At long last, the slaughter is over. With Wednesday’s 6–5 win in the Bronx, the Yankees completed a season series against the Orioles that was the baseball equivalent of a bird getting stomped on by a pinstriped boot. In 19 games, New York went 17–2 against the cellar dwellers of the AL East, including 16 (!) straight wins to close out the year.
It was, by any measure, a laughably lopsided matchup. Baltimore didn’t just lose; it lost badly, getting massacred game in and game out by the Yankees. But just how grisly was it? If you can stomach it, check out these awe-inducing numbers from 19 of the most brutal games ever played.
• As noted, the Yankees went 17–2 against Baltimore, the most wins by the franchise against one team in a single season since they went 17–5 against the Kansas City Athletics in 1959. Overall, the Yankees became the eighth team in MLB history with 17 wins against one team in 19 games or fewer in one season, and the first since the 2013 Indians (versus the White Sox) and Rangers (versus the Astros).
• Also as noted, New York—which lost two of its first three to the O’s—peeled off 16 straight wins against them to finish the season series. That’s the third-longest streak in team history, tied with the 1919 Yankees (against the Philadelphia A’s) and behind the ‘38–39 Yankees (19, also against the A’s) and the ’27 Yankees (a whopping 21 against the St. Louis Browns—the team that went on to become the Baltimore Orioles).
• For the O’s, those 16 straight losses represent the third-longest losing streak for them in franchise history against one team. They lost 17 straight to the Indians in 1954 and the aforementioned 21 in a row to the Yankees in ’27.
• In those 19 games, Yankees hitters did unspeakably awful things to Orioles pitching, putting up 151 runs, or 7.9 per contest. Amazingly, that’s only the second-highest single-season run total by the Yankees versus one team in their history—and fittingly, that record of 154 was set two years ago against the Orioles.
• As part of those 151 runs, the Yankees also hit 61 homers against Baltimore, going deep in each game they played. They averaged 3.2 homers per game versus the O’s, topping out with seven on April 7. The worst stretch for the Orioles was Aug. 5–7 at Camden Yards, when they allowed 16 dingers in three games, including multi-homer games to Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, and third-string catcher Kyle Higashioka.
• Speaking of Camden: New York won all 10 of its games there this season, breaking the record for most by one team at that park (eight, which happened seven times, including twice by the Yankees, most recently last year). The Yankees also set a record for the most runs scored by a visiting team at Orioles Park in a season with 95, blowing away the old mark of 80 set by the 2004 Yankees. But the record they truly smashed was home runs by a visiting team at Camden, with a staggering 43, or nearly double the previous No. 1 (23, by the 2016 Red Sox). All told, the Yankees hit .320/.398/.725 at Camden on the year.
• Not that Yankee Stadium was any better for the Orioles. Not including Wednesday’s series finale, Baltimore pitchers posted a 6.55 ERA at the (Third) House That Ruth Built and allowed a collective .288/.381/.532 batting line and 18 homers.
• Overall, Orioles pitching was batting practice for Yankees hitters, who slashed a cool .303/.386/.632 against them. For comparison’s sake, that’s about what Alex Rodriguez hit when he won AL MVP honors in 2002 (.300/.392/.623), or what Ken Griffey Jr. did when he was named AL MVP in 1997 (.304/.382/.646). That slugging percentage is almost dead on to Giancarlo Stanton’s when he hit 59 homers for the Marlins in 2017 (.631). It’s higher than Barry Bonds’ career slugging percentage (.607). In fact, it would represent the third-highest career slugging percentage in MLB history, tied with Lou Gehrig and behind only Ted Williams (.634) and Babe Ruth (.690).
• As for the 61 homers, they represent the most hit in a season by one team against another in major league history, leaving the previous top mark—48, by the Yankees against the Kansas City A’s in 1956—well in the dust. Those 61 round-trippers also represent a whopping 24.4% of the total given up this year by Orioles pitching (which, by the way, is on pace to obliterate the all-time record for most allowed by one team in a season). More Yankees hit home runs against the Orioles (17) than there are Orioles hitters with homers this year (15).
• No Yankee, though, did more damage to Baltimore (and to Gary Thorne’s sanity) than Gleyber Torres. In 18 games against the O’s, Torres hit .394/.467/1.045 with 13 homers, 20 RBI, 22 runs scored, four doubles and nine walks. Those 13 homers are the most by one player against one team in a season in the divisional era (aka since 1969), a record previously held by Sammy Sosa, who hit 12 against the Brewers in 1998. It’s also the most a player has hit against one team in a season since Lou Gehrig cracked 14 homers against the Indians in 1936; Torres is the first to reach 13 since Roger Maris hit that many off White Sox pitching in his record-setting ‘61 campaign. It’s also (obviously) the most by one hitter against the Orioles in a season, topping Aaron Judge’s 11 in 2017.
• Torres also put up five multi-homer games against Baltimore, hitting two each time. That’s the most by any player in a season against one team in MLB history. He capped it by going deep twice on Monday in the second game of a doubleheader—and that after he homered in the first game, making him the first player to go deep in both halves of a twinbill since Mike Schmidt did it against the Expos on June 21, 1983. Torres was so dominant that, in that Monday night game, the Orioles intentionally walked him with runners on second and third and two out.
• Torres wasn’t the only one who tortured the O’s, though. Gary Sanchez also joined in on the fun, cranking 10 homers against them in 14 games. That made him and Torres the first pair of teammates to reach double digits in homers in a season against one team since Gehrig and Ruth did it for the ’27 Yankees against the Red Sox, hitting 11 each.
• Amazingly, despite functioning as a batting tee for every Yankees hitter, the Orioles were able to solve a man who has historically crushed them: Judge. The big slugger managed a meager (relative to his teammates, anyway) .209/.382/.395 line against Baltimore this year, not including Wednesday’s 0-for-4 outing, and homered just twice, though he did miss seven games of the season series largely due to injury.
• Finally, there’s this bit of insult added to injury: With Wednesday’s loss, the Orioles were officially eliminated from AL East contention and are now 41 ½ games behind the Yankees in the division.
Luckily for the Orioles, the nightmare is over: They won’t face the Yankees again as this 2019 season drags to its miserable close. The bad news? When the 2020 Orioles emerge from the dugout at Camden Yards on March 26 for their home and season opener, the team waiting for them on the third-base side will be—you guessed it—the New York Yankees, ready to continue the destruction.