Uhh … we’ll take “What Hits Different” for $1,000, please, Alex. What a difference 24 hours makes. On Monday night, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was atop the world, calling the Rogers Centre “his house” after notching the game-winning, walk-off RBI to sink the New York Yankees.
Unfortunately, Guerrero wasn’t paying attention to the fact that all the Yankees needed was one win in Toronto to clinch the AL East. The Blue Jays would’ve needed to sweep to avoid New York celebrating on their soil.
But a 5-2 Yankees triumph on Tuesday night behind Jameson Taillon’s quality start, Aaron Judge’s four walks, and Gleyber Torres’ three hits and three RBI did the job. More importantly, it made Toronto, for the second year in a row, a pleasant place to visit for the Bombers.
Last year, the Yankees took care of business at the Rogers Centre by winning a three-game series, which was paramount in eliminating the Jays from the postseason as New York swiped their spot.
This time, Aaron Judge and Co. got to pop bottles in the visiting clubhouse to celebrate their accomplishment — their first division title since 2019. Before the festivities began, though, YES broadcaster Michael Kay made sure to get the last word by taking a shot at Vladdy and the Jays.
Michael Kay made Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pay after the Yankees’ AL East clinch
Seems like it’s all coming together at the right time, doesn’t it? Four straight series wins over division rivals. Some end-of-season jabs. Aaron Judge nearing the AL home run record. Just having a good time, that’s all.
Usually, it’s the Yankees setting themselves up to be the punchline for an unbearable joke or the butt end of an unfortunate situation. This time, Vladdy put it on a silver platter for a team that badly needed the beginning of a narrative switch to coincide with their quietly impressive play.
So, yeah, that’s why it all “hit different.”
After going 23-31 in July and August, the Yankees are 16-7 in September. They’re punching back. They’re shutting the door. But best of all, they’re letting the jokes write themselves. The Red Sox did it for them over the weekend. Vladdy followed suit just hours later.
Like Judge said, the job isn’t finished.
Would’ve been nice had the clinch happened Wednesday so the Yankees could enjoy the off day on Thursday and rest up from the booze consumption.
There’s only way to finish the job now — cap off the series win with a hungover effort for the ages. Coming back for round two at Vladdy’s House! Keep the rager going.