About Last Night: Judge Booms, But Yankees Lose
By Mike Whiteman
May 24, 2022
On This Day...
Happy Birthday to Chad Green. Our thoughts go out to the Yankee reliever who it was revealed over the weekend would be undergoing Tommy John surgery, ending his season and delaying his 2023 start. Green has been a solid part of the Yankee pen since 2017, and per accounts a solid teammate as well. We’re rooting for a smooth procedure and quick recovery.
Eighty-six years ago, the Yankees pounded the Philadelphia A’s 25-2. The Yankee attack was led by Hall-of-Famer Tony Lazzeri, who ripped three home runs (two grand slams) and drove in 11 runs on the day, still the American League record.
The Yankees are 29-13 on the season, in first place in the American League East, 4 ½ games ahead of Tampa Bay. They are on pace for 112 wins. They have lost four of their past five contests.
Aaron Judge leads the AL with 17 home runs, on pace for 66 dingers. In 2017, it took Judge 46 games to reach seventeen homers, this year just 42.
The Big Story:
The Yanks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead – powered by a home run by Aaron Judge and an RBI single by Jose Trevino. At this early point, there were plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Yankee starter Gerrit Cole came into last night’s contest on a roll - 4-0, 1.67 in his past five starts – pitching like the ace he's paid to be. He also had a 5-1, 1.57 ERA against Baltimore before last night. With all this good karma, a win looked assured. Cole threw seven good innings...and one clunker. The clunker came when he allowed five hits and four runs in the third inning. Judge’s second home run of the game in the fifth tied the score at four, but the O’s took the lead again on Ramon Urias’ solo HR in the sixth. Baltimore picked up an insurance run in the ninth, and there were no late inning heroics in Yankee Stadium.
Orioles 6, Yankees 4.
Player of the Game:
Aaron Judge seems intent to carry the team on his shoulders. In addition to his home runs he is among the AL top-five in RBI and batting average. Judge is second in Junior Circuit OPS
only behind Mike Trout. Could we be witness to an epic MVP duel this summer?
Despite his struggles, Cole gave the Yanks much-needed depth after yesterday’s doubleheader, going eight innings while fanning eleven batters.
Anthony Rizzo reached base twice batting in the leadoff position. This isn’t that unusual for Rizzo, as he has a .319/.407/.557 lifetime slash in 68 games at the top of the lineup
Jose Trevino has hits in his last four starts behind the plate.
Better to Forget:
DJ LeMahieu grounded into a force out pinch hitting for Trevino in the ninth; he has four hits in his last 33 at bats.
Estevan Florial has reached base once in nine plate appearances since his recall from AAA.
After almost a flawless first quarter of the season, the team Yankees find themselves in a bit of a funk. The team is also dinged up a bit, with the loss of Chad Green to Tommy John surgery and the temporary absence of Joey Gallo, Josh Donaldson, and Kyle Higashioka due to COVID-19. Closer Aroldis Chapman may also find himself on the IL due to an Achilles issue. The Yankee depth that looked so good doesn’t feel so deep right now.
Aaron Boone has posted some interesting lineups in his tenure as Yankee manager, but I thought that batting Isiah Kiner-Falefa fifth was a head scratcher. At least until I saw that guys like Florial, Aaron Hicks, Trevino, and Marwin Gonzalez were behind him on the order. The team looks tired, and they could use a day off. A day off isn’t coming until Monday, May 30. The Yankees actually get Memorial Day off.
They said it:
"Just a peculiar night” – Gerrit Cole when reflecting on his outing.
Hard luck Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 3.35) toes the rubber against lefty Bruce Zimmerman (2-2, 3.48) tonight at 7:05.