Pitching, Defense, & TWO 3-Run Homers — April 4, 2019: NY 8 Balt 4

Earl Weaver, famed Baltimore Orioles manager, coached by the philosophy “Pitching, Defense, & the 3-Run Homer”. What’s better than a 3-run homer? TWO 3-run homers.

The Pitching

Things looked bad for the Yankees early in yesterday’s 3pm start in Baltimore. The Yanks, 2-4 to start the season, who had lost 3 of 4 including two straight to Detroit — were down 3-0 in the first and 4-1 thru 5 innings. James Paxton, the big free agent acquisition, looked like a US soldier on the beaches of Normandy — a little bit worried; a little bit perplexed. As @YanktheMike pointed out on twitter, he had “Giovanni Ribisi’s dark circles. Saving Private Ryan.”

But he hung in there and then in the top of the 6th Gary Sanchez hit a BLAST to straight away centerfield for a homerun and make it 4-2 Baltimore. AND Sanchez knocked out the starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Reliever Mike Wright came in.

The 3-Run Homer

Greg Bird looks different this year — he looks like a guy you can hope gets a hit, and he comes thru. And he did, after Sanchez. And then DJ LeMahieu batting right behind him got another hit. And then Gleyber Torres came up for the 3-run homer.

The Defense

Gary Sanchez was terrific behind the plate, blocking balls in the dirt, and throwing out a runner leading off first at one point. In the 6th he saved Tommy Kahnle from a wild pitch on a super high fastball. Kahnle then got a double play grounder to end a big threat by Baltimore.

Tyler Wade at 2nd made this terrific play to hold onto the ball from LaMahieu:

Tough Day for Judge

Aaron Judge had a tough day, striking out 4 times. His third strikeout was on a called 3rd strike that looked inside. “Floating strike zone strikes again,” said Yankee analyst Ken Singleton. “There are just certain umpires you can’t trust with 2 strikes. They have Floating zones.” Remember that Singleton is former Baltimore Oriole star and Yankee killer for Earl Weaver‘s teams.

The Other 3-Run Homer

Former Orioles closer Zack Britton shut the Orioles down in the 8th, and the Yanks went to the 9th, up 5-4, looking for an insurance run. They got 3 — on a Luke Voit “Earl Weaver double special” 3-run homer into the left-field seats.

More Pitching

Aroldis Chapman looked terrific in the ninth. Overall, Paxton hung in, and the Yankee relievers were light’s out. Ballgame.

Other Yanks: Clint Frazier got a hit, and Brett Gardner got two hits.

The Boxscore:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=401074831

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