After a rip-roaring Sunday night victory, the Yankees didn’t get into Baltimore until around 3 AM. With such little rest, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see a sluggish game from the Bronx Bombers. Instead, we got the complete opposite, as the team blasted a few more home runs and walked a whole bunch, en route to a 7-4 victory against the Orioles.
The lineup worked the count early, with the first five hitters all seeing at least five pitches off starter Dylan Bundy. They couldn’t quite scratch a run across the first time through the order, but came to life in a big way starting in the forth. After a Starlin Castro hit — a recurring theme today — Didi Gregorius hammered a pitch to right field that was just high enough to clear the wall. Replay showed a fan reached over the fence to catch the ball, and without them it may only have counted as a double.
I’m not sure whether the fan was a YankeeS or Orioles supporter, but if they were cheering for Baltimore, I now have a favorite Baltimore fan. The home run cut the Baltimore lead to 3-2, and the Yankees weren’t done there. Two walks led to Jacoby Ellsbury up with men on, and he promptly tied the game with a single. All told, Bundy threw almost 40 pitches while giving up three runs, and the game was suddenly tilted in the Yankees’ favor.
The Bombers put up crooked numbers in the next two innings as well, courtesy of two RBI hits from Castro, one of them a screaming home run to left. Brett Gardner chipped in with a run-scoring groundout as well.
Meanwhile, I owe Jordan Montgomery an apology. The lanky left-hander allowed two home runs in the first two innings, one a leadoff blast from Tim Beckham and the other a two run shot off the bat of Chris Davis. With the Yankees in such a precarious playoff spot, I was grinding my teeth at the thought of Gumby not quite having it today.
Happily, I was wrong. Monty settled in and worked into the fifth inning, walking a single batter with four strikeouts. He was taken out in the fifth in favor of Chad Green, but the kid was just fine today after the rocky start.
After Gumby left, the bullpen did what it’s done all season. Green struck out four of the seven men he faced, before giving way to David Robertson in the eighth. D-Rob did his best Dellin Betances impression, walking the first two men before engineering two strikeouts and a groundball to keep the score 7-3. Betances himself worked the ninth, surrendering a solo home run to Wellington Castillo. He did record two strikeouts, sealing a 7-4 final.
One of the most impressive things about today is that the Yankee batters had more walks (10) than strikeouts (7). Aaron Judge walked four times himself, pushing him to 103 on the year. Our big baseball boy becomes just the third rookie all time with 30 HR and 100 walks in his first season.
The Yankees look to win the series tomorrow, sending CC Sabathia to the mound with a 7:05pm EDT start.