For multiple reasons, the late innings of this game became way more concerning than you would hope. On the offensive side of things, there wasn’t much to complain about. Aaron Judge led the way, homering twice, as they put up seven runs.
On the pitching side of things, Jameson Taillon struggled again, not even lasting three full innings. However after he departed, the bullpen seemed to be cruising along and were on the way to sealing a straightforward win. Then Aroldis Chapman entered the game and struggled once again, allowing the Orioles to get back into the game. Then Michael King had to leave the game with an apparent elbow injury.
In the end, the Yankees got the win, but the game became way more eventful than it should’ve.
The Yankees struck first, getting three runs via Judge. With two outs in the inning, Joey Gallo had a nice at-bat, drawing a walk after falling behind in the count, and keeping the inning alive. After DJ LeMahieu singled, Aaron Judge hit his 35th home run of the year, a 436-foot shot into the Yankees’ bullpen.
Taillon had done a good job escaping a jam in the first inning after uncharacteristically starting the game with two walks. He would not do so again in the third inning. After Ramón Urías had led off the inning with a single, Jorge Mateo hit a ball into the new deep left field area. Urías was able to race all the way around from first to get the Orioles on the board. Cedric Mullins then added a single, which plated Mateo. He got two outs after that, but then allowed a single and issued a season-high third walk, loading the bases. That would be it for him, as Aaron Boone decided to go to the bullpen. Lucas Luetge came in and got out of the inning, keeping the Yankees in front. Taillon’s final line ended up being two runs allowed on four hits and three walks in 2.2 innings.
The Yankees went right back to work on increasing that lead in the top of the fourth. With Josh Donaldson on second after a double, Jose Trevino took a pitch to very deep center field. Despite a sliding attempt by Mullins, he couldn’t come up with the catch, allowing Donaldson, who had originally held up, to come around and score.
After getting a shutdown inning in the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees went up three again thanks to Judge. With two outs in the inning, he sent a baseball into orbit with a 465-foot home run.
465 ft.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 23, 2022
The wall is no match for The Judge. pic.twitter.com/GKq72l8HQZ
It completed his eighth multi-home run game of the season, tying a Yankee record.
The sixth inning saw the Yankees score for the fourth consecutive inning. With one out in the frame, Donaldson managed to drop a hit into no-man’s land and hustle into second with a double. After a groundout moved him to third, an Isiah Kiner-Falefa single plated the run.
Luetge ended up going for 2.1 innings out of the pen, allowing just one hit while striking out three. Jonathan Loáisiga was then brought in for the sixth, and the Orioles managed to pick up a run off him. With Austin Hays on after a walk, former Yankee Rougned Odor doubled to move them both into scoring position. Loáisiga got a groundout in the next at-bat, but it was enough for Hays to score.
However once again, the Yankees answered back. This time, Joey Gallo got in on the fun, hitting a solo homer to extend the lead. That run ended up being pretty handy.
Chapman came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh, but his struggles would continue. Mullins led off the inning with a single and would move to second and third over the next couple at-bats courtesy of wild pitches. While Chapman would strike out Adley Rutschman, he walked Trey Mancini and then allowed a three-run home run to Anthony Santander, making a game of things again. King had to come in and finish off the inning with the margin for error suddenly very small.
A potentially even more worrying bullpen situation arose in the next inning. After recording the first out of the eighth, King seemed to suffer some sort of injury and had to exit the game with the trainer in the middle of an at-bat. The King-Clay Holmes combination at the back of the bullpen has been a godsend for the Yankees so far this season, and it would be a pretty big blow if King is out.
Holmes was called on to replace King and got two quick outs to end the eighth. He allowed an infield single in the ninth, but worked around it to seal the win.
For now, eyes will turn to King and seeing what happened with him, but winning is the ultimate thing that matters, and the Yankees did end up getting that done.