Last night’s game, and in fact the entire season series against the Orioles thus far, was something that only could have been enjoyed by a Yankees fan, which is why I liked it. The Yankees have now won 16 of their eighteen games against the Orioles this year. Last night’s win was not one of the more memorable games of the season, but showed just how good this team can be-or maybe why it will struggle in the playoffs. Among the major contributors to the Yankees offense were Cameron Maybin, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres. Even Austin Romine contributed two hits. The Yankees continue to get big hits from players who were either projected to play supporting roles like LeMahieu or Romine and, to a lesser extent, Torres, or players they picked up late in the off-season like the Maybin, Gio Urshela and Michael Tauchman trio who over the last few weeks have played like a modern day Murderer’s Row.
The other side of the picture is that when play began last night Giancarlo Stanton had been a non-factor all who the team could not count on for the rest of the season; Gary Sanchez, who carried the team for periods in the early season, was mired in a slump that brings to mind his dreadful 2018 campaign; and Aaron Judge had been playing so poorly that one couldn’t help but wonder whether or not he is still hurt. RBI doubles from Sanchez and Judge suggested that they may be breaking out of their slumps, but it is still too early to know for sure. If that happens it would be great news for the Yankees as they seek to secure home field advantage for the playoffs. Having Urshela, Maybin and Tauchman carry the team through August is fun. Going into the playoffs Judge and Sanchez in top form as well, if that happens, could give the team enough offense to overcome some spotty starting pitching. However, getting no production from the big three of Stanton, Sanchez and Judge, as has been the case for the last few weeks, could mean October being much shorter than the Yankees hope. There are still about six weeks left in the season, so a lot can happen, but either scenario could occur.
It was only the anemic Orioles offense but Domingo German looked very good last night. German’s strong outing improved his record to 16-2. While wins are not the most important statistic in the era of 13 man pitching staffs, openers and strict pitch counts, that gaudy record is hard to ignore. German now has a decent shot at winning twenty games. That would make him the first Yankees 20 game winner since CC Sabathia in 2010.
Photo: cc/ Arturo Padavilla III