LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Win As Sanchez Says, "Move Over, Judge!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

Yankees Win As Sanchez Says, "Move Over, Judge!"

Nowadays, if you hear anyone tell of these 2017 Yankees, there has to be an immediate mention of Aaron Judge. Judge has hit more home runs this season (18) than anyone in the game. Judge leads the American League in voting for the All Star Game, for the outfield and for the overall vote count. Judge has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There is a section in the right field seats at Yankee Stadium called "The Judge's Chambers." Aaron Judge has taken the Bronx and all of New York by storm, not to mention much of the baseball world. But there is another young Yankee who is poised to join Aaron Judge and form a dynamic duo not seen in these parts perhaps since the days of Mantle and Maris, known back then as the M & M Boys.

That young man is Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez suffered an early season injury and missed about a month or so of play before returning to the lineup. In Thursday's 9-1 win he belted two home runs and drove in five to lead the Yankees to a series win over the Red Sox, two games to one. Judge seems to have stolen the spotlight this season from Sanchez, who, you might remember was the talk of the town down the stretch of the 2016 season when he belted 20 home runs in 53 games in the last six weeks of the season.

So why can't Judge and Sanchez be the Yankees new dynamic duo?

Maybe they will be a part of a new core four. Didi Gregorius started the season on the disabled list, but since his return in early May, Sir Didi is hitting a robust .324, so he might be a fit. Looking over the roster and statistics, there is the performance of right hander Luis Severino, who has a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts. We might actually blow past four core players and five for that matter. Dellin Betances has performed well out of the Yankee bullpen, and don't forget Jordan Montgomery who is making strides as a rookie lefthander in the Yankees rotation. The future looks bright for numerous prospects, led by infielder Gleyber Torres who, after a slow start in AAA, has raised his average to .260.
Maybe we'll just lose count of all our core players at some point. But for the time being the duo of Judge and Sanchez could be unmatched in all of baseball. The M & M boys would be proud.

The Yankees are currently 5-5 in their 13 game stretch against AL East opponents. The Orioles will pay their second visit of the season starting Friday night for the final three games of the stretch. After this series the Yankees will not play the Orioles again until September 4th.

Betances had an interesting 9th inning in Thursday's game. He was brought in the game with two outs, so he needed to get the final out. He walked two batters and got the final out fanning Pablo Sandoval on three pitches. Betances pitched a third of an inning but recorded TWO strikeouts. Two strikeouts and only one out? Jackie Bradley struck out but reached on a Betances wild pitch, so it still shows a K in the scorecard, but add a WP and a runner on first. I don't recall the last time it happened but there have been occasions where a pitcher has fanned four in one inning, with either a wild pitch or passed ball allowing one of the strikeout victims to reach base,

Chris Carter went 0 for 4 Thursday, one night after going 3-4 with 4 RBI. Reminds me of Greg Bird's breakout game on a Sunday night against the Cardinals. Bird quickly went back to his early season slump after that night, but was soon placed on the DL with the foot injury. By the way, Bird has just reached AAA in his rehab assignment, so he is closing in on a return to the big club.

Finally, I'll refrain from speculating once again on what is up with Masahiro Tanaka, following another bad outing. Tanaka is scheduled to pitch Sunday against Baltimore. Here's hoping Tanaka finds his stride beginning with his next start. Maintaining a lead in the AL East might depend on Tanaka returning to form.

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