About Last Night: The Yankees Squeak by the Orioles 7-6
by Tim Kabel
July 23, 2022
The Yankees opened a three-game series against the Orioles at Camden Yards last night. They entered the game with a record of 3-7 in their last ten games. However, they still had the best record in the Major Leagues, at 64-30. They also had a 12-game lead over Tampa Bay. In other words, despite the Yankees’ recent malaise, they are still on top of the heap. They need to right the ship but, at this point, there has been no irreparable damage to their quest for a championship season. If they resume their earlier pace, this will just be a bump in the road.
I know many are worried by the fact that Houston won the season series against the Yankees 5 games to 2. Mike Francesa had a full-fledged conniption on the topic this morning. He was so upset; he woke himself up. Well, last year, the Yankees won the season series against the Astros 4 games to 2. They never even met in the playoffs, So, take a deep breath, and enjoy the season for what it is. It is still a long way to the postseason, and things could be much different at that time.
The Yankees lost six games in the whole month of June. They have already lost nine games in July, and they have eight more games to play.
Aaron Judge had his eighth multiple-home-run game of the season, tying him with Gleyber Torres, Alex Rodriguez, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth for the franchise record.
Jameson Taillon walked 3 batters last night. He had walked a total of 12 batters before last night.
The Yankees are 31-15 against the AL East this year. The Red Sox are 12-27, after their 28-5 loss to Toronto. That laundry cart ride in the dugout looks pretty silly now, doesn't it?
Jasson Dominguez went 2-4 with a home run, a walk and a stolen base in his High A debut.
On July 22, 1923, Washington’s Walter Johnson became the first pitcher in the Majors to record 3,000 strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Cleveland.
The Big Story:
The Yankees won the game but, it wasn’t clean or pretty. Jameson Taillon didn’t make it through 3 innings. Jonathan Loaisiga was ineffective. Aroldis Chapman was hideous.
Worst of all, Michael King left the mound with an injury. It seems like he is out for the year. This could be devastating to the club, but there are internal options for his role as I note below.
Jameson Taillon has an ERA over 6.00 in his last nine starts. Pitching is suddenly a concern. The Yankees have the time, the cushion of a 12-game lead, and the resources to rectify the situation.
Player of the Game:
Aaron Judge had two home runs, giving him 36 home runs and 77 RBI for the season.
Josh Donaldson had 2 doubles. Joey Gallo hit a home run, increasing his trade value.
Better to Forget:
The poor performances of Taillon, Loaisiga, and Chapman. The injury to Michael King.
The Yankees still have the best record in baseball. They are 35 games over 500. Hopefully, they have already played their worst stretch of the season.
The big concern at this point is the pitching. Taillon has struggled in his last nine starts overall. He pitched a great game against the Red Sox before this one. So, he is certainly capable of straightening himself out, with the help of the pitching coaches. Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman are still working their way back from extended periods on the IL. It is quite possible they will both be effective again later in the season. However, reports indicate that Michael King fractured his elbow and will most likely be out for the rest of the year. That is a major loss for this team. Is it an insurmountable one? No, most likely it is not. If Loaisiga regains the form he had last year, he could help fill that role. There are other internal options. Ron Marinaccio is working his way back from injury. Clarke Schmidt, who was very effective earlier in the year, is available to be recalled. I know the team has been stretching him out in the minors but at this point, there seems to be a greater need for him in the bullpen. JP Sears could also strengthen the relief corps. It is unlikely that Domingo German will be in the starting rotation long-term. He could be a weapon coming out of the bullpen. It is unclear how long Luis Severino will be out but, all indications are that it will not be a lengthy stay on the IL, which would allow German to be shifted to a relief role.
The other option is going the trade route. David Robertson and other top relievers may be readily available. There are starters available on the trade market as well and that could certainly be one of the ways the Yankees upgrade the team. Trading with Cincinnati for Luis Castillo would be very expensive but, it would do a lot to solidify the Yankees’ starting rotation, and by extension, other arms could be shifted to the bullpen. There would be less urgency to stretch out Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German, as they would not be needed as starters.
Losing Michael King hurts. There is no way around that. However, at this point in the season last year, who among us Yankee fans knew much at all about Clay Holmes? As mentioned above, Marinaccio, Schmidt, and Sears could all contribute a great deal down the stretch. I fully anticipate the Yankees adding pitchers to this staff. That could be one or two relievers or a starter, or some combination of the two. Brian Cashman always seems to find somebody who no one had heard of or thought about adding. I firmly believe that whatever can be done to improve this team, within reason, will be done. There are less than two weeks before the trading deadline. Very soon, we will have answers to all our questions.
Tonight, the Yankees continue the series against the Orioles in Baltimore at 7:05 PM. Baltimore’s Jordan Lyles (6-8 4.76 ERA) will face Gerrit Cole (9-2 3.02 ERA).