Heading into today’s game, the Yankees weren’t exactly rolling with their A lineup. However, given the fact that they were up against someone named Mike Wright Jr., you would never have noticed. They broke out early against the worst pitcher in the American League, who lived up to his title in quick fashion. It’s just too bad they got it all out of their system after that, because they sure could have used these bats later in the game.
In the first, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge both reached on hits. Neil Walker grounded into a fielder’s choice, but everyone ended up being safe when Wright decided to throw to second instead of the obvious play at home. The throw was bad, a run scored, and the pitcher got the error. After this, Tyler Austin walked and Miguel Andujar knocked in two more runs.
Austin Romine singled to score another run before Ronald Torreyes hit a double off the left field wall. By this point it was a 5-0 lead and the Orioles were forced to yank their starter. After just 39 pitches, Wright had allowed five total runs without getting through a full inning. It looked like the Yankees would easily be in control from here, but it ended up being a game of survival instead.
Jordan Montgomery had a five-run lead but still struggled all afternoon, unable to really get his command down. As a result, the Orioles were able to peck away at the lead. He allowed a run in the second and another in the third. Then, in the fifth, Danny Valencia mashed a two-run home run to cut the lead down to one and finally pull Montgomery from the game.
Given the state of the bullpen, the Yankees had hoped he would go a little longer. Instead, he allowed four runs on 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts in just 4.1 innings. He threw 86 pitches by that point, which is not what the Yankees have him on the roster for. It’s early, and was clearly a bad day for him from the start, but a fifth starter needs to be able to eat up innings, otherwise what’s the point.
The Yankees were able to grab another run in the bottom half of the fifth when Neil Walker reached on a single. With two outs, Jace Peterson managed to leg out a single against the arm of Manny Machado. It looked like an easy out, but Machado seemed to double clutch, which resulted in the throw coming in late. A replay review overturned the out call on the field to keep the inning alive. Romine then came up and knocked in their sixth run of the day.
It’s unfortunate that Domingo German couldn’t keep it together, because he had some good stuff going for him. He struck out five in 2.2 innings, but he couldn’t keep the Orioles off the board. In the sixth, Craig Gentry managed to manufacture a run almost completely on his own. He singled, stole a base, and scored on a Machado hit when Giancarlo Stanton airmailed the throw home. Then it all came undone in the next inning, when German surrendered a two-run home run to Anthony Santander that gave up the lead.
Just as it looked like the Yankees had embarrassed themselves and lost the game, the offense woke up and delivered. The seventh inning started off with a Tyler Austin hit and Miguel Andujar walk. Austin Romine came up and delivered his third hit and third RBI of the day to tie the game.
The newly revived Yankees seemed to hit a little luck when Aaron Judge singled off the first base bag in the eighth. That was the end of it, though. Giancarlo Stanton struck out for the fourth time of the day, which of course had people booing. As frustrating as it is, please don’t boo the reigning MVP just two weeks into the season. Judge then got caught stealing to end the inning.
This game then came down to the Yankees bullpen. Dellin Betances came in to pitch the eighth, allowing a hit and striking out two batters. It was a good outing for him after getting off to a slow start. Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth, Chasen Shreve worked a quick 10th, and David Robertson threw a clean 11th.
The Yankees nearly won a few times in extras. Didi Gregorius hit a double in the 10th that got lost in the sun. With the outfield playing shallow, Brett Gardner almost ended it with a double to left, but Gentry was able to make the grab at the last second. Tyler Austin doubled in the following inning, but nothing came of it.
Everything finally broke down in the 12th, when the Orioles managed to get a run in off of Adam Warren. He struck out three batters in the inning, but it wasn’t good enough to keep Baltimore off the board. The Yankees would not go quietly into that Sunday night, though. Brad Brach came in and couldn’t find the strike zone. Two walks and a bumbled fielding attempt of Gardner’s bunt left the bases loaded with no outs.
Literally the worst possible thing happened at this point. Judge hit a comebacker to the pitcher, who got the out at home and third. Stanton then struck out for the fifth time of the day to end it all. Just how bad was this day? The Yankees left 31 runners on base, nine of them left by Stanton on his own. There were some good performances mixed in, but as a whole, this team played like garbage. This was a game that was basically set up for victory and they gave it all away and couldn’t get the job done when the chance presented itself. The Yankees should be embarrassed over this one.