Game 122: BAL vs. NYY — A matinee sweep

For the rare mid-week afternoon matinee, the Yankees found the right stuff to pull off the desired outcome of this series — a clean sweep of the visiting Orioles. This also makes it 16 straight wins against the Orioles.

JA Happ got their start this afternoon in the final game of this 4-game series. He threw 95 pitches in 5 innings, gave up 6 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs, and struck out 6 Baltimore batters. In the 1st, a 1-out walk moved to 2nd on a 2-out single and then scored on another single. Happ then got out of a bases-loaded jam to start the momentum of the game — let them threaten but shut them down. Two outs into the 3rd, a single moved to 2nd on a walk and then scored on a single.

Luis Cessa came into the game for a clean 6th but found some trouble in the 7th. With 1 out, he gave up a double and a walk. Then a 2-out double scored both runners. That was it for Cessa, so Adam Ottavino was called upon to shut down the threat. A wild pitch moved the runner to 3rd where he easily scored on a double to cap off the visitors’ runs today. Then, Britton and Chapman worked their way through the scoreless 8th and 9th to close out the Yankee pitching tonight.

Meanwhile, the Yankee bats gave their pitchers a little wiggle room. And clearly, they needed it. Gardner led-off the 1st with a walk but was out in the fielder’s choice hit by Judge. After Urshela’s short single added another runner. So Didi Gregorius’ single scored Judge, and Gary Sanchez slammed a 3-run home run up the middle into Monument Park to score Urshela and Gregorius.

Then in the 6th, with 2 outs, the Yankees loaded up the bases with Sanchez’s single, Torres’ double, and Tauchman’s walk. Mike Ford then singled home both Sanchez and Torres to edge the Yankees just into that single run lead they’d sail all the way to the last out.

Final score: 6-5 Yankees, Yankees sweep Orioles 3-0 (or 4-0 if you count the doubleheader)

Next up: After their family picnic this after, the Yankees will have another 4-game weekend series, this time hosting the Indians and a big commemorative weekend. On Saturday, they will celebrate Mariano Rivera’s new Hall of Fame plaque with a duplicate unveiled in Monument Park. And Sunday will honor the 2009 Championship with a fan gift of a replica of that year’s World Series ring.

After a travel day on Monday, the Yankees will head to the West Coast for their big road trip against the Athletics, Dodgers, and Mariners. Then they’ll be back in the Bronx to host the Athletics and Rangers before hitting the road once again.

Roster moves: And there’s more roster moves in Yankee Universe. They announced they were designating pitcher Brady Lail for assignment. The Yankees also recalled infielder Thairo Estrada to play in today’s game. And finally, they claimed pitcher Ryan Dull off waivers from the Giants. The evolution of the roster continues.

Game 121: BAL vs. NYY — 15 straight wins against the O’s

The Yankees continued their dominance over the Orioles in tonight’s game, their third of this 4-game mid-week series. Domingo German got the start and had a pretty great outing tonight. He threw 93 pitches in 7 innings, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and struck out 7 Baltimore batters to earn the win. His allowed runs were a pair of solo home runs, a lead-off one in the 4th and a 1-out one in the 5th.

Adonis Rosa came on in relief of German for the final 2 innings of the game. He made his MLB debut and got to throw his first MLB strikeout tonight. He continued a pretty good outing, his only allowed hit was a 1-out solo home run in the 9th.

The Yankees’ bats were on a roll once again against the Orioles’ pitching staff, starting early with DJ LeMahieu’s solo home run to lead-off the 1st inning. In the 2nd, Torres led-off with a walk, and Gregorius’ double put them in scoring position to do so on Cameron Maybin’s single.

With 1 out in the 4th, Romine singled and Tauchman walked. After another out, Aaron Judge’s double scored both runners. The Orioles decided that was enough for their starter, but Gio Urshela’s singled home Judge and Gary Sanchez’s double scored Urshela. Maybin worked a 1-out walk, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, advanced to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Mike Tauchman’s double. Though Tauchman ended up getting thrown out trying to get to 3rd.

Final score: 8-3 Yankees

Roster moves: The Yankees made some big moves fine-tuning their roster. They activated pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga from the 60-day injured list, the reliever ready to contribute after a long-stint on the IL recovering from right shoulder strain back in May. To make room, they designated Joe Mantiply for assignment and then optioned him back to AAA Scranton.

Speaking of Scranton, the Yankees also optioned Brady Lail and Breyvic Valera back there, and they released pitcher Daniel Camarena. They also selected the contract of Adonis Rosa to pitch into tonight’s game and then optioned him back to Scranton after the game.

And yes, the Yankees have won all 15 of their last 15 games against the Orioles. After dropping the first 2, they certainly picked things up and ran with it. They’ve got one more game tomorrow to see if their winning streak can continue and make it to 16.

Go Yankees!

Games 119 & 120: BAL vs. NYY — Double the Monday power of Torres

The Yankees start their home stand and this series against the Orioles with a doubleheader, the first game a make-up of the rain out game from May 14 to close out that series. And the Yankees continue to dominate their division rivals, this team in particular thanks to the “Oriole Killer” Gleyber Torres.

Game 1 (make up of May 14)
James Paxton got the start for the afternoon game of today’s doubleheader. He threw 107 pitches through 6 innings, gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs, and struck out 7 Baltimore batters. In the 1st, a lead-off single moved to 2nd on a grounder and then to 3rd on a single before scoring on a sacrifice fly to get the O’s on the board first. A 2-out solo homer in the 3rd and a 1-out solo home run in the 6th capped off the allowed runs under “Big Maple” today.

Kahnle sailed his way through the 7th inning, but Luis Cessa had an unexpected rough patch in the 8th inning. He quickly loaded up the bases with 2 singles and a walk. A simple grounder moved all the runners up and scored another run for the visitors. And another walk loaded the bases again. That was it for Cessa’s outing.

Zack Britton came in to try to stop the threat. After a strong strikeout, he gave up a walk that scored one more run for the Orioles before he got the final out in the 8th. Chapman breezed his way to his 32nd save with a 9-pitch 9th inning.

The Yankee offense, however, came ready to play. In the bottom of the 1st, Gardner led-off with a walk, moving to 2nd on a slow fielder’s choice that Urshela hit into and made it safely to 1st. Didi Gregorius then smacked a big 3-run home run to leap the Yankees ahead on the scoreboard. After an out, Gleyber Torres smacked a big solo home run.

In the 2nd, with 2 outs, Gardner doubled and then scored on Gio Urshela’s double. Urshela kept things rolling with a 1-out solo home run in the 5th. Cameron Maybin got in on the fun with a 2-out solo home run in the 6th. And with 1 out in the 7th, Gardner worked a walk, advanced to 3rd on Urshela’s single, and then scored on Gregorius’ sacrifice fly.

Final score: 8-5 Yankees (the May 13-15 series closes with a Yankees sweep 3-0)

Game 2 (regularly scheduled game)
The Yankees went to their “opener style” with their now usual opener Chad Green, who quickly breezed through his 4 outs with just 11 pitches. Then new Yankee Joe Mantiply got in some long-term relief, pitching into the 5th. His lone allowed runs were in the 3rd, when a lead-off triple scored on a ground out. And a 2-out single scored as part of a 2-run home run.

Brady Lail came in for the next shift on the mound, closing out the 5th and pitching through the 7th, and he had his own issues. But only at the end. He gave up a lead-off walk and a single that scored as part of a 3-run home run before getting out of the inning and the game.

Nestor Cortes Jr had a clean 8th inning, but he tripped up a bit trying to close out the 9th. But he loaded up the bases with 3 singles with just 1 out, so the Yankees turned to Adam Ottavino. But he gave up a single that scored 2 of those runners before getting the final 2 outs of the game.

And honestly, that would sound like terrible news, but the Yankees continued their offensive dominance from the earlier game right from the start. LeMahieu led-off the 1st with a single, and 1 out later, the bases were loaded with singles from Urshela and Torres. Brett Gardner’s solid triple cleared the bases and leap-frogged into the lead.

In the 2nd, with 1 out, Breyvic Valera singled and moved to 2nd on LeMahieu’s walk. Then a wild pitch and bad throwing error moved the runners up 2 bases, which scored Valera. And Mike Ford smacked a 1-out solo home run up the middle. In the 5th, Judge worked a walk and Urshela singled, and the Orioles finally went to their bullpen. But Gleyber Torres smacked yet another home run against the O’s, this time a 3-run home run to keep the Yankees safely on top.

Valera walked and LeMahieu singled to put runners in the corners. After another pitching change, Judge hit into a fielder’s choice out, where the Orioles snapped into action to get Valera out at home. After another out, Gleyber Torres (who else?) hit another 3-run home run to just dominate the visitors again.

Final score: 11-8 Yankees

Roster moves: Before the game, the Yankees recalled infielder Breyvic Valera from AAA Scranton to be their 26th man for the doubleheader.

Now, among other noteworthy featsGleyber Torres has hit 13 home runs in 17 games against Baltimore just this season. This leaps him among some big names in the record of having the most home runs against a single team in a single season, putting him 2nd only to Lou Gehrig. Gehrig hit 14 home runs against the Indians in 1936, which means that Torres can tie or even surpass the Iron Horse in the next two games of this series.

Also worth noting: Torres has a total of 26 homers this season, so exactly half of those have been off Orioles’ pitchers. He has certainly well-earned the title of “Oriole Killer”.

Finally, the Yankees’ 2020 schedule is out for your future planning. They start 2020 on their road in Baltimore on March 26, playing their home opener a week later on April 2, hosting the Blue Jays. They will close the season out at home against the Rays on September 27.

Go Yankees!

Game 114: NYY vs. BAL — #BigMaple & the #BronxBombers

Baltimore has been good to the Yankees this series, allowing them to reclaim their “Bronx Bombers” moniker with some well-earned offense. Of course, it was more on display tonight than any the previous games, which is already saying a lot. But the Yankee offense gave their pitchers quite a bit to work with along the way.

James Paxton got the start tonight and had a really great outing. He threw 108 pitches into the 7th inning, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and a run, and struck out 7 batters to earn the eventual win. His lone allowed run was a lead-off solo home run in the 9th.

Chance Adams closed out the 7th for “Big Maple” and sailed his way through the 8th. His lone troublesome inning was the 9th, and I use the word “troublesome” loosely in this game. A 1-out walk scored on a 2-out double to double the home team’s score.

Though there wasn’t much to celebrate at Camden Yards for the fans in orange and black at that point, as the visiting Yankees kind of dominated the O’s for most of the game. In the 4th, with 1 out, Urshela doubled, moved to 3rd on Gregorius’ single, and then scored on Cameron Maybin’s single. Then Kyle Higashioka’s monster 2-out, 3-run home run pushed the Yankees into a big lead.

In the 5th, Judge ended up at 1st on the better end of a throwing error and then scored as part of Gio Urshela’s 2-run home run. Tauchman led-off the 6th with a walk, took 2nd on a grounder, moved to 3rd on a wild pitch, and easily scored on DJ LeMahieu’s single. A wild pitch moved LeMahieu to 2nd, and he scored on Aaron Judge’s long single. Urshela did it again, with a 2-run home run to keep things moving into double digits.

After a pitching change, Gregorius singled and ended up at 3rd on Maybin’s single and a throwing error. Brett Gardner hit into a fielder’s choice out at 2nd (an unsuccessful double play), which allowed Gregorius to score yet another run. Finally, Cameron Maybin led-off the 9th with a solo home run. After Gardner doubled and another pitching change, Higashioka smacked his 2nd home run of the game, a 2-run home run to cap off the Yankees’ big night.

Final score: 14-2 Yankees, Yankees sweep 3-0

Next up: The Yankees travel north of the border to see another division rival. They will play a long 4-game weekend series against the Blue Jays before heading back home to face the Orioles and Indians. After an event-filled weekend, the Yankees make their final West Coast trip to visit the Athletics, Dodgers, and Mariners.

It’s worth noting that the Yankees hit some records in tonight’s big game and overall during this series, like hitting the most home runs in a series and the single-season record in an away stadium. I mean, you’re going to make some kind of difference when you outscore your opponent 32-12. And, like the link mentions, the divide between the Yankees and the rest of the AL East continues to expand as the Yankees continue to win (and sweep series). The Yankees are currently 10 games ahead of the Rays and 16 ahead of the Red Sox (and 29 1/2 over Toronto and 37 over Baltimore).

Go Yankees!

Game 113: NYY vs. BAL — Bronx Bombers swing for the fences in Charm City

Tonight’s game began with an hour and 12 minute rain delay, waiting for the front to sweep through Charm City. When the game finally got under way, the Yankees came out swinging strong to command this middle game of the midweek series against the Orioles.

In the 3rd, the “Bronx Bombers” showed up. Mike Tauchman and DJ LeMahieu hit consecutive solo home runs. After an out, Didi Gregorius also hit a solo home run to get in on the fun. Maybin walked to lead off the 4th, and Ford doubled to move them in scoring position. Austin Romine’s double then scored both runners.

Romine led-off the 6th with his own solo home run. And then in the 8th, he doubled and scored on Mike Tauchman’s double. Finally, with 1 out in the 9th, Brett Gardner and Cameron Maybin hit consecutive solo home runs to cap off the Yankees’ big night.

Meanwhile, that gave their pitchers some room to get comfortable. Jonathan Holder got the short start in a reliever-heavy pitching outing. He threw 33 pitches into the 3rd inning. With the Yankees up in the top of the 3rd, he had his lone troubled inning. A 1-out single scored on a long triple, and a ground out scored that runner. That was the end of Holder’s decent outing.

Stephen Tarpley came on for relief, pitching into the 5th inning. That inning would prove a little troublesome for him. After 2 outs, he gave up a double that scored on a 2-run home run. Unable to get that 3rd out of the inning after giving up a single, the Yankees turned to Cortes to close it out. Cortes continued on through the 7th, keeping the O’s scoreless and handing the ball to Ottavino for 2 scoreless innings to close out the game.

Final score: 9-4 Yankees

Injury alert: Gleyber Torres came out of tonight’s game during the 3rd inning. After his at-bat, which left him swinging on a strikeout, his side was still bothering him. This is his 2nd time since Sunday’s game that his side/core hasn’t felt 100%. They will send him for further tests, so fingers crossed, everyone. As if we need another player on the IL…

Go Yankees!

Game 112: NYY vs. BAL — A winning Monday mood

The Yankees continue their march towards the postseason, even if they have to battle a bit to get there. In their first game against the Orioles, the balance of the team held up in the end, to off-set some momentary troubles where they almost lost it.

Masahiro Tanaka got the start, to mixed results. He threw 92 pitches into the 6th inning, gave up 10 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs, and struck out just 4 Baltimore batters. In the 3rd, a 1-out triple scored on an RBI single. The next batter hit into a double that snapped the defense into some great action and got the runner out trying to score another run.

But it was the 6th that caused him the most trouble. A lead-off double scored on a big 2-run home run. Then a single and double moved runners into scoring position, and a sacrifice fly scored one of them. Leaving a runner on the bases, Tanaka handed the game over to Tommy Kahnle.

Kahnle got a strikeout but then gave up a 2-run home run to tie up the game at that point before getting out of the inning. Ottavino, Britton, and Chapman each got a scoreless inning to work through and keep the Orioles from adding to their score.

The Yankees gave Tanaka a nice cushion, but he almost handed it away with a bad 6th inning. Austin Romine kicked things off with a 2-out solo home run in the 2nd, upheld by an umpire review. Gardner led-off the 5th with a single and moved to 3rd on Tauchman’s 1-out single. Breyvic Valera’s long triple easily scored both runners, and DJ LeMahieu hit into a fielder’s choice and throwing error to score Valera.

In the 6th, Brett Gardner hit a 1-out solo home run, and Mike Tauchman imitated him with a 2-out solo home run just to the left of same seats in left field. After the Orioles tied up the game, Mike Ford jumped in on the action with a 1-out solo home run in the 8th to break up the tie. After Gardner got on base with a single, he scored as part of Mike Tauchman’s 2-out, 2-run home run to ensure the Yankees’ win.

Final score: 9-6 Yankees

Injury update: Gleyber Torres was back in the line up after being checked out and cleared from a “core issue”. Gio Urshela, however, was not in the line up and still resting his legs after taking a couple of foul balls off them in Sunday’s game. His right knee is bothering him more than his left shin, as knees tend to do, but he’s just more banged up and bruised than something more serious.

Go Yankees!

Game 49: NYY vs. BAL — A walk to seal the sweep

There have been seasons where the Yankees just struggle in Baltimore, despite where either team are in the standings. Chalk it up to divisional rivalry of sorts, though the Orioles’ dominance wasn’t obvious in the Bronx. But 2019 certainly isn’t like any other season, and this series in particular is proving that point.

Masahiro Tanaka got the start in the final game in Baltimore this series. He threw 95 pitches in 6 strong innings, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and a run, and struck out 5 batters. In the 2nd, a lead-off single moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, advanced to 3rd on a single and throwing error before scoring on a fielder’s choice. The Orioles were the first on the board.

The Yankees were unusually held off for most of the game until Clint Frazier’s 2-out solo home run in the 5th to tie up the game. In the 6th, with 2 outs, the bases loaded were loaded with LeMahieu’s 1-out walk, a 2-out double by Voit, and Morales’ walk. Gio Urshela then hit a long single to score LeMahieu and Voit.

After a pitching change helped close out the inning, the Yankees continued their advance in the 7th. With 1 out, Estrada worked a walk, stole 2nd, and then scored on Austin Romine’s single. Another pitching change, another new inning, and Luke Voit hit a solid 1-out solo home run in the 8th.

Now, things were looking up for another easy win for the Yankees, but sometimes travel days (or these oddball matinees at the end of a series) spell all sorts of dramatics and quirks. After Jonathan Holder breezed through the 7th, he started the bottom of the 8th with quite a jam, walking consecutive batters and giving up a single to score the lead runner.

With 2 runners on base and no outs, the Yankees called in Tommy Kahnle to take hold of the situation. After 1 out, however, he gave up a 3-run home run to promptly tie up the game once again before closing out the inning.

So, the Yankees took the 9th inning to rally back, and thanks to some sloppy pitching (and a couple “Oriole killers”, it worked. After 2 quick outs, pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres worked a walk, pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez singled, and LeMahieu walked to load up the bases. In steps Aaron Hicks who then worked a walk, which scored Torres. A little anti-climactic for the go-ahead run, but you take what you get when it matters.

Britton breezed through the 9th in just 9 pitches, against his former team, earning just his 2nd save of the season.

Final score: 6-5 Yankees, Yankees sweep Orioles 4-0

Next up: The Yankees are on their way to Kansas City to face the Royals this weekend before they head back home for their next home stand. They will host the Padres and Red Sox before hitting the road again in June.

Injury update: After yesterday’s game, CC Sabathia was feeling it in his knee, a recurrent injury for him. With treatment and tests, it was clear that Sabathia needs some time to rest and recoup some of his strength, diagnosed officially with knee inflammation, and was eventually put on the 10-day IL.

The Yankees then recalled Nestor Cortes Jr from AAA Scranton, with plans to use the “opener” method, or the single inning pitcher to start a game followed by some long-term relievers. In other words, they’ll be relying a bit more on their bullpen, which certainly has its off-moments (like Holder’s 8th inning stint today) but has risen to the challenge more often than not.

As the Yankees close out this series in Baltimore, the most talked about highlights are the newly christened “Oriole killers”, especially Gleyber Torres. It’s actually history-making, as Torres has 12 big league home runs and 10 of them are against the Orioles. The first MLB player to have 10 of his first 12 homers be against the same team. Plus, he’s hit safely in every game he’s played against them (11 games) and has 13 RBIs and a .465 batting average against them. Yankee Universe knew how good the young infielder was, but the Orioles are just realizing how much they’re actually helping boost his records.

Go Yankees!