The Yankees are a team firing on all cylinders. Everything is working, and in some cases, it’s working better than anyone could have dreamed…
Yes, the Yankees have won ten straight and 16 of their last 18, and they are a mere four games removed from the top spot in the American League East Standings.
Yankees fans are not fickle – they stick with their team, though we can expect that YES ratings have seen a huge uptick in August, as fans return to the fold, mainly because there is excitement in the air at Yankee Stadium again.
Undoubtedly, someone at the Elias Sports Bureau has already been assigned to research Yankees’ history, looking for comparisons that match or exceed the team’s recent run.
Yankees: Living With Live History
We don’t need that, though, because we are living history, and we recognize greatness and uniqueness when we see it; in the same way, we observe Gerrit Cole‘s greatness when he goes up the ladder to strike out a batter to protect a one-run lead.
Over the years, the Yankees have always expected to win every time they take the field, and their fans expect nothing less.
Nowhere was that more reflected than last night when the Yankees seemingly waltzed to an easy victory over the Atlanta Braves, a team who themselves had won nine straight.
They did it with pitching that produced five innings from Jordan Montgomery, and then Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta, and Aroldis Chapman, who seems fully recovered from whatever it was that ailed him. For August, the Yankees’ team ERA is 2.28.
The Yankees didn’t “kill” the Braves with their offense, but they watched as they drove Atlanta into submission while garnering only six hits to score five runs.
Again, contributions came from everywhere, including two walks earned by Joey Gallo and two runs scored, a single by Gary Sanchez driving home two while giving the Yankees breathing room from a 3-1 lead.
And then, of course, there’s the man we all love to bash, Giancarlo Stanton, whose double and home run (his 21st) accounted for three of the Yankees runs.
Stanton is having the time of his life, and for the first time since his MVP year so long ago, it’s fun to come to the ballpark again, especially when he sees his name on Aaron Boone‘s lineup card, assigned to playing the outfield.
None of the Yankees players know what to expect anymore and from whom the contributions will come when they report for work each night.
Tyler Wade, Luke Voit, Kyle Higashioka, and Brett Gardner all have DNP’s (did not play) next to their names in last night’s box score, and soon the crunch will get tighter when Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres complete their rehab.
Yankees: Self-Definition Of The Word Team
The saving grace, though, is that Aaron Boone is blessed with a group of guys who are (finally) united as one and re-devoted to the singular goal of any Yankees’ team – winning.
The Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants, and White Sox also have it this year. But can the same be said for the star-studded Dodgers, Padres, and Red Sox?
Given the Yankees 2nd highest team payroll in the major leagues, the team hasn’t done anything more than what most fans expected them to do. Yankee haters across America are not bashful about reminding of that.
Nevertheless, the story of the Yankees this year is divided into two parts, the first of which was a god-awful team with a manager who constantly portrayed them as something far different than the standings showed.
Boone gets points for his perseverance during those times, but it was Hal Steinbrenner who hit the nail on the head when he publicly called out his players, citing the majority of the blame on their shoulders.
In the background, it’s likely Brian Cashman took a personal note, got off his stale back to bring in Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. Since then, the Yankees are a different team, and their record proves it.
Yankees: Continuing To Find The Right Mix
Baseball is a sport filled with superstitions and routines. Players and managers will try anything when things aren’t going well, but the adage “don’t upset the apple cart” takes over when things are going well.
Up and down the Yankees 26-man roster, some players have contributed to the run, to the point where it gets harder for Boone, who can only field a team of nine each day.
Adding Corey Kluber and possibly Luis Severino to a pitching mix already burgeoned by the emergence of Luis Gil and Nestor Cortes Jr. and possibly Andrew Heaney, depending on how he does in his start tonight against the Braves, is a challenge that is both a boon and a curse.
But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to “feel” and sense when a major league team has that spirit of camaraderie or not. And sometimes, there can be a team like the New York Mets who has that element, but not the talent that takes them to the level the Yankees are at.
Regardless of where this Yankees team ends up the season, it will always be remembered as a team that was all but buried by fans, the standings, and perhaps even by a few of the players themselves six weeks ago.
The Yankees’ current run may or may not be of historic proportions, and we all live with knowing what goes up must come down.
The question, though, is if the Yankees can stay aloft at their present altitude long enough to run out the string, one that has nothing to do with being a Wild Card team or a Division title – but forward to a long-awaited 28th World Championship.
The Yankees Have Yet To Win Anything
The Yankees, like all of their competitors, have yet to win anything.
But ask Brett Gardner, the last Yankees’ holdout from 2009, because he knows better than anyone these opportunities don’t come along that often, even if you are the New York Yankees.
Ask Aaron Judge, who still believes a World Series appearance was stolen from him by the cheating Houston Astros.
Nothing in sports (at any level) matters more than motivation that spells out a goal, together with the confidence that goal can be reached.
The Yankees have all of that now, and this is why their recent surge, while overdramatic and maybe even unprecedented, is only, as Aaron Boone insists, is only a beginning.
Nevertheless, the Yankees have put the rest of the league on notice they are a team to be reckoned with and not the team we saw only a few weeks ago…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Jack Hughes Let’s go keep this mentality up!
Onix NavarroAnd just over a month ago people were sticking forks in them, myself included. Charles Griffin Onix Navarro me too, but it’s just because we love this team so much! Alas, me too.
Jimi Mostler Nice job on that article. It was a good read.
Joe Gonzalez And now they’re showing how playing hungry is like. They look scary! Keep it up, boys. This is what we’ve been begging for.