Game 79: A Record Setting Performance

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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.


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  1. Your a Looser Trader FotD

    Any word on Stanton?

    • Derek Albin

      We’ll probably hear something before today’s game. If so, I’ll note it in the game thread.

  2. Eustace

    Great blog.

    But compliment = complement

  3. V

    I can’t disagree more re: aggression on the base paths. This year, the Yankees have lost Andujar (who may never be the same as this injury is a dangerous one) and Frazier (whose ankle injury may have contributed to his terrible defense) due to being too aggressive with secondary leads. Frazier had a .974 OPS prior to the injury and .771 after. Now with one of the best hitters in baseball potentially tearing his PCL going 2nd to 3rd (and Hicks being picked off 1st taking too large of a secondary lead), one has to wonder if the aggression is worth it.

    That isn’t to say going 1st to 3rd when it’s clearly available is a bad idea (Judge’s read was great), but maybe that extra step on the lead isn’t needed, and maybe be 90% certain you can take the extra base rather than a coin flip.

    These aren’t the 2015 Royals, who needed an element of risk on the bases to elevate a power-deficient team. Standing on 3rd vs standing on 2nd is not likely to be worth many of the risks that are taken for the extra base. In addition, the Yankees are in the top 10 of outs on the bases while being bottom 10 at taking extra bases and below average at stealing bases (albeit with a very high success rate). This all while being the 3rd best run scoring team (35% of non-homerun baserunners eventually score). [Incidentally, while researching this comment on B-Ref, I found out that DJLM scores 41% of the time he’s on base, excluding his home runs; that’s crazy good].

    • Randy

      Andújar got hurt jamming his arm in the base after not retreating back to the base on a lead. Frazier jammed his foot on the base. Neither one of those injuries had anything to do with aggressive baserunning.

      Nobody is reporting a potential tear of Stanton’s PCL.

      The 2015 Royals and their approach have nothing to do with playing the game with an aggressive mentality. Every team should play with that. It puts you in a position to score more runs. A lot of people love home runs until a team stops hitting them and then those same people complain that they hit too many home runs. Aggressiveness helps address scoring when the team isn’t on a power binge. And there are 8-10 ways to score from third. That number drops drastically when a runner is on second. Being 90 feet closer to home plate is always a good thing and worth the risk many times. The stat about being bottom 10 in taking extra bases proves my point. And in regards to the top 10 in outs, half of the team was on the IL. Their better players are back and with that comes better baserunning.

      And of course he scores at that clip partly because he’s a good and aggressive baserunner. That isn’t by accident.

      • V

        “Andújar got hurt jamming his arm in the base after not retreating back to the base on a lead. Frazier jammed his foot on the base. Neither one of those injuries had anything to do with aggressive baserunning.”

        Yes, they do. The Yankees take overly aggressive secondary leads very often, inducing a large number of pickoff throws, particularly at 2B and 3B. I don’t know if it’s individual player aggression or team philosophy, but it’s overly risky.

        Healthy aggression doesn’t require a player to run into outs, and they are doing that much too often as a percentage of their chances this year.

  4. Your a Looser Trader FotD

    Frazier be like “Here I come bitches” after the Stanton contusion.

    Too bad he’s struck out like 15 times in 20 ABs since the demotion. Not a great look.

  5. RetroRob

    Weird game. Started out like it was going to be a 10+ run win for the Yankees.

    Stanton’s knee hit the ground sliding into 3B. It didn’t look that bad, so hopefully this is just precautionary.

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