Yankees candid admission after loss to Orioles: ‘Got punched on the face’

Images of the New York Yankees players after losing to Orioles 7-2 at Camden Yards on May 2, 2024.
Michael Bennington
Friday May 3, 2024

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Despite downplaying the importance of the series beforehand, Aaron Boone witnessed his New York Yankees team falling to the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 in their four-game set at Camden Yards. Their lack of offensive production and feeling errors were glaring compared to their opponents. Carlos Rodon’s worst outing further added to their disastrous series.

Manager Boone emphasized the long season ahead following their series win against the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Yankees were unable to maintain the momentum against a divisional rival. They dropped the final game 7-2, marking their third defeat in four tries against the Orioles.

“First series, we got punched in the face,” said Gleyber Torres after the Yankees lost squarely against the Orioles in the last game of the series. However, he hoped for revenge in the upcoming series. “We have three more, so we have to figure out a way to beat them.”

While the pitching staff, led by strong performances earlier in the week, held the Orioles to a .197 batting average, the offense sputtered throughout the series. Carlos Rodon, who had a dominant outing against the Brewers just prior, faltered in this series finale, surrendering seven runs (six earned) in four innings.

The lack of offensive support was evident, as the Yankees mustered a mere six runs on 22 hits over the four games, batting a combined .177. Their struggles were particularly pronounced with runners in scoring position, going just 1-for-18.

Despite the disappointing results, the pitching staff deserves credit for limiting Baltimore’s scoring opportunities. The Orioles went just 6-for-23 with runners in scoring position themselves. However, the Yankees’ inability to capitalize on scoring chances proved costly.

Rodon, taking responsibility for his outing, acknowledged the Orioles’ strong play. “That’s a good team,” said Rodon, who gave up seven runs (six earned) across four-plus innings. “I thought we played pretty well. We gotta figure out how to scratch [out] another one there. Today obviously I was coming in, I wanted to leave here with an even series and unfortunately it didn’t go that way. I wish I would have performed better, for sure.”

Yankees’ bigwigs struggle in defeat to Orioles

aaron-judge-new-york-yankees
espn

Despite a seemingly resurgent weekend in Milwaukee, Aaron Judge‘s bat went quiet against the Baltimore Orioles, managing just one hit in 13 at-bats with two walks. However, his struggles were far from an isolated incident for the Yankees’ offense.

Anthony Rizzo, who entered the series red-hot, went an abysmal 1-for-14 at the plate, with his lone hit providing a brief 1-0 lead on Thursday. Similarly, top prospect Anthony Volpe, recently promoted to the majors, managed only 2 hits in 16 at-bats with a walk. Giancarlo Stanton also saw his production dip, going 1-for-10 with two walks before being held out of Thursday’s game.

Further complicating matters, the Yankees were without one of their hottest hitters, Alex Verdugo, on the paternity list for the first three games before his return on Thursday.  

Addressing his recent slump, Judge acknowledged his history with such periods, both in his Major League Baseball career and in life in general. He emphasized that slumps are inevitable in the game, and the key is maintaining a positive outlook and focusing on improvement. While his batting average dipped to .197 with a .724 OPS through 33 games, Judge remained determined, viewing May as a fresh start to turn things around.

“I’ve had stretches like these, plenty in the major leagues, plenty throughout my life,” he told. “It’s part of it. I can’t sit here and dwell on it. It’s May. It’s a new month, time to get going.”

Defensive errors doom Yankees in Baltimore

Gleyber Torres, player of the new york yankees
USA Today

The Yankees’ offensive woes continued throughout their series against the Baltimore Orioles, culminating in a frustrating finale on Thursday. The team’s struggles at the plate were further compounded by a key error by Gleyber Torres and a strong showing by the Orioles.  

Hitting coach James Rowson‘s ejection in the seventh inning on Thursday for arguing balls and strikes exemplified the Yankees’ mounting frustration. Overall, the Yankees’ performance throughout the series fell short of expectations as the Orioles showcased their athleticism and defensive prowess.

A costly error by Torres in the pivotal fifth inning proved to be a turning point. With the Yankees trailing 3-1 and Carlos Rodon already having matched his season total for solo home runs allowed (3), the inning began with an Adley Rutschmann double. A single by Ryan Mountcastle plated Rutschmann, giving the Orioles a 4-1 lead.  

Anthony Volpe fielded a grounder by Anthony Santander and made a diving stop, but his hurried flip to second base was mishandled by Torres, who attempted a barehanded play. This miscue allowed the speedy Santander to reach safely, extending the inning. Jordan Westburg then capitalized with a triple that cleared the bases, scoring two runs and putting the Orioles up 6-1. This outburst chased Rodon from the game.

Torres took full responsibility for the error, acknowledging it was a critical mistake. He expressed regret for its impact on the game’s outcome, conceding that the runs scored were directly attributable to his misplay.  

While the error certainly didn’t help, the Yankees’ offensive struggles throughout the series suggest the outcome might not have been different. Looking ahead, they’ll need to find a way to generate runs as they prepare for their next series against the Orioles in June.  

Manager Aaron Boone commended the Orioles, crediting their well-rounded play and admitting that their strong pitching, athleticism, and power-hitting outshined the Yankees.

“Really good team, obviously,” he said. “They can pitch, they’re athletic, they got thump. They’re a complete team you got to play well [against]. Know they’re going to be there all year long. Look forward to more battles with them. They’re certainly formidable.”

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