Another strong week is in the books for the New York Yankees, finishing 6-2. They started the week with a four-game series against Baltimore, whom they were 13-2 going into said series. Despite the lowly Orioles scoring at least three runs in every game, the bombers would finish off the birds with a sweep, finishing the season series 17-2, including 16 consecutive victories.
Not only did the Yankees continue their mastery of the Orioles as a team, but so did both Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez. Torres hit three more home runs during both games of the series-opening doubleheader, bringing his dinger total against Baltimore to 13. That ties him with Roger Marris for most home runs by a Yankee against an opponent in a season.
Sanchez launched his 10th home run against the Orioles off Dylan Bundy. That long ball made him and Torres the first Yankee teammates since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig to hit double-digit homers against an opponent. The legendary New York Yankees duo each hit 11 dingers against the Boston Red Sox in 1927.
The bombers would not fare as well when they welcomed Cleveland for a four-game set. The Indians got off to a hot start, scorching Yankee pitching to win game one 19-5. The Yankees would win the next two by scores of 3-2 and 6-5 before dropping the finale 8-4, settling for a series split.
Despite the setback, the Yankees are sitting pretty in the A.L. East, leading Tampa Bay by 9.5 games entering Monday.
Injury Update on Voit, Severino, and More:
First baseman Luke Voit is close to returning to the big leagues, having been sent to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to complete his rehab. Voit has been on the I.L. since July 30 with a sports hernia but has luckily avoided needing surgery, which could have ended his season. He could potentially have surgery in the offseason to correct the issue.
The 28-year-old slugger is batting .278/.392/.493 with 19 home runs and 54 RBI in 94 games. He is expected to play for the Railriders sometime this weekend, most likely Thursday and/or Friday according to Bryan Hoch. While he could come back during the New York Yankees’ nine-game west coast trip, Voit prefers to wait for the next homestand. That homestand starts on August 30 against Oakland, two days ahead of roster expansion.
Meanwhile, Luis Severino threw off the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first time in 2019 on Sunday. The New York Yankees ace threw another bullpen before throwing 15 pitches to three hitters. Despite giving up a single to assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, Severino was in good spirits about this step forward.
Dellin Betances is not too far behind, throwing a bullpen on Sunday as well. He should be close to throwing to live hitters as both he and Severino head back to Tampa to continue their rehab.
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is also progressing in his rehab, throwing a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated game on Wednesday in Tampa. He could return late this season, most likely as a long-relief option. The southpaw has been on the 60-day I.L. after undergoing Tommy John surgery back in May of 2018.
Gardner’s bat banging a big no-no, or the new thumbs down?:
After an interesting ejection back on August 9 in Toronto, outfielder Brett Gardner suffered a similar fate eight days later against Cleveland. In both instances, Gardner hit his bat on the dugout ceiling after a questionable called strike three on Cameron Maybin. This time, it was first base umpire Phil Cuzzi who ran over and ejected Gardner, as well as C.C. Sabathia, who started the following day.
This ejection possibly was a result of a meeting between Aaron Boone and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre. During this meeting, Torre ruled that Gardner did enough to warrant his ejection in Toronto, namely hitting the bat on the dugout ceiling. Gardner has performed the action three times this season, as well as making a similar motion during the Bleacher Creature roll call on Sunday.
Some are starting to believe that the bat banging has become the new “thumbs down” rallying cry, further showing that the Yankees have bought into their role as “f-ing savages.”
And now, with that out of the way, it’s now time for this weeks…
Empire Sports Media Yankee Player of the Week:
8 games, 10-31 (.323), 6 HR, 11 RBI, 10 Runs Scored, .935 SLG %
The infamous sophomore slump doesn’t seem to apply to Gleyber Torres, especially during the past week. The 22-year-old continued his mastery over Baltimore with three more home runs, giving him 13 against the O’s on the year. He added three more against Cleveland, giving him six on the week.
Coming into Monday, Torres is now batting .282/.347/.533/.880 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI in 114 games. The 22-year-old looks to be a staple in the Yankee lineup for years to come.