Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia limped through five innings on Wednesday night and is headed to the 10-day IL, whereas Gleyber Torres continued destroying the O’s this season, hitting his 10th homer against Baltimore alone.
As Yankees fans, the 2019 season has taught us to take the good with the bad. So, yes, the Bombers defeated the Orioles 7-5 on Wednesday to stay two games ahead of the Rays for first place in the AL East (31-17).
Buoyed by five home runs, including two by Gleyber Torres, and Gary Sanchez’s team-leading 15th long ball, the Yanks continue to beat the teams they should.
As for Torres, after a slow start to the season, the 22-year-old now has a total of 12 home runs — 10 of which have come against the Orioles in 11 games. Why wouldn’t Baltimore pitch around him at this point?
The O’s have already given up 105 home runs through 49 games (a major league record).
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Torres’ four multi-homer games against one team this season is something that hasn’t been accomplished in 60 years!
In fact, he’s hitting a robust .465 versus Baltimore (20-for-43 with three doubles) — and just .250 against everyone else. All together, Torres’ line features an impressive .302/.342/.564. slash with 26 RBIs in 179 at-bats.
The Yanks still play Baltimore eight more times this season, so Torres has a real shot of setting the all-time Yankee record for home runs against the O’s (12), which is shared by Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg and Gus Zernial.
The downside to the Yankees continued success in 2019 is C.C. Sabathia’s trip to the injured list.
Across five labor-intensive innings, the 38-year-old allowed four earned runs on six hits, two homers, two walks and struck out seven in 88 pitches. Although he earned the win, moving to 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA, Sabathia had a hard time finishing his pitches due to persistent pain in his right knee each time he landed. As told to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com:
"“It always hurts pretty bad when it’s like this,” he said. “I would say in the middle (of the pain scale). But, no, I’m not concerned. I’ve dealt with this before and the medicine worked and the brace has worked.”"
Sabathia is a warrior, and he clearly fought through the pain as long as he possibly could. Even still, in this, his final season before retirement, the Yankees know Sabathia’s body is only capable of so much.
With fluid and inflammation at the root of the degenerative knee issue, Sabathia is scheduled to see a specialist on Friday where he expects to have the knee drained and lubricated.
Although Sabathia may only miss a start or two, the Yankees must now decide who potentially holds down his spot in the rotation. Internal options include David Hale, Chance Adams, or Luis Cessa.
James Paxton will throw a 60-pitch simulated game on Friday and hopes to be back in pinstripes early next week.