After a bizarre week with the Phillies and COVID-19, the New York Yankees made the trip to Baltimore for two games against the Orioles.
The New York Yankees made a surprise trip to Camden Yards to play the Baltimore Orioles following almost 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the Miami Marlins. Miami was supposed to play the Orioles at the beginning of the week and the Yankees had planned on playing the Philadelphia Phillies, but considering both Philly and Miami were exposed to the virus, the Yankees took the field in Baltimore for a two-game set.
Wednesday night belonged to the Yankees’ Great White Whale, Gerrit Cole and though it wasn’t the sharpest of starts, he became more comfortable as the game progressed. After giving up one run in the first, Cole retired 17 of 18 batters from the second inning until the seventh, including 14 straight, showing just how dominant he can be.
Number 45 finished with seven strikeouts before letting up two runs with two outs in the seventh. The right-hander, although disappointed with his seventh-inning efforts, did more than enough for New York’s stellar lineup to outhit the Orioles.
DJ LeMahieu was the offensive beacon for the Yankees on Wednesday batting 4-5 with two RBIs and not to mention a leadoff home run in the first at-bat of the ballgame. The offense ran through ‘The Machine’ making it his third consecutive game with a hit.
This put LeMahieu at a .500 average through three games showing that his consistency hadn’t been left in 2019. The next night he would bat 1-5 with a key single in the ninth keeping his average over .400 through four games.
Two other Yankees had the bats going in Game one, powering the offense past the Orioles for their third win of the year. Aaron Judge hit a towering solo shot to left in the third inning which was his first of the year.
Judge would only be overshadowed by a bullet that almost landed on Eutaw Street from Aaron Hicks. Hicks’s two-run blast stretched the lead to 5-1 in just the third inning. Both Judge and Hicks would end the game with two runs batted in proving to be a great sign for the Yankees as two big bats in the lineup get hot early.
Thursday was a rollercoaster of a ballgame in Baltimore as the Yankees jumped early in the first inning. A Giancarlo Stanton single opened up the scoring but was followed by a Luke Voit grand slam which extended the lead to five runs.
Also in the first, Gleyber Torres was hit by a pitch right on his elbow making him the second consecutive batter (after Judge) to be plunked. He would later leave the game with an elbow contusion, making him the first Yankee to be injured in the regular season.
Luckily, all x-rays came back negative but Torres thinks he can make a return in the next couple of days. “I think I’ll play Friday,” Torres said in his postgame interview on Thursday night. “The swelling is better right now. Let’s see how I feel tomorrow.”
Manager Aaron Boone isn’t concerned and believes Torres will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. “He is a little sore,” Boone stated. “Hit him right on the bone so he is kind of day-to-day with that. He could be in there tomorrow but we’ll see when he gets to the field. I’m not concerned that it’s a longterm thing but it could potentially be a day-to-day situation.”
While the Yankees tore up Oriole starter John Means in the first inning, J.A. Happ was waiting in the wings to make his first start of the 2020 season. It would prove to be a doozy, at best, as the left-hander only lasted four innings on four earned runs and two walks. He would be replaced by Adam Ottavino for the fifth inning but overall, Happ looked lethargic on the mound and was not a bright spot for New York.
Barring a rain delay that lasted an hour and 34 minutes, Giancarlo Stanton was the key piece for New York batting 3-4 with an RBI and a walk. Through five games, the former NL MVP has put his hitting capabilities on display batting a cool .500 with two home runs and six RBIs making him the best hitter on the Bombers by a longshot.
Skipping ahead to the bottom of the eighth inning, Loaisiga came in for his third inning of relief pitching and had left the Orioles hitless through 2.1 innings until a Pedro Severino homer that gave Baltimore a 6-5 lead.
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In the top of the ninth, the Orioles wanted to close the case on what could have been an unanswered, six-run comeback. However, it was Aaron Judge that objected and overruled, sending a high fastball deep into the humid Baltimore night, giving the Yankees a two-run lead setting up Zack Britton for his second save of the year.
Judge and the Orioles have a bit of a love-hate relationship in the 52 games they have met. Batting .295 with a 1.080 OPS, the right fielder has dominated Baltimore in his short career so far smashing 17 home runs and driving in 45 RBIs. To be honest, between Torres’ 13 home runs against the Orioles last season and Judge’s sheer dominance at the plate, the O’s might hate the Yankees a lot more than advertised.
The Yankees have won 18 straight against Baltimore and 17 straight at Camden Yards only backing up the theory that there could be some bad blood between these two sides later this season.
The Yankees will meet the Boston Red Sox for the first time in the Bronx this season as one of the best teams in baseball. Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton are all set to start in what should be an exciting weekend series.