Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Another New York Yankees-Baltimore Orioles series, another Baltimore series win.

Another case of the Bronx Bombers’ main division rival outclassing them on the field. Yet another instance of New York’s weaknesses, namely catching base stealers, on full display.

And, of course, another complete and utter meltdown from everyone at WFAN, the X-Twitterverse, and beyond:

Now that we’ve gotten the unnecessary agita out of the way, here are some actual takeaways:

Luis Gil’s bad start was necessary. The Luis Gil Hype Train hit a red signal to the point of being taken out of service on Thursday. The Yankees’ young righty, who was 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA coming into the game, was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in just 1.1 innings. Gil managed just one strikeout despite averaging 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) on the year.

Gil is now 2-1 with a 5.50 ERA in four June starts…and that is perfectly fine!

It’s easy to forget that Gil’s success this year, exciting as it’s been, is highly unprecedented. This is his first MLB action since he had Tommy John surgery in 2022. More notably, going back to his minor league days, Gil has never pitched more than 96 innings in a season, and that was in 2019. He is currently at 81.1 on the year.

Gil regressing to the mean was inevitable. Matt Blake is a great pitching coach and will have him back on track in no time.

Cole Train back in service. Gerrit Cole also made his long anticipated return in this series and looked solid in his first start back. The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched four innings and allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. New York’s pitching staff ranks third in MLB with a 3.18 staff ERA, and their ace has only made one start. Not bad!

Cole’s velocity was up and he’ll only get stronger with each ensuing start. That’s a boon for the Yankees if they keep slugging their way towards the playoffs.

And speaking of slugging…

Baltimore winning the series is meaningless. You’re not going to like what I have to say, especially since it paraphrases your favorite general manager Brian Cashman, but y’all need to hear it. And LOUD:

“You put yourself in the best position to win in the regular season, and then the playoffs are a crapshoot.”

Hard to hear, but true. The Orioles could win all six of their remaining games against the Yankees, and that means complete bubkus in a playoff matchup. The “better” team rarely ever wins.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some specific examples in from Yankeeland:

  • 1976-1978- The Yankees went a combined 15-18 against the AL West champ Kansas City Royals over these three seasons. The Yankees won all three playoff series en route to two World Series rings.


  • 1996- New York went 5-7 in the regular season against another AL West champion, the Texas Rangers. Texas, who ranked third in the AL that year with 221 team home runs, lost the ALDS in four. The Yankees, meanwhile, continue their run to their first World Series title in 18 years.


  • 1999- Fans panicking about the Orioles’ success might want to take a look at the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in 1999. New York won the division, but Boston kept it a tight race and finished four games back, enough for the Wild Card. The Red Sox also took the season series 8-4, but the Yankees still made short work of them in the ALCS, winning in five games.


  • 2000- New York hit a hard and sudden cold streak in September of this year, going 13-17 in the month. They still managed to win the East over Boston by 2.5 games, and rallied in October to win their third consecutive World Series.


  • 2009- Though the Yankees and Red Sox tied their season series 9-9, fans quickly forget Boston actually won the first eight games. They were also in first place as late as July 20! As the old story goes, the Yankees rallied to win the division by eight games and won a World Series. Boston settled for a Wild Card and were swept in the ALDS.

Moreover, the Yankees still own a slim half-game lead over Baltimore in the standings. They’re still in first place, and yet the fans behave as though the team just lost Game 7.

So the Orioles won two out of three and lead the season series 4-2 on June 21? Cool. Don’t worry about them again until October. Fine, September.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.