The New York Yankees faced off against the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a three-game series starting on Monday night. Starting pitcher Luis Severino was on the mound, putting together a master-class performance over 6.0 innings. The Bombers are coming off a series win against the Chicago White Sox, winning the finale thanks to Nestor Cortes putting together another outstanding performance.
The Yanks sit 5.5 games up in the AL East and host the best record in baseball at 26–9 with a three-game cushion.
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Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
The Yankees have been clicking on all cylinders recently, and seeing Severino step up and provide a dominant performance is highly encouraging.
Severino allowed one hit and one earned run over 6.0 innings, striking out seven batters over 95 pitches. Hosting a 3.63 ERA, Severino has been a bit inconsistent to start the season, but his latest win should put a smile on Aaron Boone‘s face. Severino had allowed 10 runs in his last three games combined, so it is nice to see him get back in the positive column.
Offensively, the Yankees were once again stout, scoring six runs thanks to a few HRs scattered throughout. In the fourth inning, reserve catcher Jose Trevino hit the foul pole in right field, driving in Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. His 3-run blast gave the Yankees a 4–0 lead over Baltimore.
Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers in the ninth inning, both over 390 feet to right field. Despite the long ball leading the way for the Yanks, slugger Giancarlo Stanton contributed in the third inning, doubling to deep centerfield, driving in Rizzo. Stanton hosts a .326 average in the month of May, hitting six homers and adding 17 RBIs. It is safe to say when the Yankees’ sluggers are playing well, they are nearly impossible to defeat.
The major concern was closer Aroldis Chapman, who once again came up short, giving up a solo HR to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the ninth inning. Chapman has been incredibly spotty the last few weeks, especially in the month of May, giving up six hits and three earned runs in 4.1 innings.
While it doesn’t seem management is too concerned about Chapman, given his veteran status, his velocity is down quite a bit. When a flame-throwers velocity is down, and his control is erratic, one can assume there may be an issue at hand.