Yankees 8, Orioles 6
Despite blowing a late-inning lead, the assumption was that the New York Yankees beating the Baltimore Orioles was inevitable. That is the way it has felt, and that feeling has held true. The Yankees mounted a ninth-inning comeback Thursday night to beat the Orioles for an 18th-consecutive time.
In addition to that, the win extended a franchise-best win streak against one team on the road. They have won 17 consecutive games at Camden Yards, dating back to 2018. Streaks of that caliber are no common occurrence. For context, the 18-game win streak vs. the Orioles is the third longest in franchise history. It trails streaks against the Philadelphia A’s from 1938-1939 and against the St. Louis Browns in 1927. As for their streak in Camden Yards, it is now the fifth-longest streak of its kind in the Modern Era (since 1901). Among the other four in the top-five, the most recent came from 1964-1966.
It sounds like fantasy, but it is a reality. The Yankees are stringing together two stretches of dominance that have not been seen in decades. Regardless of the magnitude of these streaks, right fielder Aaron Judge thinks it is all a matter of circumstance.
“It’s just a hitter-friendly park…,” said Judge. “They (have) a short fence in left center and right center. If you get it up in the air, you have a pretty good chance of getting it out…We just love playing here.”
Whether it is viewed as circumstance or historical dominance, the Orioles put up a good fight on Thursday, and they looked poised to end both streaks late.
Hot and Cold Offense
The Yankees offense exploded in the first and ninth innings, but was dormant for the seven innings in between. Part of the problem was the weather, and the game was delayed for one hour and 34 minutes. Despite the weather, the Orioles pitching was effective against the Yankees, and manager Aaron Boone took notice.
“They did a good job of holding us down,” said Boone. “We had a couple of opportunities throughout the game to extend our lead, and they made some really good pitches against us.”
In the first inning, the Yankees showed patience by taking what was given to them. This was evident as they touched up All-Star pitcher John Means for five runs on two hits.
Means needed 29 pitches to navigate the inning, and he hit two consecutive batters and walked a third. The Yankees capitalized when they could with an RBI single from designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton and a grand slam from first baseman Luke Voit.
After that, the Yankees offense vanished as Oriole pitching shut them down from the second through eighth innings. The Orioles did an excellent job of missing bats and inducing ground balls in those seven innings. The Yankees struck out nine times and grounded out another five times over that span, two of which were double plays. The end result was five men left on base and zero runs scored.
This offensive lull was just what the Orioles needed to mount their comeback. Three home runs in three separate innings brought them from down 5-0 to up 6-5 with a victory in sight.
The sense of an inevitable rally was present as Judge stepped to the plate to face Cole Sulser, who had thrown two strikes to three batters prior to the at bat. The end result was Judge launching the go-ahead three-run home run on a 3-1 fastball that was up in the zone.
“It doesn’t matter if it is one-run lead, two-run lead, three-run lead for the team, I think we always have a shot going into any inning,” said Judge.
No sooner did the Orioles take the lead with victory a half inning away, was it taken from them, only to extend these streaks of fantasy-like, historical dominance by the Yankees.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images