Sometimes games are won because of a particular play or player just doing something amazing and it all seals the deal for the win for the team. Sometimes it’s a particular inning of dominance. Tonight it was mostly the latter, but boy, the Yankees in general just kind of dominated tonight.
Luis Cessa got the start for the first game of the weekend series against the Orioles. The O’s are one of the top teams in the AL East and for the Wild Card, so the Yankees are going into this weekend looking for some wins to take the Orioles down a few notches and bolster the Yankees chances for October baseball. Cessa certainly helped with that case, throwing 99 pitches in his 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, a walk, and 3 runs, and striking out 5 batters. Actually, both instances of runs scored were home runs given up to the same batter — a 2-out solo shot in the 1st inning, and a 2-run homer in the 6th to bookend Cessa’s outing. To be fair, it was this batter’s 30th and 31st homers of the season.
Blake Parker sailed his way through the 7th, and Ben Heller made his MLB debut in the 8th and also put in a great outing, breezing through the Orioles in 16 pitches. Kirby Yates gave up a lead-off single that moved to 2nd on a ground out and then scored on an RBI single before closing out the 9th.
Now, let’s talk about the Yankees offense that basically was a water leak that turned into a gusher and just drowned those pesky birds from Baltimore. In the 1st, with 2 outs, Gary Sanchez singled and then scored as part of Mark Teixeira’s 2-run home run to get the Yankees on the scoreboard.
And then it was the 2nd inning. With 1 out, the Yankees loaded the bases with Headley’s single, Judge’s walk, and Torreyes reaching on a fielding error. Then they scored just a few runs. Brett Gardner’s single scored Headley and Judge, Jacoby Ellsbury’s single scored Torreyes, and Sanchez’s double scored both those runners. That was it for the starter — just 1 inning and 1 out in the 2nd inning. It was certainly not his night. Teixeira racked up another RBI with his single scoring Sanchez. Then a couple of singles loaded up the bases again, but an infield pop-up and a strikeout ended the rally that was the 6-run inning.
But the Yankees weren’t done there. In the 4th, again with 2 outs (and a huge case of deja vu) and Castro on base with a single, Chase Headley added to the Yankees’ monster lead with a 2-run home run. And then they repeated that pattern in the 5th inning — 2 outs, Ellsbury’s single, and it was Gary Sanchez to hit his 10th homer of the season to add 2 more runs to the scoreboard.
In the 7th, the Yankees changed things up. Judge led-off with a double and then scored on Ronald Torreyes’ double. Torreyes actually wound up at 3rd on a bad throwing error before scoring on Brett Gardner’s single to cap off the Yankees’ runs tonight.
Final score: 14-4 Yankees
I do want to point out that the Yankees racked up 18 total hits off Baltimore’s pitching staff tonight. I can’t say that says much for the Orioles’ pitching staff. I could give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’s an “off-night”, but I really don’t want to. Not when we’re dealing with a wild card race and one with Baltimore, I might add. So, sorry, not sorry. It feels good to win and win big tonight. It certainly starts the weekend off right.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian McCann and his family tonight due to the death of his grandmother. Rightly so, McCann was out of the game tonight and will probably miss the rest of this weekend to spend time with his family.