Yankees: Don’t look now, but they’re streaking again with six in a row
The Yankees, ever so quietly, have reeled off six wins in a row. Not no quietly, though, the wins are coming in resounding ways as measured by last night’s victory over the Reds, pummeling them 10-4.
The Yankees, following their marathon win over the Cubs Sunday night, should have still been trying to get the “sand” out of their eyes when their bus arrived at Riverfront Stadium. And it wouldn’t have been a surprise if they came out flat against the Reds, perhaps even losing the game and chalking it up to mental and physical fatigue.
They did neither. Instead, they broke out the gate scoring three three runs in the first inning and never looked back. Later, the Yankees would flex their muscles adding to their run total with two home runs from Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday, the “old guys” on the team. For Gardner, his would be his sixth home run in his last nine games. Before that, he had none.
As expected, Joe Girardi gave the night off to two regulars, sitting Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge, both of who had appeared in every Yankees game up to last night.
Fittingly, and perhaps no longer a surprise, their replacements, Ronald Torreyes and Aaron Hicks, each contributed two hits, scored a run, and drove in a run apiece.
Sooner rather than later, the Yankees will become the team that everyone is gunning for with a target on their backs wherever they go
Also as expected, Masahiro Tanaka (4-1, 4.36) gave the Yankees exactly what they needed to grant the worn-out bullpen a much needed night off.
Recording 15 of his 21 outs over seven innings by either a ground ball or strikeout, Tanaka reproduced his previous start with a tantalizing split-finger fastball that produced only five balls hit into the air.
The Orioles soar while the Red Sox only roar
The Baltimore Orioles (21-10) continue to give the Yankees a run for their money, challenging the deed the Bombers hold on first place. Buck Showalter continues to do a lot with little and has their storyline for the season developing into “The Little Engine That Could.”
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Meanwhile, the Red Sox (17-14) have found it difficult to put two solidly pitched games together at the same times their offense has reached the point of embarrassment. When was the last time, for instance, that the Sox were last in home runs in the majors?
And you’ll recall the incident during Spring Training when the Red Sox flew David Price to all parts of the country in search of a doctor until they found one who would tell them what they wanted to hear about their aging star’s injured elbow. Turns out, though, it was just a wish, and a prayer as Price has yet to throw a pitch for the Red Sox in 2017.
That, coupled with last year’s Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello‘s return to Planet Earth, and Steven Wright‘s loss for the rest of the season with a knee issue, and you have the makings of a team that is going to be a heavy player at the trade deadline in July, or perhaps even sooner.
The Yankees play hide and seek
For the Yankees, this means that sooner rather than later, they will become the team that everyone is gunning for with a target on their backs wherever they go. The blend of veterans will need to hold the fort down while the younger guys experience what a real pennant race is like for the first time.
CC Sabathia will handle the pitching staff in the clubhouse, and Matt Holliday will be the go-to guy for the position players. Both players have already assumed their roles as quasi-team captains, making it business as usual with no fancy announcements needed.
The thing about this team that continues to impress is how they seem to exist in a bubble that contains only 25 men who are dedicated to the same cause. And even where you think distractions might come from, as with a Chris Carter whining about playing time, there has been nothing but silence and winning games.
Yankees: Hello Baseball!! We’re Back, Here To Stay, So Get Used To It
If there are still any non-believers out there, the Yankees are for real. Yankees haters get ready because you are going to have the time of your life.
The Yankees can’t play hide and seek forever. They’ll be in the national spotlight once again on Sunday night when Derek Jeter takes the stage to remind of what was. But the Yankees don’t need Jeter like they used to because they have their thing going on here. And that should be the real story Sunday night.