After dingers and good pitching showed the Yankees a winning recipe last night, they smartly cooked with those same ingredients tonight.
From the start, Dean Kremer was fooling no one. DJ LeMahieu led off the game with a 106-mph line drive. Giancarlo Stanton followed by ripping a ball a ridiculous 119 mph to Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco, who promptly turned it into a beautiful double play. Of course. Gleyber Torres followed that with his second two-bagger in the last two games. Gio Urshela struck out to end the frame, but the hard contact was a harbinger.
Mike Ford continued the trend of hitting Kremer hard in the second, with an opposite-field solo dinger to put the Yankees on the board. The offense then really got to Kremer in the third. After Brett Gardner popped out, the top of the order put a hurting on the Orioles starter. Three straight singles scored a run, and then The Most Happy Fella crushed a three-run dinger to put the Bombers up by five runs.
Are we in “Too Many Home Runs” territory yet? I’ve missed that.
These weren’t cheap runs, either — that third-inning contact was solid, and not just from Stanton:
Kremer surprisingly came back out for the fourth, and Clint Frazier smoked a double into the left-center-field gap. That must have felt like it took all the weight in the world off his shoulders. Then in a sign he might still be pressing, he made an awful, no-good, bad news, do-not-recommend TOOTBLAN trying to go to third base on a ground ball to short. The baserunning. Ye gods, the baserunning. Aaron Boone looked enraged.
Baseball gods giveth, and baseball gods taketh away. In the fifth, Stanton notched an infield single on a ball that had an .070 xBA. That had to feel good after the first-inning robbery. An Urshela single sent Baltimore to the pen. A sacrifice fly from Aaron Hicks later in the inning made it 6-0. Ford tagging to go to second on the play briefly looked like he might dethrone Frazier as the King of TOOTBLAN, but thankfully, he made it.
In the top of the eighth, Frazier made up for his earlier mistake somewhat by at last crushing his first dinger of the season. He turned on a middle-in heater and drove it out to left.
Can’t TOOTBLAN if you hit a homerun and have to circle the bases all at once. More of that, please.
On the other side of the ball, Domingo Germán took the hill tonight and was in complete control from the outset. He cruised through the first couple of innings, helped by a beautiful sliding catch in foul territory by Kyle Higashioka. As an added bonus, Germán came back out in the bottom of the third and threw what anecdotally feels like was the first shutdown inning thrown by a Yankees starter in the non-Gerrit Cole category all season.
Still throwing smoke, Germán quickly cruised through the fourth. Back out for the fifth, he notched a beautiful backwards K on Pedro Severino for the second out. An infield single to third gave the Orioles their first base hit of the night, but Germán escaped unscathed. After a masterful sixth inning, the Yankees sent him back out for the seventh. With two on and two out in the inning, Germán froze Ryan Mountcastle to escape the inning.
That was it for Germán, as Michael King came out to handle the final two innings, icing the shutout with a 5-4-3 double play. I so prefer when other teams hit into those.
Another multi-hit game for The Machine. xBA tonight of .890 and .800 in his first two at-bats. Lol.
Stanton. Another missile in his second trip to the plate - 113.8 mph. Double LOL.
Eight batted balls at 100+ mph for the good guys tonight.