Last night the New York Yankees played a replacement game in Baltimore against the Orioles, with a 9-3 win. Replacement because the game was supposed to be against the Phillies. The Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak caused Monday nights game to be postponed at Philadelphia, and the Orioles game with the Marlins was likewise postponed.
Tuesday was a day of confusion as teams waited for results of CV-19 tests. MLB shut down the Phillies through Friday and the Marlins at least until Monday. The Marlins now have more than half of the team infected with the virus and additional cases among the crew. This left the Yankees and the Orioles with no teams to play.Â MLB made lemonade from lemons and pitted the two idle teams against each other in Baltimore.
The New York Yankees easily handled the lowly Orioles, one of the worst teams in baseball, letting the Yankees have a 3-1 record in the short season.Â Every game has it’s twists and turns.Â Here is my top five take-a-ways from last night’s game.
1. Gerrit Cole still not with his best stuff
Gerrit Cole ground out another win last night. Just like in the first game, he didn’t seem to be in complete control. He started the game with a walk, which is very unusual for Cole; he likes to start in command.Â He ended up giving up a run in the very first inning.Â However, with the quality pitcher that Cole is, he settled down and made all the pitches he had too.Â He pitched 102 pitches, giving up just that one run, although he was charged with the two runs that came in when he left the game in the seventh inning.
Remembering that this is just his second start of the season, it’s not unusual for a pitcher not to have their best stuff this early in the season. What is unusual this early in the season is to see a pitcher like Cole pitch 102 pitches.Â Cole does what he has to, to get the job done. Notable stat: Cole is 17-1 in his last eighteen games.
2. DJ LeMahieu reminds why he was last year’s MVP
Last night was the DJ LeMahieu show.Â DJ reminded us that he is the guy that was last year’s New York Yankees MVP.Â He started off the night by going long in his first at-bat, creating the Yankees immediate lead. He went 4-5, and all of his balls were hard hit.Â Oh, that 4-5 stat, it’s the first time it’s been done since 2016. What is most remarkable about his play last night is that he is still coming back from his coronavirus stint.
3. Aaron Judge, a monster awakens
Aaron Judge would be the first one to tell you that he has gotten off to a slow start in the regular season.Â In the three games with the Nationals, he had only 2 hits in twelve at-bats, and none of them were from home runs. Last night the slugger came alive having two hits, one of them a home run that just made the stands.Â Judge is too good of a player to remain dormant.
4. 0 for twelve, how long can they go?
Gary Sanchez, after last night’s game, is now zero hits in 12 plate appearances. He also had his eighth strikeout.Â Right behind him is Brett Gardner, no hits in 11 at-bats.Â With both of these players not performing, the Yankees have still won three of their four games.Â The question is, when will these guys check-in and play like the players they are?
5. Brooks Kriske, Brook who?
Backtrack to this time last season; Brooks Kriske was playing A ball with the Tampa Tarpons, the Yankees single-A minor league team. Later in the season, he played a few games for the AA Trenton Thunder. Because he performed so well in summer camp, last night Brook who has never played a single game in triple-A, found himself being called in in the ninth inning to close a major league game.
In putting himself into the baseball encyclopedia, he did not disappoint.Â He walked one and struck out two in his scoreless inning for the New York Yankees. Â Brooks Kriske will no longer be Brooks who.