Down one run in the bottom of the seventh inning, New York Yankees slugger Joey Gallo was looking to uplift his team and smack his first homer in pinstripes. Gallo dreamed of hitting a home run a Yankee Stadium as a 10-year-old boy, and he accomplished that feat on Thursday evening, launching a three-run blast into right field to give the Bombers a two-run lead heading into the bottom portion of the game.
Gallo, who has a team-high 26 homers, is hitting .220 on the season with a 32.5% strikeout rate, the lowest itâ€™s ever been. He also hosts an 18.6% walk rate, the highest in his career, indicating a solid offensive campaign. His batting and baserunning combined above average is 21.6, another career-high for the lefty.
Currently, on a one-year, $6.2 million deal and heading into arbitration this upcoming off-season, the Yankees would like to keep Gallo around for the long haul. He recorded three hits on four at-bats, tallying three RBIs in the win over the Mariners.
While Anthony Rizzo has been the primary catalyst for offensive production since the acquisition, Gallo picked up the slack as Rizzo failed to get on base against Seattle on Thursday. It is nice to see that both players are hitting their stride in pinstripes, as the Yankees seem to be an entirely different team than they were just a few days ago.
In the standings, they currently sit 5.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East and are just 1.5 games back in the Wild Card. They are picking up steam at the perfect time, and at this point, they seem destined for a playoff appearance.
An unusual starting pitcher will feature on Friday:
The starting pitching rotation has been decimated by Covid, as Gerrit Cole, Domingo German, and Corey Kluber are all working their way back. Kluber is dealing with a shoulder injury which he has been rehabbing for the past few months, but he is rehabilitating nicely and should be eyeing a return shortly.
The Yankees, however, will feature Wanda Peralta on the mound on Friday. As a primary relief pitcher, Peralta hosts 5.26 ERA this season with 6.31 strikeouts per nine. Obviously, this isnâ€™t an ideal scenario for the Bombers, but skipper Aaron Boone has been forced to make tough decisions with injuries and illness mounting. Hopefully, Peralta can contribute a solid performance, stringing together another victory for a Yankees team that has won six of their last seven games.