The Yankees have been known as the Bronx Bombers since 1936, the team that wins via the home run. But not this year – and it’s a joy to see…
For Yankees fans, the basis of this article lies in your answer to one question.
Would you rather watch the 10-0 blowout win the Yankees had over Detroit on April 30, a game in which they pounded out five home runs?
Or, the game played yesterday, where the box score shows a shutout win by the Yankees in which the team won with seven masterful innings spun by Domingo German, Aroldis Chapman‘s eleventh save of the year in eleven opportunities, no home runs, and two pinch-hit singles in the late innings (Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela) to account for both runs?
It took 197 pitches by the Tigers to complete the blowout game – while yesterday’s nail-biter cost the Yankees only 124 pitches and a quick trip to the plane to carry them home to face the White Sox at Yankee Stadium tonight.
I’ll get to the point. While the Yankees are still hitting home runs (ninth in the majors), their latest streak of wins is built to win games without scoring a ton of runs, and that should send shivers down the spine of teams in the AL East.
The numbers are important, so consider this: (Source: MLB.com)
- In May, the Yankees are 13-5, and winners of seven of their last ten, all on the road.
- Also, in May, the Yankees have outscored opponents 73-68, a run differential of +5.
- Translated, this means the Yankees are averaging a tad over four runs a game (4.055) during May.
- Over their last ten, the Yankees run differential drops to +2, with the team run scored measuring 37, or 3.7 runs a game.
Yankees: Showing A New Way
These are not the Bronx Bombers.
These are the Yankees who can play an outfield of players all out of position (Miguel Andujar in left field, Brett Gardner in center, and Tyler Wade in right) – and still emerge with a win as they did yesterday afternoon.
These are the Yankees who can win thirteen of eighteen games this month with 38 extra-base hits (slightly more than two per game), nineteen of which are home runs.
In short, this is a Yankees team adding more weapons to their arsenal, stretching beyond the home run.
Now, while we’ve focused on the team’s hitting, we know it’s the pitching that’s carried the team.
Currently, the Yankees have the best ERA (the gold standard for ranking teams) in the American League at 3.27, and they are fourth overall in the major leagues.
Before their recent streak, the problem has been waiting for the hitting to catch up with the pitching.
The mantra has been – just wait until those bombs start flying out of ballparks again – then you’ll see.
Once again, injuries plague the Yankees in the power department, with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks (again!) on the IL. At the same time, the team basks in the sunlight of Gary Sanchez‘s one home run every two weeks, plus the slow but sure demise of Clint Frazier and Mike Ford.
Yankees: The Going Gets Tougher But This Team Is Tough
To be sure, the team will not stay this way, and already Brian Cashman is ramping up to find the Yankees a left-handed power bat, plus a reliable starting pitcher (without giving away the farm as he’s done many times before).
But that’s July, not today, with six big games coming up against the White Sox and Blue Jays at the Stadium, against pitching that is a cut above what the Yankees have been seeing.
Tonight, it’s Carlos Rodon (5-1, 1.47 ERA, and a sterling 0.87 WHIP facing Jordan Montgomery. Tomorrow, it’s a newcomer Dylan Cease (2-0, 2.41) against Gerrit Cole, followed by Sunday’s game with wily veteran Dallas Keuchel (3-1, 4.44) paired with Jameson Taillon.
On paper, the pitching matchups for the weekend series would have the White Sox winning games one and three, breaking the Yankees streak of six straight series wins – the Golden Goose for any team winning a division title.
But this is a livelier Yankees team now, and if the timely hitting continues, then winning will follow.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Joe Strano DMin 1998 was like that as well.
Anthony Whiteman I hope that trend continues. You cannot rely on the long ball in the playoffs.
G Paul Ficca Anthony Whiteman No, you rely on pitching in the playoffs. Home runs accounted for more than half of all the runs scored in last year’s postseason lol. The loss to the Rays last year was because their pitchers kept it in the park more than ours did. No other reason. ROCKED their supposedly untouchable ace to open the series, got into a great position and Happ & Tanaka blew it, plain and simple. This swinging for the fences myth had nothing to do with it.
Henry Bee They have it all. I was wrong.
Ralph Peluso Things go in cycles. Right now they lack a lot of solid fundamentals. But pitching has been good and will get even better when Britton and Sevy return and Deivi is in long inning relief mix