Following the postponement of the Orioles home opener against the Miami Marlins, the Orioles held their opener on Wednesday instead, hosting the powerhouse New York Yankees.
Coming into this short two-game series, the Yankees had won their last 16 games against the Orioles in 2019, among a season where the Yankees completely owned the Orioles.
Asher Wojociechowski got his first start on the season in game one. A rough first inning included a leadoff home run by DJ LeMahieu, followed by a pair of catcher interferences called on Orioles catcher, Pedro Severino.
The Orioles got their first shot at Gerrit Cole already trailing 2-0. One positive from this game was that the Orioles proved Cole is human. He is hittable. Gaining one run back in the first on a double by Josè Iglesias, the score was cut to 2-1.
In the seventh inning while trailing 7-1, Dwight Smith Jr. took Cole deep, landing a ball on the flag court to cut the lead to 7-3. That would be the end of Cole’s night.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad outing by Asher Wojociechowski (5 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 K). Aside from a bad first inning, Asher actually threw more swings and misses than Cole and had the same amount of strikeouts (7).
Wojo’s downfall was the three home runs given up. The Orioles offense also showed life, however more than three runs will be needed to keep up with the Yankees lineup.
The Orioles dropped their 17th straight to the Yankees by a score of 9-3.
Much like game one of this series, this game didn’t start out very well for the Orioles.
John Means made his first start of the season, following a stint on the Injured List. Means was subpar, giving up five runs in the first inning, fueled by a grand slam off the bat of Luke Voit. Means would leave the game after 2.1 innings, hitting two batters in the first that led to the grand slam.
After the shaky start by Means, the Orioles bullpen was lights out. Travis Lakins pitched 2.2 beautiful innings, allowing zero runs on just three hits, while striking out three.
Then came the rain. The game was delayed 1 hour and 34 minutes.
Once the game resumed, Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier and Mychal Givens combined for three scoreless innings. The relievers were also helped out with some stellar defense from Cedric Mullins.
The comeback was made possible by the Orioles offense, featuring three 2-run homers by Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz and the last by Pedro Severino, which gave the Orioles a 6-5 lead in the 8th inning.
Unfortunately, Cole Sulser came on in the 9th inning and gave up a monster 3-run shot to Aaron Judge that sealed a 8-6 victory, the 18th straight against the Orioles.
Knowing that the Yankees may be clear favorites for the AL Pennant this season, the Orioles were in for a task in this two-game series.
Poor pitching in early innings were costly in both games, although the bullpen did a good job holding the Yankee lineups. The Orioles were able to put some pressure on both Gerrit Cole and J.A. Happ, although it wasn’t enough.
If the Orioles want to compete with a team like the Yankees, the mental errors must be cut out, and pitchers must be able to get outs with two strikes. As for the offense, the Orioles are in a good spot, with many pieces of the lineup contributing so far.
The Orioles will open up a three-game series Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays at home.