These are probably my least favorite kind of loss. The Yankees roared ahead with a big first inning, and neither the starter nor relievers called after him could hold the lead against a team that’s not very good. After being up 4-0 following the top of the first, Jordan Montgomery and a succession of relievers let the Orioles march right on back, and Baltimore ended up taking today’s contest 10-6.
The game started promisingly enough. DJ LeMahieu worked a six-pitch walk, Luke Voit showed us why exit velo matters, lacing a 105 mph ball that Freddy Galvis couldn’t make a play on, and Aaron Judge continued his hot hitting with a single. Gio Urshela grounded into a double play that still scored a run, but lest you worry about Gio killing the club’s momentum:
DJ, Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been fantastic at the top of the Yankee order. The problem with the offense has largely been 4-5 automatic outs at the bottom of the lineup, a lineup that was supposed to be one of the deepest in baseball. Gary Sánchez has heated all the way up in May, to the tune of a 140 wRC+, and if Clint Frazier can get it going too, the bottom half of the Yankee order becomes as deadly as we knew it would be. Aaron Judge continued his hot streak with a long home run in the top of the third.
Jordan Montgomery, meanwhile, really didn’t have it. He only managed three innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs, and a 4:2 K:BB ratio. We were all worried right off the bat, as he allowed two runs in the bottom of the first, handing back half the big early lead. Command was the real problem for him today, especially with his changeup, which try as he might, he just couldn’t get close enough to the zone down and away to righties:
There were also some serious issues with two strikes, with Monty throwing five two-strike fastballs. Only one was swung through, and two landed for hits, one an RBI single. Monty works best off the fastball, but a clear lack of command in his change took an option off the table later in counts, and his fastball just doesn’t fool hitters enough to be an effective two-strike weapon.
Michael King took over in the fourth, surrendering what was the go-ahead run on a double to Trey Mancini. Wandy Peralta, so good since coming over from San Francisco, finally surrendered his first runs in pinstripes, as Mikael Franco tagged him for a two-run shot in the seventh that put the game out of reach. A single from Mountcastle an inning later was just gravy for Baltimore.
I mentioned above that Monty had real trouble closing things out, but that was a struggle faced by everyone pitching for the Yankees today. Nine of Baltimore’s 10 runs came with two outs, and no matter what the team is, if you give major league hitters extra room to breathe, they’ll make you pay for it.
In the top of the eighth, the Yankees would manage to get Luke Voit and Judge on, only for Urshela to ground into a double play and Sanchez went down looking. Frazier did get a single in the ninth to finish the day 2-for-4, and DJ drove him in a couple batters later, but overall it’s fair to be let down by the offensive performance, and again, specifically the bottom of the order, after starting the game so strong.
Tomorrow is Gerrit Cole Day in Texas. Cole just feels like a Texan, with the height and the wicked fastball. Luckily he’ll be squaring off against the Rangers, and the Yankees can get a good start on winning yet another series. First pitch is at 8:05pm Eastern.