Yankees stay hot, take 2 of 3 from Blue Jays
The Yankees remained hot against the second-best team in the AL East this week, extending their winning streak to 11 before dropping the final game of the series last night. Coming into the off day, the Yankees are tied for the most wins in the MLB with the Mets and hold the best record in the league courtesy of the Mets’ two extra losses.
|Photo Credit: AP Photo|
If you were watching this Toronto series, you would know why the team holds the record it does: they just battle. All of these games were very tight for the most part, even the one Tuesday which ended up being a 9-1 drubbing was 1-1 going into the seventh inning. The Yankees pitching allowed the Blue Jays offense, who was averaging 4 runs per game coming into the series, to score only 5 runs in three games. The Jays offense hasn’t been performing up to their expectations yet this season, but this is still a very impressive feat against an offense that is loaded with studs. We're going to get into the nitty gritty, but first... What was that stat about the Blue Jays in 2022? Haven't lost a series yet?
Tweeted the day before the series started. Talk about an all time backfire. I just wanted to share this lovely information, and now to the actual games.
We'll start with Gleyber Day, I mean Monday. This was Gleyber's best game since maybe 2019, and he is starting to really turn things around from the last couple years. He hit a 2-run home run in the fourth of this one and followed it up with what ended up being the game winning RBI single in the ninth inning. As pointed out here by Hubbs, it is a small sample size but so far this season Gleyber is hitting the ball much harder than the last couple seasons, and has been chasing a lot less.
Small sample size of course, but so far Gleyber is hitting the ball very hard very often. Much better than the last 2 years pic.twitter.com/E8tMhryrGM— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) May 3, 2022
If he can keep this up, we may just have a Gleyber Torres who can put up numbers similar to that of his career-best 2019 season, when he was one of the brightest young stars in baseball and slashed .278/.337/.535 with 38 homers and 90 RBIs. He also started the season off very cold, so his season numbers at the moment don't fully reflect how well he has been playing lately, but this tweet from @nyyankeesstats on Tuesday morning shows how well he has really been hitting the ball the last couple of weeks.
Gleyber Torres this season— New York Yankees Stats (@nyyankeesstats) May 3, 2022
First 11 games:
.143/.205/.286 (.491) in 40 PA with 1 HR, 2 2B & 2 RBI
Last 10 games:
.344/.353/.625 (.978) in 34 PA with 2 HR, 1 2B, 1 3B & 10 RBI
Jordan Montgomery was solid but unspectacular in this game, as he ended his day with 5+ innings pitched and only 2 earned runs, battling throughout as these Yankees have done so far this season. The bullpen came in during the sixth inning after Monty gave up a leadoff single to Bo Bichette, and Jonathan Laoisiga had no problems. Miguel Castro had some trouble finding the strike zone in this game and was only able to get two outs in the next inning, but Clay Holmes cleaned everything up with no trouble and stayed for a clean eighth inning, keeping the game knotted at two. This allowed Gleyber Torres to come up to the plate and hit an RBI single which would end up scoring Tim Locastro and, after a clean save from Chad Green, winning the game 3-2.
Game 2 of this series was looking like one of the more frustrating games in the last few years, as the Yankees had only one hit and one walk through five innings against Alek Monoah, and both were in the top of the first inning. Jameson Taillon pitched his ass off in this one, to the tune of just one earned run in six innings. He could have gone deeper into the game, having thrown just 71 pitches in 6 innings, but the Yankees offense went nuclear in the top of the seventh when the Blue Jays went to the bullpen. Monoah finished the sixth inning after surrendering a game-tying homer to Aaron Judge, but was relieved to start the seventh inning when the Jays brought in Adam Cimber, who was only able to get one out while surrendering three runs. The Yanks finished the inning with 6 runs and not a single one came from a homer in the inning.
THE YANKEES MAY HAVE ACTUALLY FIGURED OUT THAT THEY CAN SCORE RUNS WITHOUT HITTING HOME RUNS!!! THIS IS AN EXTREMELY GOOD THING!!! pic.twitter.com/PVgivsokwv— Bronx Bomber Ball (@BronxBomberBall) May 4, 2022
The Yanks would tack on another couple runs in the top of the ninth, when Giancarlo Stanton hit a 444-foot bomb that would also score Aaron Hicks and give the game its final score, 9-1. This game also featured the feel-good story of the week, where a Blue Jays fan was kind enough to give the Aaron Judge home run ball, which tied the game, to a young Yankees fan sitting by him who was wearing a Judge shirt. Just wanted to give this guy another shoutout because this is what sports are about.
Shout out to this dude https://t.co/CWq1bQ2lZ0— Bronx Bomber Ball (@BronxBomberBall) May 4, 2022
The series ended with a tough loss on Wednesday which ended the team's 11 game win streak, but still left them with the best record in the MLB. Nestor Cortes simply didn't have his best stuff in this outing but was able to (back to our key word) battle through four innings and only surrender two runs to put the Yanks in a spot where the game was absolutely still in the balance. He left with the score 2-1, still very winnable, and handed the ball to Michael King who continues to be arguably the best reliever in the league so far through the early part of the season.
After another stellar performance last night, Michael King is third among all MLB pitchers with 1.2 fWAR this season.— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) May 5, 2022
Only other pitchers with higher fWAR: Kevin Gausman (1.9) and Carlos Rodon (1.3).
He has given up just one earned run in 8 appearances this season, totaling 17.2 innings pitched and, as you can see above, has the third highest fWAR among all pitchers in the MLB, behind only Toronto's Kevin Gausman and San Francisco Giant Carlos Rodon, both of whom are starters. This game ended 2-1, the same score it was when Nestor Cortes left the game, but that doesn't mean the Yankees didn't battle, because they always do. Aaron Boone showed some fire which is always nice to see and had a great rant to home plate umpire Marty Foster, who apparently doesn't know that Aaron Judge is "six FUCKING seven!"
|Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images|
The Yanks ended up loading the bases in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, but were unable to get the tying run home in order to send this one to extras. That isn't going to stop me from feeling great on this off day, as the Yankees have the best record in the league and are still in the midst of a stretch of play that has been more fun to watch than any it's been watching the Yankees since maybe 2019. Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are tied for the MLB lead in homers, Gleyber Torres is starting to play like the player from his first couple seasons in pinstripes, and the Yankees have the second best pitching staff in the MLB by ERA, not to mention many other positives to note on this young season. The Yankees are exciting again, friends, let's enjoy it.
By Nick SimonelliFollow @nicksims14Follow @sixpackcoverage