This season has had its ups and its downs, but the Yankees have come through looking pretty decent. There are standard criteria for a good team, they have to win games, and not lose games. Pretty simple, right? Wrong. To win games a team has to score runs, pitch well, have a good manager, and appease fans. At the beginning of the season, it looked like the New York Post were going to have to spell that out for the Yankees.
The Yankees weren’t hitting, and pitching well in April which is what they like to do for some reason. Some gut-wrenching, extremely infuriating reason. The Yankees should start telling Manfred to not schedule them games in April, and skip right on to May. Every single year the Yankees start slow and get hot, then one of our stars gets injured. Like, say Giancarlo Stanton because his pinky hurts.
Opening day-May 1st is the Yankees version of Groundhogs day, suck, rinse, repeat. And every year Yankee fans all over Twitter forget this process. They then tweet about how the Yankees should fire Aaron Boone, rebuild, trade Judge, and crucify Sanchez because he can’t catch. There are two types of Yankee fans on Twitter, type A- tweets about what I mentioned above, type B- tweets about how type A sucks. I’m type C, which is I don’t tweet anything instead I take out my frustration by bragging to my non-Yankee fan friends about how the Yankees won 27 World Series, and their teams haven’t. Yankees are #1!!
May is almost over, and it’s been a good month for the Yankees. The Yankees have won 9 straight series, most importantly one against the cheating Astros. In May the Yankees are 16-6 and have had the best record in baseball since April 22nd. Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter, fans got to vent their rage against the Astros in person, and Aaron Judge is hitting over .300. Good times.
Back to the criteria for a good team. The Yankees are first in the AL in ERA and tenth in the league in home runs. The Yankees have the hitting, pitching, manager, and depth, so why are they in third place? Like I said above they got off to a slow start, and have heated up in May, but third place? The AL East was supposed to be a joke. The Rays were supposed to suffer from a World Series hangover, the Red Sox were supposed to be rebuilding, and on my form here it says the Blue Jays shouldn’t be good until 2023! Why aren’t they following the schedule the media set out for them all! They’re making the Yankees look bad, 28-19 isn’t a bad record, but being in third place looks bad. Guuuuuuuuuuuys, the Yankees are supposed to win the World Series this year, c’mon can’t you just suck so the Yankees can have an easy path to the playoffs? Now we might be a wild card team, that is unacceptable.
I might be overreacting, but remember I’m a Yankees fan, I overreact to every little thing. If Gary Sanchez makes an error I’m supposed to act like he killed someone on national television.
The Rays will cool down in June, the Sox will choke because they’re the Red Sox, and the Blue Jays pitching will doom them. But they need to stop scaring me with stories like, “10 wins in a row for The Rays”. “J.D. Martinez hits another home run, which is definitely not because of steroids”.
This is a message to all Yankee fans out there reading this, “Relax”. We’re going to win 100 games at the least, Sanchez will have a hot streak, Cole will continue to dominate, and Stanton will eventually return from his terrible “injury”.
Stanton is the current version of Jason Giambi. A power-hitting, MVP-caliber player, who will bench himself for a month if he feels a cold catching on. Stanton teases fans by doing great, but will then go back to his favorite spot on the bench. Judge played with a collapsed lung, I think Stanton can play with a “quad” injury, or whatever “injury” he came up with this time. Stanton needs to play at least 120 games for the Yankees this year or else he will be dubbed “Jason Giambi 2.0”.
Gary Sanchez is another problem for the Yankees, that has no solution. He looked like the next Yankees superstar when he emerged in 2016, and followed it up with a great 2017, and then he hit .186 in 2018. .232 in 2019, .147 in 2020, and currently .174. Higashioka is the Yankees backup catcher and should be the full-time catcher if Gary can’t figure out how to catch. Higgy knows how to call a game, Gary does not. Higgy knows how to hit, Gary doesn’t half the time. I think Gary Sanchez has the most potential out of any player on the Yankees, and we’ve seen him play well as he did in 2017, let’s just hope that wasn’t his peak.
Gary playing poorly has been lesser news because of the way fellow “Baby Bomber” Aaron Judge is playing. Judge aka God, has been playing extraordinary this season. So well if he keeps it up, he might just be the next Yankees Captain. This season he’s hitting for average, power, and getting on base. Defensively nobody is better, offensively nobody is more menacing, and did I mention he gets on base. Because he gets on base a lot, and as an advanced analytics nerd, Judge is our God. If there was a shrine for advanced analytic nerds he would be up there with Joe Morgan, Scott Hatteberg, and Ted Williams. He has been insanely clutch, which I know isn’t real, but it is when one plays for New York. He had his first walk-off last weekend against the White Sox, hitting .424 with RISP, and even more importantly hitting .417 with RISP w/ 2 outs. Judge will lead us to the promise land, for the love of Judge he better.
The pitching has been great, which has made up for the lackluster offense. The Cole Train is taking us to the playoffs, German is ruling with an iron first, Kluber is no longer the Klubot he’s the Terminator, and Montgomery is pitching like Andy Pettitte. The Yankees sport the best ERA in the AL, and the third-best ERA in the game. Which is great obviously, but going into the season the Yankees pitching was a big question mark. Everyone knew Cole would continue to dominate, but nobody would’ve thought Corey Kluber would be a candidate for the Cy Young Award. Kluber hasn’t just had one good start, his last five starts have been money. Straight up money, cash, dollar dollar bills y’all.
German has taken out his anger on his fastball which is good, going 5 innings in every start but 2. Which were his first 2 starts. German threw 7 scoreless innings in Texas in his best start of the year, which was a great follow up to Kluber’s no-hitter. Monty has had some good starts and has had some bad ones, but overall he has been very good. When he’s on, he’s on. When he’s off he is still pretty good. I’ll take Monty as a 4 starter over Taillon any day of the week.
There doesn’t seem to be any power struggle which is great because when there is a power struggle in New York it gets ugly. Cashman is letting Boone manage the team the way he wants, and Boone is letting the players play. He’s not being like Tony La Russa and allowing his players to play. But one could chalk that up to the fact that if Boone were to bench Judge due to performance he would be ripped in half by the 6’7 giant. Judge is the clear leader of the team, Gardy is a great guy to have in the clubhouse, Urshela is the team’s cheerleader, and Sanchez and Higashioka are co-existing very well. The clubhouse is functional which is a semi-new concept to Yankee fans mainly because the Steinbrenner era was a time when no one was safe.
The Yankees are a team that isn’t afraid of streaks, they plow through the bad ones, and embrace the good ones. Right now the Yankees are on a hot streak, which in a perfect world would last all season, but because it’s not at least through Memorial Day. In April the Yankees were on a bad streak, a really bad streak, now it’s late May and they’ve been on an unbelievably hot streak. Baseball, am I right? Hopefully, the Yankees break the mold and do well in June. The way the Yankees are playing it looks that way.
If the Yankees continue to pitch the way they’ve been pitching and pick up the hitting we’re golden. Like the color of the Commissioner’s trophy, we’ll be hoisting this October.