Did you have fun on Friday night, Yankees fans? It’s about time.
The first time the Bombers have scored more than seven runs in a game. The first coast-to-coast win in which nobody had to worry after the first inning.
And we can thank Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge for that.
Stanton’s slump? Gone, see ya. Judge’s soreness? Temporary. Call it baseball’s version of “load management.”
Sadly, we’ve been deprived of the maximum potential of these two behemoths in the lineup. Injuries have kept one or both of them off the field for long stretches since 2018. And of course, in 2021, the entire offense got off to a historically bad start.
But on Friday night, fans got a reprieve from all of that.
Stanton’s current tear continued. He hit another ball over 115 MPH — one that got the Yankees’ scoring started in the first inning. He went 3-for-5 with two runs scored through the first seven innings of the game. Another three-hit game for Stanton! He’s got three straight, which is the first time he’s done that in his career.
Judge brought us the main event though … twice. His solo shot in the third inning followed Clint Frazier’s in the second and extended the lead to 3-0. That began to give the Yankees some cushion.
Then, with the bases loaded in the fourth, he hit an opposite field grand slam. 8-0, Yankees. Cry about the short porch all you want, haters. It’s a home run. And it’s a rout.
The production from Stanton and Judge helped the rest of the lineup get hot. Aaron Hicks homered to snap an 0-for-18 streak. Rougned Odor homered again. That’s the domino effect these MVP-caliber sluggers provide when they’re atop their game. The allure is always there, but sadly, we’re only reminded with concrete evidence few and far between.
Truth be told, this is what the Yankees are supposed to be doing against opponents like the Tigers. But they haven’t been in 2021 and too often they’ve been playing down to their competition. It’s nice to have a reminder — in fact, our first piece of proof this year! — that they’re able to uncork like this offensively.
This is what everyone’s been waiting to see from the slugging duo. This is what the front office envisioned when they traded for Stanton before the 2018 season. Could it finally sustain in 2021? So far, from a health standpoint, it seems to be going our way. If that (fingers crossed) remains, then we could be in store for the first year this offense is powered by Judge and Stanton hitting back-to-back in the lineup for an extended period of time.
Let’s try this again. Take four.