Last night the New York Yankees faced the Kansas City Royals on a top 10 weather day at Yankee Stadium. It was an absolutely lovely day for the rubber game, determining who would win the series. It was a day that drew celebrities to watch the Yankees. Ex-manager Joe Torre was on hand, as well as Yankee pitcher Jose Contreras, Godzilla Hideki Matsui, and all-time best Yankee fan Paul Simon. The Yankees won the game in an 8-1 laugher.
Taillon has his best outing of the season
Jameson Taillon came to the New York Yankees in a trade just before spring training in a trade with the Pittsburg Pirates. Taillon hadn’t pitched in almost two years due to two Tommy John surgeries. The Yankees hoped in this risky move that Taillon could return to his previous form and become a solid number three starter for the team.
So far this season, Taillon has become somewhat of a disappointment as he hasn’t returned to that form they hoped for. He has had problems with his command and has mostly failed to put hitters away after two outs. Although he has shown a few bright spots, he has been inconsistent at best. However, last night at the Stadium, he showed that he could pitch deep and put players away. The Yankees hope this is a turning point for Taillon and build on a strong showing. Catcher Gary Sanchez said after the game that Taillon had good command of his pitches and changed up his pitch selection. Taillon got his second win of the season, going 6.1 innings, allowing only one run while striking out six Royals.
Sanchez and Judge on fire again
The oft-criticized catcher Gary Sanchez has done a remarkable turnaround in the last two weeks or so. After nursing a batting average under .200, he now seems like the star he was in 2017. It may be that a minor tweak by hitting coach Marcus Thames in Sanchez’s leg kick may have done the trick. He has seven home runs in his last thirteen games and a now respectable .240 batting average. Also, the good news for the Yankees is that this is not just a few good games; it appears he has found his stride and that it will continue.
Slugger Aaron Judge is a completely different story; he has had a better than average season leading the team in home runs and hitting for contact. But for the last ten days, he has gone into a mini-slump striking out a lot and not hitting for power. Last night that all changed; Judge was on base all five times. Breaking out of that slump last night, he in his first at-bat, he homered into the short porch at Yankee Stadium. He doubled, hit two singles, and also walked on the night. Judge, Sanchez, and Luke Voit all homered in the game.
Torres, Gardner, and Frazier still struggle
The New York Yankees have really turned things around of late, winning seven of their last nine games. This is mostly because the top five in the lineup have been hitting. In this series, the Yankee top five have gone 10 for 22 with four home runs, a double, and eight RBI’s, but all the players haven’t joined the party. Of the top five, only Torres has continued to struggle. The addition of the returning Luke Voit has also added power to the lineup.
Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier haven’t been able to pull it all together this season. Gardner, the 37-year-old veteran holdover from the 2009 World Series team, is batting just .201, with only 2 home runs on the season and a lowly 8 RBI’s. Clint Frazier hoping to add to his 2020 performance, is still playing good defense but is hitting a poultry .188 with five home runs and 14 RBI’s. His poor play has cost him to lose his starting position in left field that he now shares with Miguel Andujar.