For all the seasons I’ve complained about the schedule, I’m certainly not complaining this year. Unfortunately, there’s never any kind of idea that certain teams will be good or on a slump at any given time, so it’s not like you can really rig the system. It’s just been good for the Yankees this year, playing teams that just aren’t clicking in the first half of the season. Thus maybe the “easy schedule” has helped the Yankees, despite the spate of injuries in pinstripes.
Either way, the season continues on, and the series continued with the third of four games in Baltimore, with CC Sabathia on the mound. Sabathia had mixed results tonight, throwing 88 pitches in 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs (4 earned), but nicely striking out 7 Orioles batters.
After two solid scoreless innings, the Orioles found their moments to advance. In the 3rd, a lead-off walk got out on a fielder’s choice, but then the next runner scored on a long double to get them on the board. A lead-off hit-by-pitch in the 4th later scored on a messy throwing error (the unearned run).
But it was the 5th that energized the home town crowd, starting with a lead-off solo home run. A 1-out double then scored on a 2-out 2-run home run. And after another double, the next batter technically singled before the Yankees went for the out at home. Gardner (center field) threw the ball sharply into Sanchez (catcher) to make a great, but messy tag on the lead runner.
However, the Orioles immediately challenged the call as a violation of the home plate collision rules. After a review and replay, the call was upheld. It was just messy and where the ball landed, not an intentional blocked plate, though that play can be problematic sometimes.
On the other side of the field, the Yankees weren’t exactly sitting idly by, as per their usual this season against the Orioles. In the 2nd, Gardner hit a 1-out double and then scored as part of Thairo Estrada’s 2-run home run. After Maybin worked a walk, he then scored with DJ LeMahieu’s 2-run home run.
Then it was time for the “Oriole Killers”. Gleyber Torres led-off the 3rd with a big solo home run, Gary Sanchez hit a monster 2-out solo home run in the 4th, and Torres did it again with a lead-off solo shot in the 5th. And if you’re keeping track, every run scored by a Yankee tonight was done so on a home run.
To close out the final 4 innings of the game, Kahnle, Ottavino, Green, and Chapman each put in a scoreless inning of their own to protect the Yankees’ lead.
Final score: 7-5 Yankees
CC K-Count: 3020
Look, between the mostly strong pitching, the great defense, and the big bats, the Yankees are just clicking this season. “Easy schedule” or not, things are just working for them right now, and we’re just going to take it while it lasts. Nothing lasts forever, but I’m okay with something lasting for a bit longer.
Like maybe through October.