Week 15 Record: 4-2
Season Record: 58-29 (2nd in AL East)
Week at a Glance: – Yankees at Baltimore Orioles (4 Games) – Yankees at Cleveland Indians (4 Games)
Recap it!: Here on Bombers’ Run, I occasionally like to indulge in questions of the rhetorical variety, because I’m just the sort of pseudo-philosophical, grandiose gasbag who does that (seriously, I’m so full of hot air you could attach a basket to me and float to Morocco in 2 days, but that’s neither here nor there). Still, I must ask: When is a good thing also a bad thing? Now, I’m not talking about a candy bar filled with hypodermic needles, or a clown filled with so much ennui that Sam Smith will write a song about him. I’m talking about the Yankees essentially turning into a triage unit with cleats while our backs were turned. That’s just the kind of thing that grabs most of the attention despite another solid week of 4-2 baseball. Rookie second baseman/child of pure light Gleyber Torres has hit the 10-day disabled list with a hip issue, causing the Yankee faithful to hold its breath in tension and pray to whatever eldritch deity that it won’t keep him down long. Add to that injuries both small and large incurred this week to centerfielder Aaron Hicks (cramps), starter Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder), and closer Aroldis Chapman (recurring knee tendonitis) and you’ve got yourself a team that’s decidedly depleted, but somehow doing relatively well anyway.
- On the pitching side of things, Nega-Sonny Gray showed up again, getting bashed for five earned runs in just two short innings of work Friday night in the series opener loss against the Blue Jays, a game the Yankees dropped 6-2. Now, I try to be more circumspect when it comes to starting pitching, since I understand that a season is filled with ups and downs, and baseball is a game of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, but something MUST be done to shake Sonny Gray out of this near-Sisyphean funk he’s in as of late. Perhaps a few more workshopping sessions with pitching coach Larry Rothschild will do the trick. Jonathan Loaisiga also took a loss against the Braves on Monday as well. Luckily, pitchers Luis Severino and Domingo German turned in solid performances, with both earning wins this past weekend against the Blue Jays. German in particular was notable due to the fact that not only did he hurl six innings of one-run ball (in a game the Yankees won 2-1), he outpitched Severino, who uncharacteristically gave up three runs in five innings of work the day before, which ended up as 8-5 victory nonetheless. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just weird.
- Outfielder/Mr. Clean stand-in Brett Gardner heard what’s been said about him, and he ain’t happy (Before you ask, yes, Brett Gardner can hear you. He hears all). He responded by hitting a leadoff home run on Saturday off Blue Jays veteran and potential trade target (?) J.A. Happ. Aaron Judge joined in on the fun right after, as he blasted a homer of his own, going back-to-back with Gardner. He also drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of Sunday’s matchup. Overall, it’s a welcome sight indeed to behold a revved-up Brett Gardner. A revved-up Brett Gardner can do wonders.
Look Out For: Monday brings a doubleheader at Camden Yards, while the Yankees will finish up the first half in a crucial 4-game set in Cleveland. Watch out for the possible return of pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Hey, That’s New!: Voting for the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. has concluded, and Luis Severino, Aroldis Chapman, right fielder Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres are headed to the soiree, with one more spot open.
Rant of the Week: And speaking of, outfielder/designated hitter/perennially shirtless interviewee Giancarlo Stanton is up for that final spot. Now far be it from me to tell you-ah, forget it, I am going to tell you. Vote for Giancarlo! Send him to D.C. so he can be shirtless in our nation’s capital! Some would call him undeserving, I call that unvarnished bull-plop. He’s hit 21 home runs and had 51 runs batted in, which is very close to his stats this time last year, when he was selected as a member of the Miami Marlins. By such a line of logic, doesn’t that mean he should be sent to his fifth All-Star Game? I think so. He’s gone from inexplicable pariah to good hitter in no time flat. THEREFORE, I CALL UPON THEE TO CAST YOUR VOTE! SPREAD THINE HASHTAGS ACROSS THE LAND!!!! And remember, folks. Every time you vote Stanton, Paul Rudd will dance. Keep him dancing.
Meme/GIF of the Week: Play me off, good sir!