|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Yankees 12, Blue Jays 2…
Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.
Forget the Toronto Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East. This is a dangerous club and one that was predicted to battle the Boston Red Sox for the division championship in most pre-season polls. They’re a good club and much better than their record might indicate. They’ve been very hot recently (winners of 8 of their prior 10 games) and previously injured stars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzski have rejoined the team. So, it is that much sweeter to emerge from the first game of the Yankees-Blue Jays series with such a convincing win.
I love the way Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Gary Sanchez was due to break out and then Sanchez promptly parks one in the second deck in left during the second inning at Rogers Centre for his fifth homer of the season, followed by another shot to left for his sixth round-tripper in the fourth, a two-run blast. As John Sterling put it, “Gary is scary!”. The two home runs traveled a combined distance of 874 feet. Now if I could just get Girardi to say that GM Brian Cashman is really close to trading (i.e., dumping) Jacoby Ellsbury and Chris Carter…
|Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports|
If you purely looked at numbers between two players, who would you start in center field?
Player 1: 135 AB, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .281/.349/.422, .771 OPS
Player 2: 126 AB, 8 HR, 30 RBI, .317/.437/.579, 1.016 OPS
Let’s just say that I am glad Jacoby Ellsbury was unable to come off the DL when he was eligible to be activated on Thursday. Aaron Hicks is on fire. It’s hard to say he was the star of the game when Sanchez smacked two massive home runs, but Hicksie was 4-for-5 with 6 RBI’s to achieve at least co-star honors. A very impressive performance for the player who was slow to realize his potential but seems to be breaking out with full force this season.
|Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-Getty Images|
Aaron Judge, moved up to third in the batting order, singled in the game’s first run.
The Yankees were in control from the start. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada and never looked back.
The recent solid run by CC Sabathia (6-2) has been nice. Backed by superb offense, he pitched into the seventh inning. He departed after allowing the first Blue Jays run on a homer by Kendrys Morales and subsequently striking out Justin Smoak. The Blue Jays were only able to get five hits off CC, in addition to the one run. CC had seven strikeouts and did not walk batter. Chad Green finished the game in relief. He did allow a solo homer by Ezquiel Carrera but provided length to give the rest of the bullpen the night off.
Brett Gardner, with a single in the fourth inning, achieved a career milestone with his 1,000th hit of his career.
This was just a fun game. The Rogers Centre has been a House of Horrors for the Yankees. Last year, they dropped 8 of 10 games to the Blue Jays in the ballpark. So the dominating performance made the win that much more enjoyable.
The Yankees (31-20) were able to gain a game on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, 7-5. The Red Sox are 3 games back, and the Orioles remained 3 1/2 games behind.
Yankees in the News…
Reliever Ernesto Frieri opted not to exercise his opt-out yesterday. Frieri, currently with AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, is 2-0 with 3.00 ERA. Frieri has pitched in 17 games for the RailRiders, covering 21 innings. He has struck out 24 batters and is currently carrying a WHIP of 1.05. As the primary closer for the RailRiders, he has 7 saves. Time will tell if he gets another big league opportunity but you probably shouldn’t hold your breath.
Greg Bird began a rehabilitation assignment with the High-A Advanced Tampa Yankees on Thursday. Bird played first base in the game against the Charlotte Stone Crabs (you gotta love those unique minor league team names). Maybe Tampa should be the Anti-Rays. Bird walked in his first two at-bats showing his eyes are as strong as ever. He finished the game with a single, in addition to the two walks, in the 6-4 loss.
|Credit: Paul LoMoglio-Yankees|
While Chris Carter was putting up another 0-fer night (hitless in 4 at-bats), Tyler Austin, starting at first base for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was getting plenty of legwork with a 3-for-4 night that featured a two run home run in the first inning of the RailRiders’ 6-3 loss to the Columbus Clippers. Carter’s batting average has plummeted to .179 and is making it much easier for the Yankees to eventually decide between Carter and Austin.
Aroldis Chapman threw from 90 to 100 feet on Thursday. Girardi said that the Yankees closer will probably throw a bullpen session next week. The closer is slowly getter closer.
In the first release of All-Star Game balloting, Aaron Judge is currently third with 730,438 votes. The only players he trails are Washington Nationals’ star Bryce Harper and the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (who is currently on the DL following thumb surgery). I am hoping that Harper and Judge are teammates in 2019, but Judge says screw that, I want to be his teammate this year! Not really but if Aaron gets the call for the ASG, I am okay if he does a little schmoozing with Harper and lets him know how wonderful us Yankees fans are.
Have a great Friday! It’s a wonderful time to be alive…and a Yankees fan!