Yankees News, 8/28: Giancarlo Stanton has words of confidence for team, Gerrit Cole dominates

Oct 7, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrates with first baseman Luke Voit (59) after hitting a two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during game three of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees won their 13th straight game on Friday evening, the longest since the 1961 season. Something special is ongoing, as the Bombers were clicking on all cylinders as they destroyed Oakland with four homers, securing an 8-2 victory at the Colosseum.

“We’re clicking on all cylinders,” said Stanton, who launched another homer. “We’re grinding away at the opponent. We’ve discussed what it took to get here and how we’ve all fed off each other, the work that we’ve all put in. It’s cool to see it develop.”

Finally, Stanton is hitting dingers left and right, recording eight hits over his last five games, including four consecutive games with home runs and eight total RBIs. On the season, Stanton is hitting .269 with 24 homers and a .862 OPS. His resurgence has elevated the offense, and oddly, ever since he started taking reps in the outfield again, he’s once again found his groove.

However, Stanton wasn’t the only player to hit a long shot on Friday, as Luke Voit, Aaron Judge, and Kyle Higashioka all contributed in the category. Judge finished with three hits on five at-bats, including four RBIs, elevating his average to .291 with a .532 slugging percentage, the highest on the team by a fair margin.

Sitting with a 76-52 record, the Yankees are climbing their way in the AL East standings, but the Tampa Bay Rays continue to win, as they are currently on a five-game winning streak and have won nine of their last 10 games.

A series against the Baltimore Orioles will undoubtedly help increase their odds of victory. The Yankees simply need to keep winning, as eventually, Tampa will lose a game or two, allowing them to sneak their way back into the AL East race. With the final series of the year coming against Tampa, it all could boil down to those three games.

Thankfully, the Yankees have one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and he looked phenomenal against Oakland on Friday. Over 6.0 innings, Gerrit Cole allowed six hits and zero runs. He struck out nine batters over 104 pitches, lowering his ERA to 2.80.

The bullpen performed well aside from Joely Rodriguez, who gave up two runs in relief of Cole. Having a true ace like Gerrit is tremendous for the team’s success, and against Tampa in a few weeks, his services will be that much more important.

On the bright side, the Yankees have a nice three-game cushion in the Wild Card over the Boston Red Sox.