The Orioles entered this weekend's series in New York with more anticipation than any of their September series in recent seasons. Despite the excitement surrounding a potential playoff chase, they dropped Game 1 of their Friday night doubleheader, 6-0.
Gerrit Cole was the story in this one, as he mowed down O's batters right and left all night. Hanser Alberto recorded the Orioles' first hit of the game in the fifth inning -- and since it's a doubleheader, that was closer than usual to a no-hit performance. Cole ended up going all seven innings, striking out nine O's and allowing just two hits along the way.
Alex Cobb allowed two home runs in his first three batters faced, and three total on the night during a forgettable performance on the mound.
The O's will turn to Keegan Akin in round two Friday night, fresh off a strong start against the Yankees six days ago. In that game, he struck out eight hitters in 5.1 innings, allowing zero runs despite walking four. It was the best of his four appearances yet, and Friday night's game will mark just his third career start.
Taking Game 2 of the doubleheader, if they can, will be critical for an O's team looking to make a surprising postseason run. The Yankees are now 2.5 games ahead of the Orioles, and this weekend represents the final three games between the two teams in 2020. The O's won't have a better chance all month to make up some ground against a team directly in front of them.
It won't matter how well Akin pitches if the bats don't come alive, but that should be easier now that they're done facing Cole for the series.
If there's one thing we've seen out of this club all season long, it's resiliency. They won't be hanging their heads just because they lost the first game of a crucial four-game set. With the way they've played after losses in 2020, it would be more of a surprise if the team didn't bounce back in Game 2.