Taking a closer look at Orioles' latest challenge

The next mountain for the Orioles to climb is in the Bronx.

You just don’t see it in the skyline. Got to check the schedule and the standings.

The Yankees climbed out of last place in the division and are in third, three games behind the Orioles. They’ve won four in a row, six of seven, eight of 10 and 11 of 14.

In other words, they’re the Yankees again.

The 2023 version of the Orioles is even more impressive at 31-16, the second-best record in baseball. They just swept the Blue Jays in Toronto and have won 22 of their last 31 games.

The Orioles lost two of three games to the Yankees at Camden Yards April 7-9. Aaron Judge went 4-for-10 with a double and two home runs and is a career .313/.435/.712 hitter against them with 19 doubles, 37 home runs and 82 RBIs in 90 games.

Giancarlo Stanton went 5-for-12 with a double and home run in the series

Gerrit Cole starts for the Yankees tonight and he’s 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.085 WHIP in 10 outings, including a complete-game, two-hit shutout against the Twins on April 16. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in nine starts and blanked the Blue Jays over six innings on Wednesday.

In six home appearances, Cole has allowed only five runs and 22 hits over 38 innings.

Left-handed batters are slashing .167/.246/.216 against Cole this season, and right-handers are hitting .242/.302/.383. Maybe this influences manager Brandon Hyde’s lineup construction tonight.

This isn’t an extreme change from Cole’s career numbers. Left-handers bat .219/.283/.371, and right-handers hit .234/.280/.368.

Cole has made 10 starts against the Orioles and gone 5-3 with a 2.33 ERA, 0.929 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings.

Cedric Mullins, coming off the third five-hit game of his career, is 7-for-22 (.318) with a double against Cole. You know that he’s leading off tonight and Adley Rutschman is right behind him.

Austin Hays is 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles against Cole. James McCann also is 5-for-13 with three doubles, but he’s hit a home run.

McCann isn’t usually in the lineup with Rutschman unless the opposition is starting a left-hander. He’s 4-for-22 against right-handers this season.

Adam Frazier is 3-for-8 versus Cole. Ramón Urías is 5-for-11 with two doubles and a home run, but he remains on the injured list.

Ryan O’Hearn is 1-for-9 against Cole, but that includes a home run.

The Orioles are starting Kyle Bradish, who’s allowed one earned run (two total) in his last two starts over 12 2/3 innings. He’s walked one batter and struck out 11, lowering his ERA from 5.95 to 3.90.

Bradish faced the Yankees twice last season and surrendered four earned runs (five total) and 11 hits with eight walks and 11 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings. He held them to an unearned run and three hits in five innings on Oct. 2 in the Bronx, but he also walked five batters.

Jose Trevino hit a three-run homer in a May 16 game at Camden Yards.

Orioles pitching allowed 10 runs in 30 innings at Rogers Centre, and the rotation surrendered only four earned in 17 1/3 for a 2.08 ERA.

The off-day should make Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano available to the Orioles tonight. Dillon Tate hasn’t been reinstated from the injured list, unless an announcement is coming later. If it's on Twitter, you'll have to tell me about it.

(Can't wait for the mailbag questions that read, "Where the heck is the MacBook you promised me?")

Tate's rehab assignment runs through Wednesday and the Orioles must activate or option him.

Note: Shortstop Jackson Holliday was named the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week after going 13-for-21 (.619) with three doubles, three triples, two home runs and 14 RBIs.

And two seconds needed to make that decision.

There may not be a logical reason for it, but O's ...
O's entire roster, including reserves, came up big...

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