The Yankees played a game last night in which they looked more like the team they were playing, but what’s so different is they won…
The Yankees, hands down, are the hottest team in baseball, and when that happens, the wins come in ways so unlike the team we are used to seeing.
It’s the Kansas City Royals, a young and aggressive team playing for the future, scratching out runs, and picking up a win wherever they can, who matched the Yankees head to head into extra innings last night, only to find a Yankees team doing the same thing, only better.
The Yankees, aka Bombers, are not the team that goes scoreless against a pitcher with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP for six innings while they watch their starter, Jameson Taillon, fearlessly keeping them in the game with zeros of his own – are they?
Well, until recently, they have been exactly that team, unable to register timely hits with runners and scoring position and grounding into way too many double plays (48 and counting).
Yankees: No Doubt Now, There Is A New Look
Last night was different, though, and in so many ways that it begs the question, even though many of the faces are the same, who the hell are these guys.
The Box Score tells the story, but to summarize, the Royals matched the Yankees runs scored with runs scored themselves from the 7th inning through the tenth inning before the Yankees put up a crooked number in the 11th inning that the Royals couldn’t reach.
Yankees: No Heroes, Only Soldiers
But here’s where we see the welcome freshness of the New Look Yankees as, for example, when Tyler Wade (today’s Featured Image) reaches first base on catcher’s interference in the top of the eighth, whereupon he promptly stole second, a feat unheard of when the roster was built on a three-run home run.
Then, Aaron Judge, the guy paid to hit home runs, says, uh-uh I see an opportunity here, promptly dumping a single into right field, scoring Wade, giving the Yankees a brief lead.
The Royals come back with one, and Luke Voit, who had earlier singled to drive in a run, homered to put the Yankees back in the lead, only to see KC send the game into extra innings.
To make a long story short, the Yankees scored two runs on two hits, neither of which was a home run, in their half of the 11th inning, highlighted by DJ LeMahieu‘s double to open the inning to close out his day at 2-5 while batting from the fifth position in Aaron Boone‘s re-juggled lineup.
Yankees: Next Man Up Is Becoming Real
This is what the best teams in baseball do, and it’s why the Yankees have the best record in the major leagues since July 1. They beat the teams, like the Royals, they are supposed to beat.
They do it on days when their bullpen is lights out, and they do it on nights when their relievers, even their best ones like Jonathan Loaisiga, Zack Britton, Clay Holmes, and Chad Green, were shaky last night, allowing the Royals to come back, but never falling into a collapse.
Not to be overlooked either is another stellar performance turned in by Jameson Taillon, as the Yankees await the return of Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, both of who (hopefully) receive negative COVID tests, releasing them from quarantine and available to pitch over the weekend when the Yankees meet the AL Central-leading White Sox.
Taillon, by the way, has reeled off five consecutive wins for the Yankees, reaching into the 6th inning and beyond in each outing.
If you still need more good news, Luis Severino contributed to a combined no-hitter during a rehab assignment in Somerset, NJ, and is likely to join the Yankees in a matter of days, not weeks.
Ditto Corey Kluber will almost certainly return to the Yankees in September, following a series of progressive outings facing active players in live batting practice.
Yankees: Their Most Impressive Win Of The Season
For myself, the Yankees’ win last night was their most impressive of the season. Home runs, yes, but there was also a sacrifice fly by Joey Gallo to drive in a run, the stolen base by Wade, the opposit-field hit by Judge, and the continuing resurgence of DJ LeMahieu and Brett Gardner (two hits and two runs scored) that -put together what again begs the question…
Who the hell are these guys, anyway?
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Steven Kenworthy Is it Next Man Up or Smoke and Mirrors?
Rich Sobik With 5 starters on the IL Our closer on the IL Our starting catcher, 3rd , SS , CF on the IL, O’Daylost for the season, And the Yankees still have the best record in baseball over the past 30 games which is an amazing accomplishment
Mike Harrington Last night wasn’t too dissimilar to the game I got to see up in NY on Friday at the stadium… dull and uneventful until late. They seem to have these games where they muster a win but they’re a slog to watch for the most part. Yesterday was a bore-fest for the most part like the one I saw on Friday. This team is in a strange place right now, but at least they’re doing what they need to do and getting wins. The door is still open on catching the division and more so on the wild cards. That’s the important thing.
Kritter Kryt It’s hard sometimes to believe we’re still on a roll with a million guys out
Vincent Capra Doesn’t matter how you win a W is a W Amen,
Dave Rosenthal Yup definitely a game they would’ve lost a few weeks ago
Bessie Emma It seemed like grit and determination to me!!!