Saturday night had all the makings of another gut-wrenching Yankees loss.
We’ve seen it too many times this season. A lights-out performance from the starter and bullpen only to be upended by a lifeless showing from the club’s revamped lineup, which now includes trade deadline investments Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
When the dust settled, the Yankees (thankfully) toppled the Marlins for the second time in as many nights. Time and time again, New York’s offense refused to put Miami out of its misery, finishing a ghastly 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Though Domingo German, who allowed two runs over four innings before he was pinch hit for with the bases loaded in the top of fifth, and the bullpen deserve credit for keeping the Marlins’ offense at bay, it was Anthony Rizzo who came through (again) for his new club.
With the Yankees clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh, Rizzo, for the second straight game, unloaded a mammoth solo home run to give New York a two-run cushion.
Though Rizzo has only played two games for the Yankees, acquiring him out virtually out of nowhere before the deadline was a stroke of genius from Brian Cashman.
Anthony Rizzo has two home runs in two games for the Yankees.
We understand Rizzo isn’t going to be scalding hot forever, but his disciplined approach in the batter’s box has already transformed the Yankees’ lineup. It would be nice if some of New York’s other sluggers — like Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton and (whispers) Gallo — started chipping in, but Rizzo alone is good enough to beat a bottom-tier team like Miami.
Folks, that’s the exact reason you go out and get a player like Rizzo: when the team’s other boppers aren’t clicking, you have another All-Star waiting to pick them up.
That’s what’s transpired in the Marlins series thus far, as Rizzo is 4-for-5 with two home runs, two RBI and four walks. He also reached base all five times on Saturday night. That included working a five-pitch walk with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Unlike most of the Yankees’ everyday players, Rizzo is locked in on every pitch. Seriously, how crazy would it be if he started giving hitting instructions to his new teammates?
That might be asking for too much after he’s had to carry the offense in his first two games for New York, but we’ll keep that in mind for later if the offense keeps slumping.
Again, the last thing we want to do is get ahead of ourselves, but the early returns suggest the Rizzo trade could go down as one of Cashman’s finest rental acquisitions as general manager.