On a record breaking night, the Yankees pull out a close win over the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3. They are now a season high 23 games over .500 and one win away from going 9-1 on this homestand. Let’s get to the takeaways.
1. The Yankees Own The Record: As many of you know, the Yankees came into tonight’s game tied with the ’02 Texas Rangers for the most consecutive games with a home run by a team at 27. The Machine stepped up to the plate leading off the bottom of the first and decided to end the drama early:
The Yankees now hold the all time record for consecutive games with a homer at 28. This is a pretty remarkable accomplishment when you think about it. Over 28 games you’re going to face tough starting pitching, a long line of relievers and some nights when you’re not going to be at your best. To have such consistency in the power department is a testament to how good and deep this lineup is. Who knows when this streak will end.
Apparently feeling left out of the homer party due to his time on the IL, Aaron Judge decided to jump in on the fun right after DJLM’s record breaking homer:
It is nice to see the big man get back in the home run column. Fittingly, the Yankees scored all of their runs tonight on home runs with a second inning short porch shot from Gleyber and an Edwin Encarnación dinger in the 8th.
During this home run streak, Gary Sanchez and DJ Lemahieu have led the charge with 8 and 7 homers respectively. This lineup is relentless.
2. Nestor Cortes has real value on the team: The Chad Green/Nestor Cortes combination is a blessing this year. The Yankees are now 7-0 when using the opener. Cortes is the unsung hero of this dynamic duo. He was fantastic again tonight until he ran out of gas in the sixth. He’s a perfect compliment to the hard throwing Green because of his reliance on movement, ability to change speeds and his knack to throw off a hitter’s opportunity to tunnel pitches. Look at this graphic tweeted out by friend of the blog and former RABer Sung Min Kim:
Nestor throws the ball from pretty much any angle you can imagine. He also varied his timing to the plate including one straight leg pause that was pretty fun to watch. Cortes has a David Cone-esque approach to pitching and it has been effective all year. He finished his night with a line of 4.1, 4H, 2ER, 0BB, 5Ks. I think Cortes is making a strong case to stay with the team even when some guys come back.
3. Aggression On The Basepaths: The Yankees were pretty feisty on the basepaths tonight. In the first inning, Giancarlo Stanton tried to take third base on a throw to first and was thrown out. This decision led to Stanton exiting the game an inning later. After a nice tag up from first base on a fly ball to the right center wall, Luke Voit was thrown out at home on a comical send from third base coach Phil Nevin. Aaron Judge also went from first to third on a base hit to left field.
There was a lot of criticism of the Yankee baserunning tonight, but the aggressiveness was a nice thing to see. The team shouldn’t have a base to base approach on the offensive side. A well rounded offense puts pressure on a defense in every way possible. This includes taking an extra base when you can. The power is clearly the hallmark of the lineup, but scoring cheap runs through an aggressive mentality is always welcome. The Stanton decision was questionable because he either slid or stumbled at second base and the Nevin send was bad. There is a difference between poor execution of aggressive plays and recklessness. These plays tonight felt more like an execution thing than just blindly running around the bases.
Giancarlo left tonight’s game with a right knee contusion. He hurt it on his slide at third base. Domingo Germán will pitch a rehab start for the Railriders on Thursday with hopes of him returning to the Yankees when the team returns from London.
Tomorrow is a 1:05pm start in the final game of this successful homestand. James Paxton will get the start against Toronto. Have a great night everyone.