Bizzaro in every sense of the word. The Yankees 4-game set with the Orioles did not go the way anyone had expected it. In fact, I dont even think the most optomistic of Oriole fan (or pessimistic Yankee fan) could have predicted that a split of the 4 games would have occured in this way.
The first half in the AL East has been defined by who could sustain, and my guess is the second half will face a similar jurisitiction. The Red Sox have been more consistent so far, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees can’t make adjustments to surpass them.
Their biggest hole is obviously in the rotation, but due a combination of the market and their existing roster, different changes might be best for this season.
Game 1 (Yankees 4, Orioles 5)
I’ve written before how probability usually reigns supreme in MLB double headers, and Monday was no different. Still, the expectation from Yankees’ fans was a 4-game sweep, so losing the first game sent the fan base into a minor turmoil.
Still, I’m not going to sit here and bad mouth CC with a keyboard over one start. For a majority of his outing, it looked like we were going to be talking about more of the same from the resurgent veteran, but a pair of multiple RBI homers gave the O’s enough of a lead. Could Boone have pulled CC when the going got tough in the 6th? Sure, but based on CC’s 2018 season (and having been a former teammate of his) I don’t knock Boone for making the move he did. CC’s final line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 BB, and 4 K’s.
At this point, we all know that Giancarlo Stanton’s early season woes are a thing of the past, but he’s really turned it on lately. Stanton’s 2–4 day, including his 22nd HR, lead the Yankees today in their loss.
Game 2 (Yankees 10, Orioles 2)
From a CC loss to a Luis Cessa win, we kick off the backwardness of this 4-game series. If your new to my blog, I’m not a big Luis Cessa guy. I don’t hate him, I just think we know what were getting (for the most part) with Cessa on the mound. I’d rather see just about anyone else, but I also understand how Cessa is the best fit due to the options in his contract.
Lets focus on the good! Cessa baby how ya doin? 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K’s gets in done in the show. I’ve been critical of Cessa in the past because he is a 2-pitch pitcher that usually features below average command. In the big-leagues, that doesn’t get the job done, but the Luis Cessa from monday night was not the guy I’m used to. He was ahead in counts, deceptive with his slider, and pitched with as much confidences as I had ever seen out of him. To be clear, Cessa isn’t answering any questions out of the starting rotation, but it’s nice to see young guys show promise.
If there is a garbage time in baseball, the Yankees crushed it tonight, scoring 6 of their 10 runs after the 7th inning. Although everyone had a hand in this blowout, their clear leader tonight was Brett Gardner. Gardy was 4–6, with 3 R, 3 RBI, a HR, and fell just a 3B short of the cycle. He’s been another resurgent veteran for the Yanks this season, but brings an everyday element that CC can’t by the nature of his position. Gardner’s career has not flown under the radar to those who have been around for it all, but to people on the outside, it might be tough to understand what a .260 hitter has done to be around for 11 years. His leadership, clutch ability, and stellar defense have made him an invaluable piece to this roster.
Game 3 (Yankees 5, Orioles 6)
Losses to the Orioles hurt. It doesn’t matter how they happen, or who is responsible, losing to the worst team in baseball stings on an aesthetic level. Similar to my feelings about Game 1, I’m not ready to bad mouth the bullpen because of how good they’ve been, its just bad timing.
Its a safe take to say Tanaka isn’t what he once was. He’s lost a tick, and maybe an inch on his slider and splitter, but for god’s sake Luis Cessa cruised through this lineup. He (and Green later on) let the best player in this one dimensional lineup burn them, which is unexceptable when you can pitch around him in almost any situation. Tanaka’s line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K’s.As for the Baltimore walk-off, Bird probably should have had it, but Betances didn't do himself any favors walking the first batter of the inning. It was a less than impressive day all around for the pitchers.
To double down on giving Bird the benefit of the doubt, he was also a big part of the offense tonight with a Grand Slam. It’s been great to see him find his form again, because for me, he’s an invaluable part of this Yankee offensive attack. A friend of mine described him as the “White Guy From Duke” of the Yankees; in essence, saying he’s the prototypical Yankee. With his left-handed power bat and solid glove I couldn’t agree more, but more importantly, he envigorates the middle of this Yankee order when he’s on at the plate.
Game (Yankees 9, Orioles 0)
I know it sucks that the Yankees were forced to earn a 4 game split with the O’s, but on the positive side, they were able to get the job done. Some of the booming offensive players continued to mash for the bombers, and Sonny Gray gave us his periodical dominant start.
Gray was good in this one, and if there is anything interesting to be positive about, it’s that Gray made a serious adjustment in this one. He simplified to two pitches, a fastball and a slider. This strategy worked against the Orioles since they’re one of the weaker teams in baseball, but it won’t worked against the AL powerhouses. Still, could be a good building block for Gray going forward. If he can find some stability in those two pitches, he might be able to experience more sucess with the rest of his arsenal. The final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 8 K’s; and maybe, finally, possible, some inspiration.
Giancarlo has bounced back real well. He leads the team in hits, and has been putting together some great individual game performances. He was 4–5 in this one, and we as Yankee fans can now put our trust in the star slugger. The ball was also flying out of Camden, so much that even Tyler Wade was able to pop one over.