This game had it all: home runs, a good pitching performance, an Orioles win! Plus a little on-field surprise.
For much of the evening, this recap was going to be all about Jorge López. The Orioles’ starter was oddly effective despite struggling to find the strike zone with any sort of regularity. But then, in the middle of the eighth inning, he was usurped as star of the game...by a cat.
CAT ON THE FIELD!— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 3, 2021
CAT ON THE FIELD!
During a battle between Paul Fry and Aaron Judge, a stray tabby cat found its way onto the field level at Yankee Stadium. It meandered around the outfield for several minutes while the Yankees’ grounds crew formulated a plan of containment.
More and more members of said grounds crew congregated in the grass as they attempted to corral the intruder. Meanwhile, Orioles’ color commentator Ben McDonald, a Baton Rouge native, critiqued the approach of the bunch from the Bronx.
The feline successfully evaded for about four minutes before the Yankee Stadium employees forced him back towards the third base dugout and off the field for good, ending the best part of the game for the hometown fans.
Yankee Stadium security chases a cat around the field for nearly four minutes and never gets its hands on what might be the most elusive animal that ever lived pic.twitter.com/w2HR4H3HaW— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 3, 2021
Back to the baseball!
López had a nice night despite less-than-stellar control. Of his 106 pitches, only 58 of them were strikes, and it showed in the box score. He walked five and hit a batter with a pitch. But he was able to survive because he gave up just one hit and got clutch outs, including a fifth inning in which he avoided complete disaster.
There has never really been a question about López’s stuff. The guy can turn in impressive velocities, and looks down-right nasty at times. But he can get wild, and he can start to leave hittable pitches in the middle of the zone. That wildness reared its head here, and yet he avoided serving up the big hit.
All the while, the Orioles kept piling on runs against one of the Yankees’ brand new players, lefty Andrew Heaney, acquired from the Angels at last week’s trade deadline.
The O’s first four runs all came on solo home runs. Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays went back-to-back in the third inning. Then Ryan Mountcastle and Ramón Urías each left the yard in the fourth inning.
The power bats have arrived at Yankee Stadium. pic.twitter.com/CFGBSS7DxY— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 3, 2021
Mullins nearly produced another run all on this own in the fifth inning, when he singled to lead off the frame, and then stole both second and third base. But his teammates couldn’t come through to drive him home.
The O’s did prove they could score without the long ball in the sixth inning, scoring a pair of runs on sacrifice flies. Pedro Severino’s fly out to left field drove in Anthony Santander, and then Maikel Franco’s can of corn to center brought Urías home.
Their final insurance run came across in the eighth inning, when Urías grounded into a double play to score Mountcastle, who had singled to begin the inning.
It was a unique offensive night for the Orioles. Scoring seven runs on 11 hits and one walk sounds pretty normal. But somehow this team managed to do that without any hits while runners were in scoring position. They went 0-for-11 in such situations. It worked, but it’s not something to try and hope to replicate.
Brandon Hyde’s bullpen held strong once again. This time he turned to Cesar Valdez, Paul Fry, and Dillon Tate, who combined for three scoreless innings to close out the win.
It’s fun to win. It’s fun to beat the Yankees. And it’s fun to do so in such dominant fashion.
These two teams will do it all over again on Tuesday. Alexander Wells (1-1, 5.28 ERA) takes the pill for the Birds. It is unclear who will oppose him from the Yankees’ side of things as it was revealed after Monday’s game that Gerrit Cole will miss out after being diagnosed with COVID-19. It is unclear if there are the contract tracing measures that need to be taken. For now, first pitch is 7:05
Who was the Most Birdland Player for August 2, 2021?
This poll is closed
Jorge López (W, 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 4 SO)
Cedric Mullins (2-for-5, HR, 2 SB)
Ryan Mountcastle (3-for-4, 2B, HR)
Cat (wall climbing, evasive maneuvers)