Even beating the Orioles shows why the Yankees rival is now a thing of the past

Even beating the Orioles shows why the Yankees rival is now a thing of the past

BALTIMORE — Whether it’s just the Orioles doesn’t matter much. The Yankees beat all comers these days, and they do it in different ways, with a host of heroes. This time, Giancarlo Stanton rested, MVP contender Aaron Judge didn’t register a hit from the DH spot and the Yankees still prevailed, running their last of many 21-game winning streaks in 24 games.

The Yankees’ main rival is now history, with the outclassed Orioles having just one foil and one footer.

The Yankees’ 3-2 victory Wednesday night, which was built on the arm of ace Gerrit Cole, a smaller-than-usual ball and a lot of glove work, lifted this team into rarefied air.

Yeah, the Yankees really are now 28-9, easily the best mark in baseball and tied for best in the wildcard era (since 1994) at this point with the 2001 Mariners and 1998 Yankees, both clubs historically excellent. These teams have won 116 and 114 games respectively and are only separated by one championship.

These Yankees are now on a 123-game winning streak, which of course would top everyone else. It’s hard to imagine they’ll continue to win at this rate, but it’s equally hard to anticipate them losing much, at least not in the near future, not the way they fare in so many areas. varied.

The Yankees celebrate their win over the Orioles on Wednesday.

“We won tonight on defense and on base running. And we are the Bronx Bombers,” Cole noted at a clubhouse, where wins are expected daily at this point.

Most years it’s not a fair fight, and with the Yankees’ $250 million payroll that’s five times that of the Orioles, this season is no exception. To the Orioles’ credit, they’ve played the first three games of this series — every Yankee wins — reasonably competitively, given the huge talent gap.

The Yankees needed a shrewd base run from Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres, who both scored after a wild throw in a three-run first inning, and some great first catches by super under Marwin Gonzalez, playing the place of the judge, who deserved a day at DH after his superhuman efforts the night before.

Although the Yankees didn’t sign a big free agent this winter, remaining under the luxury tax, and took significant and undeserved heat for it, the Orioles’ big move was to open their piggy bank to change the dimensions. of the finest sport in sport. baseball stadium.

The Orioles had just a few pennies to spend, and they used it to push the left-field fence out of the beautiful Camden Yards, practically all the way to Pratt Street. The move likely emboldened their beleaguered pitchers, but only until the schedule was released reminding them that they still had to play 76 games against the other AL East teams, including 19 against the Yankees. Fairness will come into the equation next year when a more balanced calendar is introduced.

Tonight’s Orioles can at least take solace in finally stopping the unstoppable judge, who has homered 13 in his previous 21 games and has been serenaded with “MVP, MVP” chants. Only the day before, Judge was barred from his first three-home run game by the newly cavernous Camden Yards when he stuck a ball to left field, the very spot where the Orioles had moved the fence back 26.5 feet ( not to mention raising him 7 feet tall at 13), which makes home runs nearly impossible.

Josh Donaldson

It’s no coincidence that dingers are here by almost 60% this year, dropping from 3.42 per game to 1.39, although Judge did hit two homers later on Tuesday – one to right center field and the other on the right.

“I feel like it’s ruining the park,” Judge said of the newly expanded dimensions of the Ballpark before the game. “It was a very nice park as it was.”

There is probably no dimension that would equal this score. Consider that Cole this time has been guaranteed more money in his career than the entire Orioles 26-man roster (and add the manager and coaching staff) at around $350 million counting his $8 million signing bonus from UCLA.

Cole, who entered the game with a 1.41 lifetime ERA against Baltimore, threw a clean game. He sniffed out five Orioles in a row at one point and got the game in the eighth, when the inscrutable Clay Holmes brought him home for the stoppage.

Of course, the Yankees have those twin towers of power in Judge and Stanton. But their defense has moved from the bottom tier to the top third, and their bullpen, led lately by Holmes and Michael King, is second to none. But perhaps the greatest strength of this team is that there are no weaknesses.

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