The Orioles defeated the Yankees tonight 2-1 to earn their 81st win on the season. They kept Aaron Judge from hitting his 62nd home run, and the pitching performances were incredible across the board. The offense was almost non-existent, but thanks to the pitching, that didn’t really matter. It was a tense, exciting win and a great way to start the series in New York.
The Orioles jumped on the board in the first inning courtesy of small ball. Cedric Mullins walked and then, with two outs, stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error from the Yankees’ catcher. That put him in place to score the first run of the game on a single by Ryan Mountcastle.
After that, things cooled down considerably. Yankee starter Domingo Germán kept the offense in check with four straight 1-2-3 innings starting with the second. It was a pretty bad showing by the offense, but luckily O’s starter Jordan Lyles was even better than Germán tonight.
Lyles provided the Orioles with exactly what they needed, eating up seven solid innings with just one run. It looked like he might go longer but a laborious sixth inning dashed those hopes. But even still, he was absolutely outstanding. His final pitching line wasn’t as impressive as his recent start against the Tigers, but the Yankees are not the Tigers.
The very first batter that Lyles faced was the guy who has been the talk of baseball: Aaron Judge. The fans wanted to see Judge hit his 62nd home run of the year, but Lyles didn’t give them that. Instead, he struck Judge out. Love to see it.
That was just the start of a great outing. A second-inning single by Oswaldo Cabrera and a third-inning by Judge (no homer, yay!) were the only baserunners through the first four innings.
In the fifth inning, the Yankees finally got on the scoreboard courtesy of Oswaldo Cabrera. The line drive off the bat of Cabrera just sneaked over the wall in the ridiculous right field at Yankee Stadium. In fact, that ball was only a home run at Yankee Stadium. Every other ballpark would have held it in.
Oswaldo Cabrera vs Jordan Lyles#RepBX— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) October 1, 2022
IT'S A UNICORN
Exit velo: 101.1 mph
Launch angle: 26 deg
Proj. distance: 368 ft
This would have been a home run at Yankee Stadium and nowhere else.
BAL (1) @ NYY (1)
That silly homer tied the game at 1-1, but Lyles wasn’t phased. He quickly got the next three batters to get out of the inning.
The Orioles got that run back almost immediately, with a little help from Zack Britton. Unfortunately for our old friend, Britton injured himself in his outing and had to leave the game with the trainer. Tonight was just his third game back after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Germán started the sixth and walked two batters, Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander. They moved up on a ground out and that was it for Germán. Britton came in from the bullpen and did not look good. He walked Gunnar Henderson and then threw a very wild pitch to pinch hitter Jesús Aguilar. Rutschman scored to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
Why was Aguliar pinch hitting? I guess because he’s right handed. He replaced Terrin Vavra. I don’t know. I don’t even understand why he’s on the team.
Anyway, after the wild pitch Britton called for the trainer and exited the game. Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious for Zack.
Britton’s replacement, Ron Marinaccio, struck out Aguilar and then loaded the bases again with a walk to Austin Hays. But Stowers struck out to strand the runners and leave some very important runs on the bases.
Judge led off the sixth inning and Lyles walked him. Fair enough. Lyles had a clear down-and-away game plan for Judge tonight and it worked to the tune of a strikeout, a single, and a walk. And for those groaning at a leadoff walk right after the Orioles scored the go-ahead run, Lyles went ahead and struck out the next three batters. Amazing!
Even with just the walk and three strikeouts, it was a laborious inning for Lyles. None of the at-bats were easy with a total of 27 pitches thrown by Lyles. For that reason, I thought six innings were going to be it for him. But it wasn’t! Lyles came back for more! And he had a quick 1-2-3 inning inning! Shows what I know.
After the Orioles had an unsuccessful top of the eighth inning, punctuated by Rougned Odor getting picked off at first to end the inning, Lyles came back out for the eighth inning! And that’s when, as they say, ish got real.
Lyles almost immediately gave up a leadoff single to Isaiah Kiner-Falefa and was pulled from the game. So maybe that wasn’t the best idea. It was a decent gamble, though. At any rate, that meant it was Félix Bautista time, an inning early.
With Jose Trevino at the plate, Kiner-Falefa got a great jump and stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. Bautista dialed up to 101 to strike Trevino out, which brought Judge to the plate. It was pretty intense. The crowd went wild as Brandon Hyde and the infield converged on the mound to make a game plan. First base was open, after all. Intentionally walking Judge was a viable option, though it did mean putting the go-ahead run on base.
They decided to pitch to him. Bautista threw ball one, just a bit low. He stumbled off the mound on ball two, wincing has he hopped around in the grass. Hyde and the training staff came back to check on Bautista. As he walked it off and threw a practice pitch, the Yankee Stadium crowd rained boos down on the possibly injured player. Very classy!
(They also booed Zack Britton when he exited the game injured after throwing the run-allowing wild pitch. They are the worst.)
It was determined that Bautista could stay in the game and his next pitch was ball three to Judge. They signaled intentional walk and the boos intensified. So sorry, Yankee fans! With Judge on first, Bautista struck out Rizzo and induced a lineout by Gleyber Torres to get out of the inning with the lead intact.
It was such a stressful inning, and I found myself imagining how stressful it would have been if the Orioles were still playing for more than just a winning record. Maybe next year we’ll find out.
The offense had the chance to add on insurance runs in the ninths when Kyle Stowers and Jorge Mateo reached with one out, but neither Mullins nor Rutschman could drive them in. Both struck out.
After Bautista pitched the high-leverage eighth inning, Hyde turned to rookie D.L. Hall to get the save. Hall had a rough start to his major league career, but his time in the bullpen this month has been pretty solid. He made the biggest appearance of his very young career and looked fantastic doing it.
The dangerous Giancarlo Stanton popped out to Ryan Mountcastle in foul territory, then Hall simply struck out Marwin Gonzalez and Oswaldo Cabrera to end the game. Well done, rookie!
With that win, the Orioles have assured themselves a non-losing season. After their late summer run that almost feels like a letdown, but considering where they were to end last season, it’s pretty incredible. Now let’s see them go out tomorrow and get win number 82!
Who was the Most Birdland Player for September 30th?
This poll is closed
Jordan Lyles (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K)
Felix Bautista (High-leverage inning success)
D.L. Hall (first major league save)