The Ls, Os, and the Tough Blows

SI.com

Baltimore has been a fascinating team to me since the deadline last year when they seemed to be declining and were dealing with reports about their star [Machado] leaving a season-and-a-half before free agency; but still decided to buy at the deadline.

Shortly after their moves for players like Tim Beckham, the O’s charged back into the Wild Card on the shoulders of their scary offense that featured Machado, Beckham, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and the quietly impressive 3rd runner up in the ROY race Trey Mancini.

When they fell short of the postseason in 2017, the memory of their run quickly faded and Machado questions resurrected; but the problem for the AL East is they brought most of that potent group back in 2018 and added Alex Cobb to a weak rotation.

That being said, Trumbo and Cobb are battling back from injury and Davis was sick for half of this past 4 game set in the Bronx, which makes it all the more dissapointing for the Yankees who could not capitalize on their chance to roll through this homestand.

Game 1

This is the “Tip Your Cap” game of this series, because even though Tanaka looked good, the Orioles seized opportunity and ultimately were better over the course of 9 Innings.

Now its easy to react with “Well Duh, they won,” but what I mean here is that the Yankees didn't play their worst game in Game 1. Tanaka had a solid line: 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 K, 0 BB; but when Baltimore had their chance to put up a crooked number they did. Green had a rough outing, but I’m not worried about him in the slightest, and Betances looked in control during both of his appearances over the weekend which is a great sign for the team. It was a clean game, but Baltimore was better on Thursday night, and over the course of 162 games that will happen, but that is why we love this game.

Game 2

Extra Innings Loss Number 1 — The Burnout

Of the two losses in extra innings, this is the more understandable. CC did not have it from the jump, and him exiting after 4 IP with a knee injury is going to put the Yankees is a tough spot over the next couple of weeks. I say this because the Yankees pitching depth might not be where the ley-person this it is.

Severino-Tanaka-Grey-Montgomery is solid, but a lot remains to be seen with the 5th spot. As much as we all might be ready for the Chance Adams experiment, he is not ready just yet to assume the role of a big league starter. I’ve seen enough of Luis Cessa and personally feel that he will be better in the bullpen because of his two-pitch repertoire and incosistency with the strike zone. Domingo German is also going to get his audition, but I fear he might have the same issues that Cessa has. I wouldn't be surprised if Adam Warren tries to make his case for a cameo as a starter, but the team and the fans really like him as the long relief man, so that’s a long shot. In summary, I’m not really sure who it will be that steps in for the Yankees, but It will be interesting when they announce who will be pitching Game 3 of the Boston series.

The bright spot of this game, the bullpen (before Holder) came in and absolutely shut the door. 8 IP, 11 K’s, 7 BB (definitely high), and 3 Hits is as good of an outing as you can ask for out of your bullpen. However, Johnathan Holder just does not have the best stuff. He’s a serviceable low leverage reliever, but when the game gets to 14 innings and Holder enters his second inning of work the bar is not set very high. The real shame in this game is that the Yankees lineup couldn’t break through at home over the same amount of time the Orioles were able to.

Drury going down with serious migranes and blurred vision is also bad news for this team. Torreyes showed this week that he can fill the role until further notice, but it will be important to see what Andujar can do with his first real shot at a big-league job.

Game 3

We like all the wins, but I thought bouncing back after a long game the night before with a steady slugfest was good for the Yankees.

I was looking forward to Sonny Gray’s second start, but he still left much to be desired with a line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO. Warren was not perfect, but in a low leverage situation Robertson and Cessa were able to come in and close the door without any hiccups. Baltimore probably looked at Game 3 a lot like the Yankees looked at Game 1, a tip of the cap, because the Bombers were simply better than the O’s in this one.

Game 4

Extra Innings Loss Number 2 — Are You Kidding.

What a start right? Mike Wright was terrible and the Yankees jumped all over him, as they should.

Unfortunately, Montgomery was not too much better. 4.1 IP, 10 H, 4 K’s, 4 ER, 2 BB. He was leaving the ball up in the zone from the first inning, and maybe Boone left him in 1 batter too long, but in that situation I didn’t really mind getting burned because they were still up. German looked good until he didnt. His stuff was not crisp, and I think there are a few mechanical things that he can do to make himself more consistent, but a few bloops and a blast is enough to turn a good outing into a bad one when playing a Yankee Stadium.

After German, the rest of the bullpen was strong yet again; 4 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 1 BB, and 1 ER; but that 1 run just happened to be enough in this one.

What happened in the bottom of the 12th is completely inexcusable. In my opinion it should be worse on Judge than even Stanton, who is recieving tons of heat (and rightfully so). Situational baseball is still alive and well after over 100 years of professional baseball because IT WORKS. I cannot say for certain where Judge’s head was at during his at-bat with the bases loaded and no one out, but the truly great players deliver in those situations, and Judge is going to have to learn from this failure and step up the next time he has a chance to win a game.

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We’re going to learn more about this team in Boston. They are hot, and hungry to prove they are still top dog in this division. Boone better have this team just as hungry and ready to grind out wins.