Andujar to single home Hicks, but a strikeout, a pitching change, and a double play stranded those loaded bases again.
Then with 2 outs in the 9th, Didi Gregorius gave the waiting fans hope with a solid single, and Hicks worked a walk. The Orioles were literally 1 out away from the win and decided to change pitchers again to get that. Instead, they gave up a 3-run home run to Gleyber Torres, his 2nd homer of the day, to inch the Yankees closer. Unfortunately, they ran out of outs on a pop fly the next batter.
Final score: 7-5 Orioles, they split the series 1-1
Next up: The Yankees travel a few hours up the Coast to Boston for a 4-game weekend series starting tomorrow. They’ll head over to see the White Sox for 3 games before heading home for a long home stand to face the Rangers, Mets (in a make-up game), Rays, and Blue Jays.
It’s August. We’re at the push for the end of the season now. Just 1 month before September call-ups, so it’s kind of at that point where every game needs to matter, especially those games against teams on the wrong end of the season (like the Orioles) that should be easy wins. Despite always being a tough series, the Red Sox this weekend will be even tougher as the Sox currently sit 5 games ahead of the Yankees and would love to keep it there (or make it more).
However, the White Sox, Rangers, and Mets are scraping the bottom of their respective divisions. And the Rays and Blue Jays are hovering around .500 in the AL East. All of these teams will be playing to move up from where they are if they even want a chance in October. So all of these games are a must-win for the Yankees or that October dream will be just that — a dream, rather than an assured reality.