Week 19 Record: 6-1
Season Record: 74-43 (2nd in AL East)
Week at a Glance: New York Mets at Yankees (1 Game)
Tampa Bay Rays at Yankees (3 Games)
Toronto Blue Jays at Yankees (3 Games)
Recap it!: Well, Bombers’ Run is back, baby! What did I miss? *whispers in ear* What? By how much?!!? Who or what in God’s name is a Shane Robinson? *angered, insistent whispering* Wow. So, since I’ve been away, the New York Yankees have been through some good highs, some bloody-vomit-inducing lows and reinforcements have (kinda) arrived in the wake of injuries to catcher Gary Sanchez (groin) and right fielder/Andre the Giant-in-training Aaron Judge (broken hand). Coming off the truly astounding exercise in self-inflicted genital punching that was their four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox in Fenway, it would be easy to curl into a fetal position and babble incoherently, trying in vain to abjure the cruel, cold, indifferent universe that birthed this team, which is what fans indulged in on Twitter all throughout the week. But nay, the Yankees have rebounded (again, kinda) by sweeping the fetid Chicago White Sox at [insert brand name here] Field in Chicago and taking three of four from the equally pitching-deficient Texas Rangers in the Bronx. However, the hopes of winning the AL East have been all but shot out of a cannon and splattered the landscape. As of this writing, Boston leads the division by 9 1/2 games and may never lose again. Impressive, but infuriating, much like watching the World Series of Chimp-Tossing. There are still games left to be played, however, so let us dive right in.
- The Yankees starting rotation has been given an upgrade with the trade deadline additions of lefthander/strange-disease-carrier J.A. Happ and righty/walking spoonerism Lance Lynn. Together, the two have replaced Domingo German (optioned to Triple-A) and Sonny Gray (optioned to South Bullpensville). They’ve performed quite well, with Happ tossing 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs in a win Thursday night. Lynn was even downright dominant, tossing a seven-inning shutout of the White Sox with nine strikeouts. He kept the Ks coming, fanning an additional eight over five frames against the Rangers on Saturday. Combine that with southpaw/podcaster extraordinaire CC Sabathia racking up 19 freakin’ strikeouts and only one earned run over his last two starts, and we’ve got ourselves a solid pitching performance.
- In the absence of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, team skipper Aaron Boone has had to cobble together lineups in the hope of at least treading water until their return. Despite the continued presence of fill-in first baseman Luke Voit and Fill-in outfielder Shane Robinson, the Yankees have been able to win games mostly due to the efforts of outfielder/designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, who’s hit five homers in his last six games. In fact, since Judge hit the DL, he’s hit .295 with five home runs and 11 RBIs. The hitting doesn’t halt there, as shortstop/actual knight Didi Gregorius has hit .300 so far this month, with two homers and six RBIs. This coupled with timely hitting from Mr. Clutch himself, backup catcher Austin Romine has enabled the team to endure shorthandedness and pronounced recent slumps from second baseman Gleyber Torres and first baseman Greg Bird.
Look Out For: Will Aaron Judge and Gary begin hitting this week? Can the Yankees win the majority of this week’s games?
Hey, That’s New!: Neil Walker played right field this week! And it went… surprisingly not disastrously! Man, sometimes injuries make you do the strangest things. We may be one more injured player away from Aaron Boone getting an embarrassing tattoo.
Rant of the Week: As I mentioned before, the Red Sox just refuse to lose, making that four-game sweep all the more crushing to the Yankees very slim hopes of capturing the AL East and with it, home-field advantage. But here is the kicker. Both the Red Sox and Yankees have been served up a schedule as soft as toilet paper for the proceedings (save for a three-game set the Red Sox will play against the Cleveland Indians). All the teams that the Yankees will face for the rest of this month have sub-.500 records. So, here’s the thing, and I will only say this once: THEY MUST WIN ALL THOSE GAMES TO HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE OF STAYING ALIVE IN THE PENNANT RACE! They must win not some, not most, but ALL those games to have a shot! Now, of course, is it likely that such a thing will happen? Probably not, but I can’t say that I didn’t try my best to try and subconsciously influence a team I have no control over whatsoever by using vaguely threatening tone of language. Wow, I REALLY AM A SPORTS COLUMNIST!
Meme/GIF of the Week: I’m back.