In the midst of a season-long 10-game road trip, the New York Yankees knew that they’d have to take advantage of a stop at Camden Yards. The team has played extraordinarily well in Baltimore over the past few seasons and had another opportunity to win some games this weekend. New York took the first two games of the three-game set, winning 5-4 on Friday thanks to Gio Urshela’s pinch-hit home run, and then convincingly winning 8-2 on Saturday.
With Saturday’s win, the Yankees locked up their fifth consecutive series win. The team was, however, looking for a much-needed sweep of the Orioles, and after the first inning on Sunday, things looked encouraging. Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier each went yard early, putting the Yankees up 4-0 before even taking the field.
Unfortunately, the Yankees would score just two more runs the rest of the game, and New York starter Jordan Montgomery didn’t have his best stuff. Baltimore tied the game at five in the third inning and took the lead in the fourth to salvage a 10-6 victory out of a series that otherwise didn’t go well for them.
It’s no secret that the Yankees are playing much better baseball compared to earlier in the season. The team is one of the hottest in all of baseball and just two games back of the divisional lead. You certainly can’t expect the Yankees to sweep each series, but the Yankees are on a bit of a concerning trend when it comes to sweeps and series finales.
The Yankees are just 3-10 in the final game of the series and just 1-6 when going for a sweep of a team. It’s almost like a “giveaway game”, something the Yankees have sort of been known for lately. The team either just shows up asleep or doesn’t always play the best available players in a series finale. Although this wasn’t the case in Sunday’s loss against the Orioles, “giveaway games” are something we’ve seen before in this season and previous ones.
For example, New York’s loss to the Cleveland Indians on April 25th comes to mind. Despite trailing by just one run in the fifth inning with an almost completely rested bullpen, the Yankees went the route of Nick Nelson. In two innings, Nelson allowed three runs, essentially ruining any chance of a New York comeback.
As important as it is that the Yankees have won another series, it’s disappointing that the team couldn’t capture the sweep. With tough June and July stretches ahead, it’s even more important to win games against the teams you are supposed to beat. The Yankees must start winning games to close out future series or else tough losses will continue to pile on and hurt the team down the road.