It might not have been the annual Pinstripe Bowl, but the Yankees put up a football score in their 16-3 drubbing of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night. In fact, they did the baseball equivalent of returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
The Yankees sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom half of the first inning, a half-inning that would see them tally six runs on six hits. However, despite the fact they posted a crooked number, the first inning rally was highlighted by Aaron Judge and his 19th home run season. The home run put Judge in the record books as the home run became the hardest-hit home run of the newly minted Statcast era.
“We’re just not missing our pitch,” Judge told MLB.com.
“We’re battling, we’re getting deep into counts, and when they leave something over the middle, we’re doing some damage. When the team is doing that up and down the lineup, good things will happen.”
Judge wasn’t the only Yankee handing out souvenirs Saturday, as Starlin Castro, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, and Matt Holliday would each homer in the 13-run victory.
“There’s not a hole, you know? Up and down, even in the leadoff spot you’ve got guys that can hit homers,” Judge said, in describing the Yankees starting lineup to The New York Daily News.
“All the way down to the nine spot we’ve got a guy leading the National League in homers (Chris Carter last season) in the nine spot. You just don’t see that. It just shows you what kind of team we’ve got.”
The Yankees would then put up another three runs in the second inning, ending Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman’s night after only 1.1 innings pitched. Tillman would then give way to Stefan Crichton. Crichton would silence the Yankee bats for the next two innings before allowing them to stretch their lead to 12 following a Matt Holiday home run.
“Just a lot of issues with location and stuff,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com.
“They’re good hitters. They make you pay for the mistakes. [Tillman] made a lot of them. We made a lot of them tonight.”
It wasn’t just the offense that dominated for New York Saturday as Luis Severino (5-2) gave the Bombers seven strong innings, only allowing two hits and a single run while lowering his earned run average to 2.75.
“When you go out there and you’ve got six runs in one inning, you just have to make pitches and throw strikes,” Severino said.
“You just want to go there and attack and throw your good pitches.”
The start is just another in a stretch of five excellent starts for Severino. Over his last five outings, Severino is undefeated with an ERA of only 1.35, a performance that is not lost on his battery mate Gary Sanchez.
“He was really good tonight. He was calm out there,” Sanchez said.
“He was commanding his fastball low outside. The slider, the changeup was really good. Basically, he’s doing the same thing he has been doing of late. Same Severino.”
The win lifts the Yankee record to 36-23 on the season, extending the AL East lead over the rival Boston Red Sox to three games.
The Orioles and Yankees will conclude their three-game set on Sunday, with Baltimore sending Kevin Gausman to the hill to challenge the Yankees’ Chad Green. Green is getting the nod over previously scheduled pitcher Masahiro Tanaka following a rough five-game stretch for Tanaka. During that stretch, Tanaka has lost five games while allowing 27 runs in 22.2 innings pitched. Tanaka will now start the first game of the Angels series Monday in Anaheim.
[Featured Image by Frank Franklin II/AP Images]