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Yankees GBU – Like shooting birds in a barrel

The term actually goes “as easy as shooting fish in a barrel” but considering the Yankees completely overwhelmed the Orioles in this series (although it got hairy at times), this was about as easy a series sweep as there could be.  There was good pitching, lots of home runs and in the end the Yankees won 16 straight games against the O’s to cap off the season series.

For the O’s, it’s probably for the best that they no longer have the Yankees on their schedule, regardless of how poor their team is performing.  For the Yankees, they wish they could play Baltimore 162 times a year, with Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres handing that proposal to the MLBPA.

 

The Good

The Killer G’s make it happen

This first “Good” could literally be written about everyone on the team.  However, there were three batters that had excellent at-bats in particular.  Who knows if this is trademarked already but the Killer G’s (get it?) were the bell cows in what was a wild but not surprising offensive output.

We may or may not have mentioned how incredible Gleyber Torres has been against the Orioles, and how he may one day make Gary Thorne quit his job.  It needs to be mentioned again though how good he was this series.  Torres has six hits in 16 at-bats, including another three home runs and seven RBIs.

He along with Gary Sanchez became only the second teammates in Yankees history to have 10+ home runs in a season against one team.  You can probably guess the other pair;

Speaking of Sanchez, he finally seems to be breaking out of his mini-funk after returning from the I.L.  Wednesday’s game may have awoken the Kraken, as he went a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBIs, a walk and a three-run homer.  The night before he went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a walk, so the results are starting to come.  Sanchez has swung the bat well but is finally starting to get the results he deserves.

The final Killer G, Gio Urshela, has raised his average up to .335 after facing the Orioles.  He had three three hit games in the series and although he only had three RBIs in the series, he went 10-for-18 and started a rally almost every time he was up.

Domingo and Big Maple lead the way

The Yankees didn’t exactly have Cy Young performances from all their pitchers, but they did get encouraging outings from two of their most important ones.  They may have played the Orioles but it’s good to see Domingo German and James Paxton have good starts.

‘Big Maple’ started off the series with six strong innings of five hit, three run ball.  Paxton actually pitched very well but gave up a late home run that kind of ruined his statline.  Regardless, he had seven strikeouts and got a well deserved win.

German pitched even better.  Mingo went seven innings and gave up only five hits and two runs.  He also struck out seven and became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to get 16 wins.  Considering German was looked to be a long relief guy at the beginning of the season, that’s an incredible accomplishment.

The home run barrage continues

This is it.  This is the stat;

In 19 games this season, the Yankees have collectively hit as many home runs as Roger Maris did the record-breaking 1961 season.  They also won their last 16 games against the O’s and were 17-2 overall.

The following Yankees hit home runs this series alone;

Didi Gregorius

Gio Urshela

Cameron Maybin

Mike Ford

Gleyber Torres

D.J. Lemahieu

Gary Sanchez

The Bad

Aaron Judge just hasn’t been good

Aaron Judge will be fine.  He’s an All-Star outfielder.  He’s been hitting the ball very hard.  However, he’s still 1-for-12 in his last three games (he rested for one game against Baltimore) and struck out three times on Wednesday.  While all of these strikeouts may not have been warranted (some questionable calls), Judge still is in a funk.

Clearly Judge isn’t having the season everyone thought he would.  He’s not even having as good a season as Mike Tauchman.  No one’s sure what it is, whether it be chasing pitches way out of the strike zone or just an overall discomfort at the plate.

Whatever it is, one would think that the Orioles would have cured the ailment.  Unfortunately, Judge continued to struggle and it may have made it worse struggling against a poor team like the Orioles.  At the end of the day the Yankees are winning so it doesn’t matter, but it’s a bit concerning that the former All-Star has lost his way.

The bullpen wasn’t great

Sure the Yankees brought up, sent down and DFA’d what feels like 10 guys this week but the Yankees’ bullpen still didn’t do its job.  Luis Cessa wasn’t good in the first game, nor on Wednesday, and the revolving door of mop-up duty pitchers like Joe Mantiply, Brady Lail, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Adonis Rosa were not up to snuff.

Lail had some shining moments as did Rosa, but most of those guys were brought up strictly as bodies in the bullpen.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It’s a small thing to complain about but if those mop-up guys would have kept some of those innings clean, guys like Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman could have rested.

The Ugly

None.

 

There are very few things to nitpick in what was a four game sweep.  However, when playing inferior competition like the Orioles the Yankees should have been able to get more rest in the bullpen than they did.  Regardless, they are atop the entire MLB and the first team in the league to win 80 games.  It’s a good start, but the ultimate goal is to take home #28.

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