Scout’s Take: Feeling the Weight of “Great Expectations”

In Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities,” we are told, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” That was what yesterday’s finale of the four game series between the Yankees and the Orioles turned out to be. 

The best of times was the bottom of the first inning when the Yanks put 5 big ones on the score board, while batting around and chased Birds’ starter Mike Wright Jr. before he could retire the side. It truly was a great way to start the day on a cold but sunny afternoon in the Bronx. Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery was getting outs and it began to look like it would be a comfortable win and a happy day for the 37,096 in attendance, but then Baltimore began to chip away at that 5 run lead.

The “worst of times” kind of creeped in slowly. A seeing eye hit here, a soft grounder through the hole there, and before you knew it, it was a one run game at 5-4 after a two run home run by the Orioles’ DH Danny Valencia. That was it for Montgomery who only lasted 4.1 innings. He needs to go deeper into games on 86 pitches. Giving up 10 hits, 4 runs with only only 4 strike-outs was a disappointing performance for the big lefty. At times his curve was nasty and at other times it was a hanging meatball.

The Yanks still had the lead when they brought in 25 year old Domingo Germán, who got them out of the inning. He lasted 2.2 innings giving up only 3 hits with 5 strike-outs. Unfortunately one of those 3 hits was a two run home run to Anthony Santander and just like that the Orioles took the lead by one in the seventh inning. So now it was the worst of times. After the Yanks tied the game in the bottom half of the seventh, we saw Dellin Betances look like his ol’ self in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman equally do his job in the ninth. Was this about be the “season of light?”

Any ray of sunshine was snuffed out in the 8th when Aaron Judge inexplicably took off for second with pitcher Darren O’Day standing motionless on the mound. It was an easy pick-off that ended the inning. Now the darkness began to creep in. After the Birds took the lead in the top of the 12th inning, the Yankees loaded the bases with no one out and Judge at bat. What happened next was the worst case scenario for the Bombers as he hit back to the box for a rare 1-2-5 double-play. Credit an alert Caleb Joseph who went to third instead of first for the DP. Leaving runners on 1st and 2nd instead of 2nd and 3rd. And then the winter of despair as Giancarlo Stanton garnered his second platinum sombrero of the home-stand with his  fifth strikeout of the day and an  0 for 7 game. 

The fans booed Stanton throughout the game. Granted he looked bad again but hey folks, we are only 10 games into the season. They should have been booing themselves for doing the wave in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second representing the tying and go-ahead runs with one out. Come on Yankee fans, get behind your team and support them. How about booing the visiting team once in awhile. If you think players just shrug that stuff off you are highly mistaken. Anyone remember “Aura and Mystique?” 

Sure it was the worst of times today but allow me to quote Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” “After all, tomorrow is another day!“ There are 152 games left in this, still to be, written story.

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