"He was something, wasn't he?" manager Buck Showalter said. "He was solid. I think the most innings he had [thrown] this year was six. It was tough taking him out of the game. We thought about taking him out after the seventh, but his pitch count was low. He didn't seem to be struggling, obviously."
Quite the contrary. Facing a Yankees lineup with seven left-handed batters, Gausman threw more sinkers than ever -- roughly 10 to 15, by his estimate -- and relied on some solid split-fastball action to cruise though the first six innings on 72 pitches.
"Going into the game, I knew there was a lot of lefties, so my split-change, I knew I was going to be throwing a lot. It was definitely a big pitch for me, and I mixed in a lot of sinkers, too," Gausman said.
Gausman is the first Orioles starter to get through eight innings this season.
"He's got 98 in his back pocket and he's throwing his fastball anywhere from 91 to 95, which is difficult in and of itself," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "[He was] throwing his slider for strikes and a really good changeup. We battled against him, but he was just really good tonight."
Gausman was sidelined this spring with tendinitis in his right shoulder, and the Orioles were confident that giving him some rest would later pay dividends. They were right, as he's gotten better in every start.
"I think, obviously, my confidence is growing. I just feel a lot more confident at this level. Some guys get to the big leagues and already are comfortable. This is the first year I've really felt I know what I'm doing," said Gausman, who lowered his ERA to a 1.42. "When I take the mound, there's no question if my stuff is going to play or not. Now it's more about making pitches."