Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s house, huh? Not the last two seasons! When the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees on Monday night in extras and celebrated like it was their last night on planet earth, there was a prime opportunity teed up to shove it right back in their face on Tuesday.
And that they did. They clinched the AL East on Canadian soil and didn’t allow the Jays to gain any ground in the Wild Card standings. That’s 95 wins, a division title, and a bye to the ALDS.
Jameson Taillon was brilliant, tossing 7.1 innings of two-run ball. Aaron Judge walked four times and scored two runs (no 61 yet!). The Blue Jays were boneheads on multiple occasions, with Bo Bichette coming off the bag sliding into second base, Guerrero Jr. not hustling out of the box on a double (which got him thrown out), and George Springer swinging at the first pitch after a pitching change in the eighth and grounding into a double play. All of those killed rallies, and the Jays lost by three runs.
But Yankees fans watching closely took note of Gleyber Torres’ current tear. He went 3-for-5 with three RBI and kept the Yankees rolling whenever they got runners on base (with the exception of his final at-bat, which was a GIDP with the bases loaded).
Can’t win ’em all, but Torres has come close in recent weeks. He’s been the second-best hitter on the team over the last month. If not for Judge, he’d be most teams’ best hitter based on his production.
Gleyber Torres helping Yankees clinch AL East needs to continue in October
He’s got 23 RBI in 22 games in September. Heading into Tuesday night, he was slashing .317/.394/.598 before notching three more hits. Hey, no wonder general manager Brian Cashman didn’t trade this guy, right?!
Though Torres still has ways to go to rediscovering his 2018-2019 self on a consistent basis, this is the closest he’s been ever since falling of dreadfully in 2020. The Yankees had a top offense in the league when Torres was atop his game, and it was no coincidence. He lengthened this lineup in a way almost no supporting cast member in the league could.
What the Yankees have seen this month — and particularly on Tuesday night with his aggression and timing — is what they need from Torres in the postseason. That’ll be what puts the Yankees over the edge against the top competition, which will likely be focused on figuring out how to get Judge out.
Torres pulled the ball, hit it up the middle, and found the hole on the right side in the 5-2 win over the Jays on Tuesday. When he’s hitting to all fields, this lineup is different. Think it’s a coincidence the Yankees have the second-best offense in MLB this year?
Outside of Torres’ very forgettable month of August, his return to a competitive hitter has added another layer that makes it incredibly difficult for opposing pitchers to work around.
Torres is already a postseason asset. He’s hitting .325 with a .988 OPS in 22 career playoff games since 2018.
Wait a second … those look just like his 2022 September numbers! Looks like we’re onto something …