This season, the Yankees have been one of the least consistent teams in baseball. They have bounced all over the standings, giving fans everywhere headaches. We’ve seen hair-pulling losses against terrible teams, and the thirteen-game win streak that they had in August. It’s been difficult to predict what the Yankees are going to do on a night-to-night basis this year. This series against the last-place Baltimore Orioles was no different.
Yankees Win Game One in Baltimore
The Orioles did not put up much of a fight in the first game of this series. However, that’s been a pretty common theme this year, as they currently sit in the last place in the entire MLB. The Yankees started their scoring effort quickly. After a DJ LeMahieu leadoff single, Aaron Judge took Orioles hurler Alexander Wells yard. This was the remainder of the scoring for the first inning, as the Yankees took a 2-0 lead. They continued their efforts at the top of the third when Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit swatted back-to-back homers. As a result of an Anthony Rizzo hit by pitch preceding Stanton’s homer, the Yankees extended their lead to 5-0.
Scoring then stagnated for a while, when Ryan Mountcastle hit an RBI double off Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole. However, there was nobody to support his efforts, and the inning ended with a score of 5-1 in the Yankees’ favor. The Yankees kept hitting the deep ball throughout this game. Both Joey Gallo and DJ LeMahieu would hit solo shots in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to give the Yankees a 7-1 lead. The Orioles began to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth with a Kelvin Gutierrez RBI single, but it was to no avail. They couldn’t come up with any more runs and thus fell to the Yankees by a score of 7-2.
Yankee starter Gerrit Cole pitched a great game. Although he went only five innings, he was able to tally seven strikeouts while giving up only four hits. In contrast, Oriole pitcher Alexander Wells did not have as great a game. He allowed five earned runs on three home runs and seven hits. He only struck out three. This balloons his ERA to an unfortunate total of 7.76 on the season. It goes without saying that this game gave the Yankees a boost of confidence going into the rest of the series.
Yankees Narrowly Win Again
In their second game of the series, the Yankees were able to squeak out another win. Things picked up for the Bombers early when Gio Urshela slapped a third-inning homer. This drove home Brett Gardner, giving them a 2-0 lead. This score remained for several innings until the Orioles fired back in the bottom of the sixth.
O’s outfielder Austin Hays took the first pitch deep for a solo homer. The Orioles drew closer to the Yankees, trimming their lead to just 2-1. Hays struck again for the Orioles later in the game. At the bottom of the eighth, he hit his second home run of the game, this time a two-run shot. This allowed the Orioles to take their first lead of the game and series so far, with a score of 3-2.
The Yankees didn’t let the Orioles go home satisfied, though. Brett Gardner stepped to the plate for the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth. Like he has many times before, he came through for the Bombers. Gardner swatted a 1-2 pitch over the shortstop’s head, allowing two runs to come in. The Yankees advanced the score to 4-3, where it would eventually rest for the remainder of the game.
Nestor Cortes Jr. recorded a phenomenal outing for the Yankees, allowing only three hits and one run over 6.1 innings while striking out eleven batters. Speaking of phenomenal performances, Gardner and Hays both played fantastically for their respective teams, which is why I’m granting them joint MVP honors for the second game of the series.
Orioles Squeak Out Win in Ten
Although the Yankees have dominated the Orioles all season, Baltimore was not willing to lay down and let them take this series.
The Yankees jumped out to an early lead in the second inning thanks to contributions by Joey Gallo and Gio Urshela, with a home run and double, respectively. These RBIs allowed the Yankees to take a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for them, though, their scoring for the game would end there.
The Orioles put up a fight, coming back into the game with a Ryan Mountcastle solo shot in the sixth. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the game was sent to extras when Kelvin Gutierrez scored on a wild pitch.
With the game all tied at two runs apiece, Austin Hays closed things out in the tenth inning with a walk-off single. This was somewhat of an important win for the Orioles, as they were able to avoid losing their hundredth game of the season. Additionally, they were able to stagnate the Yankees’ progress towards a postseason bid.