The Yankees and the Red Sox with a tightening pennant race at bay. Can it get any better for fans? Look out, the Bombers are back…
With the Yankees making their second trip of the season to Fenway this weekend, the preset of yesterday’s drubbing of the Royals could not have set the stage any better.
Thirteen hits, with three apiece for Rougned Odor, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton – plus three bombs off the bat of Gary Sanchez (13), Luke Voit, and Judge (16) – and yes, it’s safe to say the Bombers are back.
Ironically, there sits Aaron Boone, the man who insisted all along that his team was “getting close,” having “good at-bats” while many of us ridiculed his blindness as the Yankees struggled to score runs.
Yankees: It’s Been A Bouncy Ride
A month ago, the Yankees stood a mere one game removed from first place in the AL East Standings and winners of seven of their last ten.
Two weeks later, on June 10, the Yankees had fallen to six games behind Tampa Bay and five behind the Red Sox, only three games over .500 and playing a brand of baseball that left many to wonder if this Yankees team even had a chance to make the playoffs as a Wild Card Team.
We are all familiar with the ups and downs of a baseball season, but wouldn’t you know it just two weeks later? Here are the Yankees knocking on the door again, with a chance to move even closer to the top.
On paper, it’s always been true the Yankees have a better team than the Red Sox, but as Joe Maddon is fond of saying, “You’re only as good as your record says you are.”
True to form, the Red Sox have displayed an offense that scores runs at a premium, as witnessed by their +31 in the run differential category (the Yankees are +7).
Boston has cobbled together a starting rotation and bullpen that places them eighth in the American League, not great but good enough to hold teams at bay why their hitters pile up the runs. (Note: The Yankees hold fourth place in the pitching department)
After a blistering start, German has had trouble with his command, while Montgomery continues to make you wonder if he’ll contribute five unspectacular innings or seven superb innings.
Meanwhile, Cole is on deck to pitch what may well be the rubber game of the series.
Yankees: Are The Bats Really Back?
Without a doubt, though, it is the Yankees offense that needs to propel the team, and except for Cole’s game, scores in the neighborhood of 7-5 and 8-6 are likely.
Gary Sanchez has been nothing short of phenomenal lately (my apologies for all the things I said about you, Gary), and Luke Voit, when he isn’t hitting a home run, is hitting balls off the wall in left-centerfield since his return.
Meanwhile, Judge and Stanton continue to put teeth in the Yankees lineup, putting together a foursome along with Sanchez and Voit that tells the story of how it was supposed to be all this year, as pitchers struggle to pussy-foot their way through the quartet.
In any event, it’s the Yankees versus the Red Sox, and what can be better than that on a summer weekend for fans of baseball…
Tonight, the Red Sox are honoring now retired Dustin Pedroia in a pre-game ceremony. I hope all Yankee players are on the top step of the dugout to show their appreciation for a consummate professional ballplayer. He gave us headaches at times, but like his peer, Derek Jeter, no one played the game with more passion than he.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Phyllis Alfano depends on which Yankee team shows up
Evan Christon Take 2 out of 3 and we may be starting to take off
Jose Rivera Bats better show up
Hubie MercadoYan kees have to win this series.
Michael Miracco Yankees going into Boston ready for this showdown! Let’s go Yankees!
David DeGrood I wouldn’t say they’re back, just yet. This series will tell.
Mike Harrington A strong showing this weekend could really cement that this team is back being the dominant force we expected and put us right in the thick of the battle for the AL East. This team got hot at the right moment and it would be terrific if we could manage to snag 1st place or to be right near it by the all-star break. If they keep playing as well as they have, they could be there by next week.
Paul Ahn Yankees definitely need a comeback after being swept by Boston on our own turf.
Ken Walter Cashman needs to score now getting an outfielder and SP. more left-handed bats are needed the most.
Harry Wendell Lets go Yanks, kick some Boston BUTT !!!
Josias Gonzalez Yes just don’t put CHAPMAN IN PLEASE!!!!
Jerry Rodriguez Vargas We have to take this series no matter what!
Janelle Falcone Hopefully we are back. It was the Royals we just played. If we can take this series, I will stop being such a negative Nancy and start having some faith again.
Author’s Final Thoughts
With game time fast approaching, I’m closing off published comments. But the atmosphere is charged among readers and I’m with them – let ‘er rip…