Yankees throw some kudos the Orioles’ way
The Orioles ended a tough 15-game stretch 9-6 –taking series from Boston, New York and Tampa Bay in the process — as this team continues to get contributions up and down the roster despite some key injuries. But Tuesday night belonged almost exclusively to starter Wei-Yin Chen, who flummoxed the Yankees over seven innings and allowed only a two-run homer to Curtis Granderson in the 5-2 win.
Afterwards, the Yankees had some high praise for Chen and an Oriole club that is turning heads around baseball, improving to 23-14 and staying tied with the Rays for first-place in the AL East.
“He’s sneaky,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said of Chen, who improved to 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his first four home starts. “It’s not like he’s throwing changeups like [Jamie] Moyer, you know what I’m saying? He gets it up there 91, 92. He hits his spots. He knows how to pitch. It’s a little unfair to say he’s not overpowering because he mixes in his offspeed stuff and his fastball gets up there pretty good. He knows what he’s doing.
“Evidently, he has been pitching well against everyone. I don’t think today was a surprise, at least for them. He has pitched pretty well. If I recall, I think he pitched well against us the first time too. I think he pitched well. He’s been doing that since the season started so he knows what he’s doing.”
Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “He’s got four pitches he can go to. He can locate to both sides of the plate, It seems his fastball is a little sneaky.”
“They’re a much improved team,” Girardi said of the Orioles. “Much improved. Their pitching has improved dramatically and that’s a big difference.”
Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who suffered his first loss of the season, has also been impressed with how Baltimore has come on in the season’s first month-and-a-half.
“They’ve been good,” Sabathia said. “They played us tough even that first series here. Every game was grind-it-out tough even yesterday. So, that’s a really good team over there.”