Game 22: BAL vs. NYY — Another slugfest in the Bronx

It was a rather warm Saturday afternoon in the Bronx as the Yankees took on the Orioles for their middle game of this 3-game weekend series. Last night, fans were gifted with a Yankees fleece blanket, something they certainly didn’t need in today’s heat, so perhaps today’s giveaway of the Yankees tote bag could be more use to fans in the 80° heat.

Michael Pineda got the start today, throwing 104 pitches into the 6th inning, giving up just 5 hits and a walk, and 2 unearned runs, while striking out an impressive 8 Baltimore batters. It wasn’t until the 6th inning that Pineda saw the Orioles turn his zeroes into actual digits on the scoreboard. The lead-off batter doubled and then scored on a 1-out throwing error. With that lone runner on 1st, Pineda handed the game over to the bullpen.

After another out, Adam Warren loaded up the bases with a single and hit-by-pitch before a wild pitch moved all the runners up and scored the last of Pineda’s runners before getting out of that threat in the 6th. Warren then pretty much sailed through the rest of his outing, the 7th and 8th innings, unscathed.

Tommy Layne, usually a fairly reliable force in the bullpen had a bit of trouble in the 9th inning. He gave up a lead-off single that scored as part of the big 2-run home run to double the Orioles’ score. Layne gave up another single and a walk in the midst of finding those 3 outs to end the inning and the game without further damage. Layne was lucky his luck stumbled on a day when the Yankees’ offense was just all about power.

Again, one can easily blame the pitching as much as the hitting for large numbers on the scoreboard. Though, based on this series against the Orioles, I’m really placing a lot of the blame on their pitching. It’s just not consistent this season so far.

The Yankees began their big offense in the 1st inning with Brett Gardner hitting his first home run, a solo shot into the 2nd deck of the right field seats. In the 2nd, with 1 out, they loaded the bases with Gregorius’ single and Judge and Bird’s walks. Austin Romine’s sacrifice fly scored Gregorius, and Gardner came up again and hit his 2nd homer of the game (in his 2nd at-bat of the game), a big 3-run home run into the Yankees’ bullpen to give the Yankees a huge lead.

Then in the 4th, with 1 out, Judge singled, Bird walked, and then Judge stole 3rd and Bird ended up at 2nd on a throwing error, to put them in scoring position. So, Romine’s single scored both runners and called an end to the Orioles’ starter’s day. But the bullpen didn’t have much luck against the Yankees either. In the 6th, with Judge on base with a walk and 1 out, Romine continued his RBI collection by hitting a big 2-run home run.

With 2 outs in the 7th, Castro singled and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ double. And to cap things off for the Yankees’ offense today, it would be the AL home run leader to hit his 10th home run of the season — Aaron Judge with another big 2-run homer.

Final score: 12-4 Yankees.

And while the pitching may not have been fantastic for the Orioles today, they did collectively make the Yankees strike out 12 times. But to counter, the Yankee pitchers racked up 11 strikeouts of their own. Though when compared to the 19 total hits, 9 total walks, and 5 total home runs, it’s just a weird mix of results.

Fortunately, it’s in the Yankees’ favor, so I’m not complaining that much.

Gary Sanchez took some batting practice at Yankee Stadium earlier today in anticipation of his rehab assignment this coming Tuesday. Things were looking and feeling good, so anticipate Sanchez to be back in the Bronx (and not just on the bench in warmups) very soon.

Too bad he won’t be on the field tomorrow for his very own “Bobblehead Day“. Yes, the Yankee Stadium giveaway tomorrow is a Gary Sanchez Bobblehead. (Warning to fans at tomorrow’s game: get their early and plan on long lines getting in, as bobblehead days always have long lines and big turnouts.)

Go Yankees!

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