“Pitching, Fundamentals, & 3-Run Homers”. 3 Reasons Why NY 5 Baltimore 4 on 5-14-21

“The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers.” — famous quote by famed Baltimore Oriole manager Earl Weaver. Well the Yanks got some pitching, good defense including a double play in the 9th, and the 3-run homer was provided by Gio Urshela in the 7th, to give the Yanks the 5-4 victory on a beautiful, balmy Friday evening in Baltimore.


1. Judge Blasts — an Addition to the Formula

The Yanks got a little more than just a 3-run homer. Aaron Judge led off the scoring in the 1st inning with a Line Drive to left for a homer and 1-0 Yank lead off Dean Kremer.

And then Judge hit a Drive to right for a homer in the 3rd for a 2-1 Yankee lead.

Aaron Judge is now at 10-21-.282 (.382 OBP) and is on pace for his average year, per 162 games, 580 AB’s: 46-102-.273 (.390 OBP).

It is amazing watching him hit with so much power to all corners of the park — just as likely to rip a homer to opposite field right as well as left, as well as center, and ripping singles all over the place too. Just a joy to watch bat, and play in the field too.

2. The Pitching and Fundamentals

Corey Kluber didn’t give the Yanks a great performance, but it was enough for the win, thanks to Gio Urshela’s 3-run homer in the 7th (Kluber left after 6 on the losing side), padded by Judge’s 2 homers.

Kluber allowed a homer to left fielder Austin Hays in the 2nd to tie the game 1-1, and then got into trouble in the 5th:

  • a double (by DJ Stewart),
  • a double (Pedro Severino), and
  • a single (by Pat Valaika) made it 3-2 Baltimore, and then after 2 were out,
  • a walk and
  • a double (by Trey Mancini) made it 4-2 Baltimore — but the Yanks were saved by Fundamentals: Hays was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning.

Huge because instead of 5-3 Baltimore with a runner in scoring position and Kluber still on the ropes — it was 4-3 Baltimore, inning over — and Kluber got a chance to rest.

Kluber rested and came out to pitch a shutout sixth, getting shortstop Freddy Galvis to line out to center, striking out Ryan Mountcastle, and then after a single to Stewart, getting a groundout to shortstop. Phew.

Ryan Mountcastle looked really good as a rookie last year, 5-23-.333 (.386 OBP) in 126 At Bats (140 plate appearances) and especially seemed to kill the Yankees. This year: 3-12-.218 (.243) in 133 At Bats (140 plate appearances). He was 0-4 with 3 K’s in this game, including that big one in the 6th. Last year’s Mountcastle — that might have been a different inning and ballgame.

3. The 3-Run Homer

Down 4-3 in the 7th, Miguel Andujar led off with a single to center for his first hit of the year. Andujar was playing 3rd base as Gio Urshela got the night off. Kyle Higoshioka walked and Gio Urshela was put in as a pinch hitter for Tyler Wade who had been playing shortstop with Gleyber Torres out after testing positive for COVID.

Travis Lakins Sr came in to pitch — and did a wonderful job pitching exactly to the points in the strike zone where Gio’s batting average is low (according to the ESPN stat cast). And Gio did a terrific job fouling off those pitches.

On the 9th pitch of the at bat, Gio hit the 3-run homer to give the Yanks the 5-4 lead.

4. More Pitching — the Bullpen

Chad Green pitched a shutout 7th; and Wandy Peralta pitched a shutout 8th. Peralta started the 9th to pitch to lefty hitter DJ Stewart, but yielded a leadoff single to Stewart (who finished the day 3 for 3).

Jonathan Loaisiga came in and got Franco to ground into a double play — Andujar (at 3rd) to DJ LeMahieu (2nd) to Luke Voit (1st). He then got a pop out for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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