No one would have blamed you, an otherwise dedicated Orioles fan, if you had turned off this game in the middle of the first inning. Disaster felt like a given following a series of unfortunate events.
Baltimore’s hitters went down in order to begin the game with three consecutive strikeouts. Alex Cobb made his way to the mound to start the bottom of the first inning, but was forced to leave the game after just four pitches. MASN’s Roch Kubatko provided some details on the “injury.” In short, Cobb has had blister problems all season. The issue reared its head once again on Sunday.
Mike Wright Jr. entered the game as Cobb’s replacement and even though he was given “all the time he needs” to come on in place of an injured teammate, the righty did not seem to be fully prepared. He issued three straight walks and then allowed runs to score on back-to-back at-bats (a Gleyber Torres sac fly and a Miguel Andujar single). New York added on one more for good measure with a Gary Sanchez single before Wright got out of the inning.
To the Orioles credit, they fought back, slowly hacking away at the Yankees lead. That started in the second inning with Tim Beckham’s FIRST home run of the day, a solo shot to left-center field off of Yanks starter J.A. Happ.
Meanwhile, Wright settled down for the O’s and set the tone for the rest of their bullpen. After a tough first inning, Wright put up three straight scoreless frames, striking out three and allowing just one hit. Let the “Wright should be in the rotation” hot takes begin!
A Breyvic Valera triple to start the fifth inning nearly led to a second Baltimore run. Jonathan Villar followed with a ground ball to New York first baseman Neil Walker. Valera ran home but was unable to beat Walker’s feed to Sanchez covering the plate. Valera slid head first (WHY?), sending his hand on a collision course with Sanchez’s left shin guard. Valera was clearly in pain after being tagged out and wound up leaving the game with what was revealed to be a fractured second metacarpal. His season is over.
That was the end of the bad news for the Orioles in this game. Trey Mancini led off the sixth inning with a double and was promptly brought home on Beckham’s second dong of the day. But it didn’t stop there. Renato Nunez doubled the fun with a round-tripper of his own on the very next at-bat. DJ Stewart wrapped up the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to drive in Joey Rickard, who had reached on a two-base hit earlier.
The Stewart-Rickard connection was at work once again in the eighth inning. Rickard singled and came home a few batters later on Stewart’s third double of the season to us our final scoreless of 6-3.
The Baltimore bullpen deserves a lot of credit for this win. They held New York to just three batters after the first inning. Wright contributed his three scoreless innings after a tough opening frame. Ryan Meisinger added two clean innings. Tanner Scott had that slider working again as he struck out three batters in his inning of work. Cody Carroll had a blooper reel balk where his cleat got stuck in the dirt, but otherwise looked solid getting three outs. And Mychal Givens finished things off with a perfect ninth inning after throwing two innings of Saturday to register his ninth save of the season.
Next up for the Orioles is a trip to Boston to begin their final road series of the season, a three-game set against the AL East Champion Red Sox. Dylan Bundy (8-15, 5.37 ERA) will head to the hill for the O’s in game one. The BoSox will counter with hard-throwing righty Nathan Eovaldi (5-7. 3.98 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. on Monday night at Fenway Park.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for September 23, 2019?
This poll is closed
Mike Wright Jr. (4.0 solid innings in relief of an injured Cobb)
Tim Beckham (two dongs, three RBI)
Renato Nunez (game-winning dong)
Joey Rickard (3-for-4, two doubles, two runs)
DJ Stewart (two RBI)
Tanner Scott (1 IP, three strikeouts)
Mychal Givens (easy save the day after a long outing)