Last night the reshuffled lineup produced early and often giving Hiroki Kuroda a nice lead to work with. What was really nice to see was Jacoby Ellsbury get his swing back. Towards the end of this National League road trip we saw some flashes from Ellsbury, but last night we saw him have his first real breakout game in weeks. Against St. Louis starter Shelby Miller, Ellsbury went 3-for-5 3RBI 2R and 2SB. He also recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the year last night.
More importantly he looks like he got his stroke back, Ellsbury had some razor sharp hits last night, the type of hacks that we had been used to seeing earlier on in the season. Over his last five games he is 7-for-20 .350 BA, including the go ahead home run in the extra innings against the White Sox on Saturday. Also over these last five games he’s only struck out five times, that’s another plus for Ellsbury, who’s seen an increase in strikeouts this month. His batting average (.268) is still not where the Yankees would like it to be, but all signs are pointing towards Ellsbury breaking out of his slump. Even when he isn’t hitting he still is able to get on base, with 21 walks this season he has a somewhat respectable .340 OBP. Aside from his hitting last night, Ellsbury did something no other player has ever done before. He stole a total of three bases in this series off the best defensive catcher in the game, Yadier Molina. As I’ve said before Ellsbury has to be the catalyst for this Yankee offense.
Hopefully Ellsbury has finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. His slashing swing looks like it might be back. Lets just hope it is here to stay. After last night his season slash is .268/.340/.384 .724 OPS with two home runs and 21 runs batted in.