The Yankees are literally turning their fortunes around from where they were a year ago. Last night’s come from behind 8-6 victory over the Blue Jays saw them improve to 17-9 in 2017. A year ago at this it was the complete opposite with New York off to a 9-17 start. They find themselves a game in first place in the division over Baltimore and have outscored their opponents by 45 runs through 26 games. Pretty impressive turnaround from a squad that lost four of the five.
A few quick notes and thoughts….
♦ What more is there to say about Aaron Judge? The kid is simply on another planet right now. He had the first three-hit game of his career and slaughtered his MLB-leading 13th homer of the year. In doing so he became the first rookie in the history of Major League Baseball to bang out 13 dingers through his team’s first 26 games. Don’t think his homers have been largely meaningless either, such as someone like A-Rod, who was notorious for slugging homers in blowout wins or defeats. The Yankees are undefeated (11-0) when Judge goes yard. He’s now hitting .330 and is tied for third in RBI (27) and fourth in OPS (1.251). I tend to overreact when it comes
anything sports so I’m using my words carefully—but It’s impossible to not look at Judge and think of Giancarlo Stanton.
♦ The bullpen has been the unsung hero of the Yankee season to this point. C.C. Sabathia stunk up the Bronx (more on him in a minute) but the bullpen was spectacular. Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman combined to go five scoreless innings with only allowing a hit and a walk while mowing down six.
♦ Betances is as valuable as it gets. The kid has thrown 9.2 innings and has 17 (!!!) strikeouts to go with a 0.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. That’s just some sick shit right there, folks.
♦ Sabathia was terrible for a third consecutive start, and this is becoming problematic. C.C. gave up just three earned runs through his first 18.1 innings but after getting shelled for six earned through four last night he’s surrendered 17 runs in his last 14.1 IP to see his ERA swell up to 5.45 on the season. His WHIP is up to 1.52 and opponents are now batting .269 off him. He’ll get every chance to work things out, especially since the Yankees don’t have a blue chipper waiting or savvy veteran arm waiting in the wings, but the big man’s recent free fall is troublesome to say the least.
♦ Judge’s historically productive offense is having some of his teammates to fly under the radar. Matt Holliday launched his 300th career home run last night—a three-run shot in the first to cut a New York deficit from four to one with a single swing. Holliday hasn’t been spectacular but is proving to be a solid veteran offseason acquisition—hitting .269 with three dingers, 18 RBI and a strong .915 OPS.
♦ Starlin Castro collected two more hits and is up to .362 on the season, good for sixth in MLB and second in the American League only to Avisail Garcia.
♦ The Bombers are off today before opening a three-game set in Chicago Friday. Red hot Michael Pineda takes the ball against Kyle Hendricks in game one. I got both guys on my fantasy team, so expect a slow pitch softball style run convention.