Yankees Hot Corner – ‘B’ Bombers keep truckin’ along
The New York Yankees are on a bit of a tear right now despite having 14 men on the IL. With Clint Frazier going down, the Yankees once again picked up the slack when they needed to as they rallied back from a 5-0 deficit in a 6-5 win on Wednesday night.
The Yankees have now won six straight games and eight of their last nine. They aren’t doing it with the conventional names that Yankee fans are used to seeing, but they have been extremely effective. Despite a surprisingly subpar bullpen, the Yankees are finding ways to win by any means necessary.
The familiar faces in the lineup are stepping up
For those counting at home, the Yankees now have seven positions players from their normal lineup who have hit the Injured List. With Clint Frazier now out for an unknown period of time, the Yankees will have to supplement him with yet another farm hand. However, despite all of these injuries the few who remain healthy have stepped up in a big way.
The three mainstays in the Yankees lineup have contributed to the Yankees’ winning cause. Luke Voit currently has seven home runs and 18 RBIs, including a two home run performance on Tuesday night and three home runs so far in the series against the Angels. D.J. Lemahieu has also contributed to the cause, going 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs on Wednesday night, including a game winning RBI single that brought in Tyler Wade in the Yankees’ 6-5 comeback win. Brett Gardner went 4-for-5 in Tuesday night’s game against the Halos and has looked like an absolute monster hitting out of the three hole.
Unsung heroes all over the place
The Yankees’ six game winning streak can be attributed to many things, but one of the main reasons they’re winning is the timely hits from all areas of the lineup. Excluding the three regular Yankees, there have been a few Yankees in particular who have shined in the absence of their stars.
Gio Urshela has been excellent over the past two weeks, getting two clutch hits on Monday night (including the game winner) and playing top notch defense at third base. Tyler Wade has contributed, despite falling for a hidden ball trick on Wednesday. Newest addition Thairo Estrada collected two hits in his first Major League game, just a little while after being shot in Venezuela. This team is getting positive at bats from just about everyone, and the pitching has contributed too.
The combination of Kyle Higashioka and J.A. Happ has been a good one. Happ on Monday night pitched to the tune of seven innings, three hits and just two earned runs. Austin Romine and Jonathan Loaisiga have also been a great battery, with Loaisiga spelling C.C. Sabathia and pitching three scoreless innings in Wednesday’s comeback win. Romine has been excellent both behind the plate and with the stick, his breakout performance being a three hit, walk-off performance against the Royals.
They’re playing baseball the right way
All it took was for every Yankee on the roster to get hurt for them to play the right way. The biggest knock on the Yankees at the beginning of the season was their inability to get clutch hits, play small ball or rely on anything but the home run ball to score runs. This rag-tag group of AAA hitters have pushed all the right buttons and have shown that maybe those failures are on the players as well, not just the manager.
The Yankees have quite literally scraped and clawed for each run they’ve gotten over the past two weeks. While they’ve had some power from Brett Gardner and Luke Voit, most of their runs, especially in this latest series against the Angels, have come playing small ball. Sacrifice flies, push bunts, and timely hitting have all been reasons why the Yankees have won six in a row.
It’s not to say that the big boys on this Yankee club CAN’T hit like this; It seems like they choose not to. While Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres are knocking in runs with fly balls to deep right field, Gary Sanchez is putting up another four strikeout performance. It’s the little things that have kept the Yankees in the game and in the win column. It’s the right way to play baseball, because those home runs dry up from time to time.
Who knows how long the Yankees will be able to keep this up but boy are they fun to watch. These guys with zero expectations have gotten the Yankees over .500 and on a roll. Whether or not this continues is up to them, but the combination of timely hitting, good pitching, and unsung heroes have them on a six game winning streak. If the Yankees are to continue this run, they’ll need to keep doing all the right things. It’s an improbable run, but it’s really not that surprising when you see what they’ve done to win games.
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