Thursday, September 7, 2017
The offensive philosophy that Gene Michael always encouraged the Yankees to follow involved finding players who could make pitchers work, steal an occasional base and slug home runs. When they did all three in the first inning of Thursday’s 9-1 victory over the Orioles, manager Joe Girardi remarked that they’d just witnessed “a Stick special.”
Wearing black armbands on their left jersey sleeves to mourn the passing of the longtime player, scout, manager and general manager, the Yankees hit four homers—including Aaron Judge’s 39th, reclaiming a share of the American League lead—as they supported Sonny Gray’s solid effort and notched their first series victory in Baltimore since September 2013.
“I’m sure he would have liked that,” said Brett Gardner, who battled back from an 0-2 count against Kevin Gausman to spark the Yankees’ three-run first inning. “He obviously meant a lot to this organization, and I’m sure he’d be happy about how the game went today. We don’t usually leave here winning the series, especially not recently, so it’s a good feeling.”
Very sweet of the article-writer and the Yankees to specifically pay tribute to Stick Michael.
In any event, huge win for the Yankees, as they open up a five-game lead in the loss column over Baltimore. If they had only held on to that lead in the previous game, they would have buried Baltimore, but hey, five games in the loss column is better than three!
Aaron Judge hitting a home run in the first inning was a nice treat. It’d be nice if he could hit some more home runs. It’s weird that Khris Davis also has 39 home runs. Khris Davis is such an odd player.
The Sonny Gray experience continues to be fun to watch. You can tell why you had to give up a lot of young talent to get a guy like Gray locked in for two more seasons on top of this one. He’s just a good pitcher who you can expect to at least not get rocked during his starts. That’s very helpful. It’d be nice if he was a dominant pitcher, but that doesn’t seem to be the type of guy that he is.
The Yankees head to Texas to try to win another series.