You guys, I hate the Yankees. The strong feelings have waned over the years on account of the Yankees not being as dominating has in years past and, of course, because our Orioles have spent the last several seasons not being totally miserable.
With the rise of the Blue Jays and the Red Sox, the Yankee hate had been put on the back burner, but right now....I hate them so much. This team was out of it. They traded away Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, and Carlos Beltran to restock their minor league system. They had given up. What a time to be alive, I thought!
I was wrong. Since the trade deadline the Yankees have tied the Blue Jays for the best record in the division, and have somehow found themselves just 2.5 games back in the wild card race.
The Yankees will probably not go to the playoffs this year. 2.5 games isn’t that many, but they would have to pass three teams to get the spot. The scary news is that number, 2.5 games, is how far back they are from the Orioles, who are currently tied for the second WC slot.
Two-and-a-half games. The Orioles and Yankees play three games this weekend. So if the Yankees sweep the Orioles, not only will they move past them in the WC race, but the Orioles will be in fourth place in the A.L. East. How is that even possible?
Our fearless leader and my friend Mark Brown has said multiple times this year that he really wanted to see the Yankees crash and burn. To have a season where they completely lose it and end up in or near the cellar and have to experience something like what the Orioles and their fans spent so many years feeling.
At one point I pointed out that the best thing really would be for the Yankees to play just well enough for to miss a playoff spot so that they at least don’t get a nice high draft pick for their troubles. And while that logically makes sense, the fact that they are playing well enough to both pass the Orioles in the standings and perhaps get a playoff spot makes me wish they had gone ahead and crashed and burned.
Of course, I can spend all day hating the Yankees but the truth is that if the Orioles had played even half decent baseball of late it wouldn’t even matter. But instead they are now trying their hardest to give away their playoff position and are forcing me to pay attention to where the Yankees are in the standings!
So who is it that I hate again? The Yankees or the Orioles? I guess it’s the Yankees. We’ll see after this series.
Game 1: Friday, 7:05
Dylan Bundy (7-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. Chad Green (2-3, 4.09 ERA)
This is a rematch of last Saturday’s game that the Orioles lost 13-5. The good news about that game was that the Orioles knocked Green out of the game in the fifth inning with four runs scored. The bad news was that Bundy gave up five runs in four innings and then the bullpen completely fell apart.
The Orioles could and should hit dingers off of this guy. They got to him for three home runs last weekend, maybe they should up that to five and also put some runners on. Couldn’t hurt!
Bundy’s effectiveness and velocity have started to drop over the past few starts, and there are some out there wondering if he needs to be shut down or given more rest. I’m hoping that the experts on the Orioles who are keeping him in the rotation know what they’re doing.
Game 2: Saturday, 7:05
Kevin Gausman (6-10, 3.73 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (8-11, 4.31 ERA)
Another rematch! When these two faced off last weekend, it was actually because the Yankees switched Sabathia with Michael Pineda in the rotation because he would have a better chance to beat the Orioles. He almost did it, too, keeping them off the board for five innings.
Luckily Gausman, who has been on a great run lately, was better. And on the road, too! I’m starting to feel good things about Gausman.
There is plenty to worry about with Sabathia, who at this point in his career is the kind of lefty that messes with the Orioles. Hopefully Steve Pearce is ready to destroy him.
Game 3: Sunday, 1:35
Wade Miley (1-3, 7.14 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (6-11, 5.12 ERA)
I don’t want to say that Miley is pitching well now, but he has had two decent starts in a row against the Nationals and Blue Jays. So maybe he is at least evening out, right?
Pineda hasn’t been very good this year, but that didn’t stop the Orioles from allowing him to pitch six shutout innings on July 20th. On the season Pineda has been rather homer happy but he only gave up two in five starts in August. Hopefully the Orioles will help him start September on a much more homer-riffic note.