Yankees' rally vs Diamondbacks shows stark difference from 2023 roster

New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The way the New York Yankees battled back four times to complete the sweep against the Houston Astros had fans' jaws on the floor. They couldn't believe what they were witnessing. Wasn't this team just 82-80, and almost willingly died every single time the going got tough?

New York's 4-0 start featured much more than just battling back, however. The defense was sound. The baserunning was mistake-free and aggressive. They ... played small ball! We saw a sacrifice bunt! They capitalized on their opponent's errors and made them pay.

On Monday night against the Diamondbacks, the Yankees marched into the home of the NL Pennant winners and continued their hot start.

They put bat on ball and wore down starter Ryne Nelson, who lasted just 2.2 innings. More importantly, however, is the way the Yanks tested the Diamondbacks' defense, which is something they aren't known for doing.

In the top of the third inning, after Anthony Rizzo and Alex Verdugo worked walks, Anthony Volpe singled in a run. The inning prior, Volpe's heads-up baserunning out of the box got him a double, and he eventually scored as a result. Taking the extra base, who would've known?!

But this time, with Volpe on first base and Verdugo on third, Austin Wells hit a fly ball to left field that was deep enough for Verdugo to tag. But there would undoubtedly be a play at the plate ... if the throw was in the same zip code.

Yankees' rally vs Diamondbacks shows stark difference from 2023 roster

This Yankees team is younger and more athletic, so someone like Verdugo tagging up -- as opposed to another lumbering veteran or fringe roster player -- clearly tested Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s ability to get the ball in more quickly. He perhaps tried a bit too hard, though, and was completely off target.

The rushed throw then created more chaos, as Nelson, who was backing up the catcher, rifled the ball to third base as Volpe rounded second to take advantage of the misplay. Nelson's throw was also off target and ended up in left field. Back where it all began! And Volpe was able to easily score to make it a 5-0 game.

On top of Volpe's swing adjustments already making a gigantic difference, it turns out he's over his little tummy ache from Sunday, too. He's been running like a madman on Monday and was 3-for-3 by the fifth inning.

But in all honesty, when was the last time you saw the Yankees scoring runs like this? Testing the defense? Running the bases with conviction and a purpose? Relentlessly putting the ball in play?

Again, we could be over-exaggerating, but our feeling of a "different" 2024 season as a result of the roster changes seems to already be coming to fruition after five games.