Tonight, the Yankees played one of their best offensive games of the season. It was likely no coincidence that it occurred on the day Judge returned to the lineup, but it was a welcome sight to see the bats in sync. Granted, it was against the A’s, but putting 10 runs on the board is always an enjoyable feat. Hopefully, this series boosts the team’s confidence moving forward, and if Judge is in form, the lineup is significantly better.
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Yankees saw an improved Clarke Schmidt:
Clarke Schmidt had his best outing of the year before a few bullpen arms allowed the A’s to score some consolation runs. Schmidt pitched 6.0 innings with 2 runs allowed, struck out seven batters, and walked only two. If Schmidt can maintain this level of performance going forward, which is a big “if,” it would greatly benefit the Yankees’ rotation, which currently appears fragile. Schmidt should use this positive outing against the weak A’s as motivation and build upon it.
Following Schmidt, Albert Abreu entered the game and immediately gave up a solo home run, walked a batter, and was pulled after just 0.2 innings. His recent performances have been unkind to him following his strong start to the season. His ERA now stands at 4.86 for the year. After Abreu, Wandy Peralta entered the game, loaded the bases, and retired the final out of the inning to get the Yankees out of trouble. Fortunately, the bats were in full swing, so it wasn’t a disaster.
Greg Weissert also struggled in relief, giving up 2 runs on a 2-run homer that offered the A’s a glimmer of hope. He may not be a suitable MLB reliever after all, but time will tell. Clay Holmes then came in and looked fairly solid overall. Despite having a 5-run lead, he couldn’t navigate a smooth inning.
The offense was firing all night:
The offense was in top form tonight, a significant improvement from previous games. They have now scored 17 runs in the past two games, though it is essential to consider their opponent. The Yankees now have a 20-17 record for the season, despite many fans believing the year is already lost and there is no hope. Beating Oakland always helps reenergize a team and instills confidence moving forward. Judge went 0-3 on the night but had a sharply hit grounder ruled an error, a sac-fly, and earned a walk as well.
Gleyber hit a home run tonight, giving him back-to-back games with a blast. His OPS has risen to .810, and he has a solid 123 wRC+ to accompany it. He has been finding his swing again and remains one of the best in baseball at his position. Anthony Rizzo continues to excel at the plate, adding two base hits tonight. He is batting .296 for the year, and with no shift, he has been thriving as he did during his prime.
Rake Bauers also hit his second home run of the year tonight, and if he can consistently provide power, it will be a welcome boost to the bottom of the lineup. Harrison Bader has been on fire with the bat since returning to the lineup, going 3-4 tonight to raise his average to .440 for the year. He has a 1.302 OPS over 25 at-bats and, as always, provides the elite defense he is known for.
Volpe hit a crucial triple that will hopefully help him break out of the slump he has been in for the last 10 or so games. As a rookie, inconsistencies are expected, but if he can work through them, he will eventually find the consistency and stroke we have been anticipating.
Volpe achieved a significant triple, which will hopefully help him overcome the slump he has experienced for the past 10 or so games. As a rookie, this is expected, and I anticipated some inconsistencies along the way. If he can work through them, he will eventually find the consistency and skill that we have been waiting for. He remains one of the better rookies playing right now, and I believe he can reach the level we expect him to. Patience is crucial with all prospects.
In other news, Hicks left tonight’s game with a hip injury, and IKF replaced him. He went 1-3 with a double for the night, but it will be interesting to see what comes next for Hicks. I also wonder what the Yankees will decide regarding the outfield if Hicks must go to the IL and who could potentially join the roster. I would love to see Elijah Dunham get an opportunity, but they might be considering a DH option in Andres Chaparro and addressing the outfield in another way. The Yanks are now preparing to take this series 3-1 tomorrow night, with Brito on the mound.