For all the complaining we’ve done about the New York Yankees‘ early-season schedule, we simply have to thank MLB for gifting the Bombers with a three-game road trip to Minnesota at this juncture.
You thought the Yankees’ 6-11 start was bad? Well, the 3-10 stretch right before this series against the Twins was arguably worse. But the AL Central club has always been there to pick us up, haven’t they?
On Tuesday night, the Twins repeatedly shot themselves in the foot to help the Yankees grab an 8-4 victory. On Wednesday night, the Yankees didn’t need much help. Gerrit Cole was on the mound and the offense decided to wake up.
We were also gifted with the tense storyline of Josh Donaldson calling out Gerrit Cole, who responded when speaking to the media on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay said if he were Cole, he’d hit Donaldson in the ribs with a pitch in his first at-bat. Donaldson said “do it.”
OK! Here we go.
But before we get into that, the Yankees scored a run in the first inning! Aaron Judge set the tone for the evening with a solo blast off Randy Dobnak on an 0-2 count.
New York never looked back.
The Yankees pummeled the Twins, and Gerrit Cole owned Josh Donaldson.
Now for the fun stuff. You want to comment on Cole’s spin rate and neglect the other cases we’ve seen across baseball, Josh? Fine.
Your punishment? An unhittable breaking ball. Sit down.
Why hit him when you can just send him back to the dugout?
We have a quick break in the program, though. Giancarlo Stanton broke out of his “slump.” He doubled in his first at-bat and then did this in the third inning … on an 0-2 count!
Three-run tank. Here come the Bombers.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning, we had Cole vs. Donaldson Part II. Care to guess what happened?
Just ping-ponging Donaldson back and forth to the dugout. Let’s zoom in after that strikeout and look at Cole’s reaction.
Two innings later, Stanton did it again! Another homer, this time a two-run shot to make it 7-1. The Twins left Dobnak out there to die.
Stanton finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two homers, a double and five RBI. Judge had two hits. Gio Urshela had two hits. Kyle Higashioka had two hits. Brett Gardner had THREE hits! Miguel Andújar had two hits (one was a homer!) What a time to be alive.
Oh, and Cole got Donaldson to pop out in his third at-bat. The Twins third baseman is now 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in his career against the Yankees’ ace.
This one ended 9-6 after Brooks Kriske decided to get shelled in the ninth. The Yankees have 29 hits and 17 runs in their last two games. It’s a two-game winning streak, but fans will have to see more if they want to convince themselves the problems that have spooked the team early on are beginning to dissipate.
At 33-29, the Yankees could be lining up a nice run. There’s one more against the Twins tomorrow, a day off on Friday, two against the Phillies this weekend, and then a three-game set against the Blue Jays, whose offense has hit a bit of a wall as of late.
Keep this offense going and it doesn’t matter who they’re playing.