The Yankees are off and running on their way to put a stamp on this 2019 season. Baby steps for now, but it’s two down and nine to go…
The Yankees have never taken the Minnesota Twins for granted. They just happen to be in the way of a team marching to complete what they started during the regular season.
The Twins are not overmatched by the Yankees as we see, for example, in the series between the “nice try” Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros. The Twins have run into a juggernaut they call the “Bronx Bombers.”
Didi Gregorius, who is on the bubble as a free agent this year and hitting almost nothing for a month, finds the porch in right field for a grand-slam home run to propel the Yankees to a 7-0 lead in the third inning. Think, Brian Cashman noticed?
The 2019 postseason is and will always be the validation of their regular season. A season in which 31 players hit the Injured List. A season that enabled Aaron Boone to come into his own as a master juggler of the Yankees lineup.
A season too in which players came out of the woodwork (literally) to force their way onto the team and then as reliable contributors. By now, you know their names. Gio Urshela, a .225 career hitter, re-invents himself to hit .300+, followed by Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, Edwin Encarnacion (thank you, Brian), and others.
The Minnesota Twins won 101 games during the regular season. They couldn’t have dreamed it was their destiny to come into Yankee Stadium to get disemboweled by the Yankees as they did in Game 2. It’s not their fault. They’ll be back.
Out On A Limb? – Don’t Think So
So, is this my mistaken and quick on the draw “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline putting an egg on my face, publishing before the game is half-over?
We’ll see. Can Masahito Tanaka pitch with an 8-0 lead? I would assume so, and I suspect so would you. But there’s that uncrackable arsenal; in the bullpen for Aaron Boone to tap at will.
Chad Greene is good for three strikeout laden innings (he wasn’t used last night). And from there, it’s mix-and-match time for Boone’s dessert.
Plus, does anyone think the Yankees hitters are going to slow down against the Twins bullpen anytime soon? Turns out they did, but it barely mattered as the bullpen held up the stop sign.
The Yankees are poised to close out the ALDS at Target Field, winning one of the two games there. Yankee Stadium will be empty for the scheduled fifth game.
That will leave the Yankees with a minimum of four days to prepare for the ALCS, the same luxury they had before the ALDS.
Gary Sanchez may look limp at the plate. But you know he’s going to hit a bomb somewhere along the line that turns a game around. Giancarlo Stanton looks as relaxed and confident in a Yankees uniform as he’s ever been. And the starting rotation will give the Yankees the only thing they need – four to five innings that keep their team in the game.
In the case of the Yankees, indeed, you can judge a book by its cover.
They are good, and they are on the cusp of greatness.