Opinion

Yankees June in review

Tabula rasa, a blank slate. The New York Yankees enter the month of July at 39-39 and with quite the momentum. New York finishes June at 15-12, a game better in the loss column than their 16-13 May ledger.

By momentum of course I mean nearly taking three of four from the AL best Texas Rangers, if not for a costly, lengthy rain delay to start the series. With two consecutive walkoff victories, the Yankees will start a defining month, both before and after the All-Star break. It’s pivotal month, one in which we find out if the Yankees are contenders or pretenders and how the front office reacts to their record at the trade deadline.

The Yankees are eight games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and three games back in the Wild Card hunt. Although three teams are ahead of them in both of those races within their division, that means the Yankees can make or break their season with multiple opportunities to control their own destiny against those foes.

In June, the Yankees longest winning streak was five and their longest losing streak was three.  On the plus side, New York’s .278 team average was fourth best in the AL in June. Their 129 runs ranked fourth as well. Yet they could’ve used more Bombers in the Bronx, as their 30 home runs ranked 11 in the AL.

Best game of June –

Not their most decisive win or their only comeback but given the opponent and how they got back up off the mat, the Yankees 9-7 victory on June 29 against the Rangers, stands out the most to me. In the ninth inning, Brian McCann launched a game-tying home run and Didi Gregorius capped it off by drilling a walk0ff home run in the same frame. As we’re coming to find out, the Yankees have themselves yet another blossoming leader at shortstop or as Gregorius put it, “That shows everybody that we never give up.”

Worst game of June –

Sticking in the same series, while the Yankees had worse losses margin wise, this one stung the most. On June 27, playing through a torrential downpour most of the game and leading 6-5, the elements got the best of Aroldis Chapman in the ninth, prompting manager Joe Girardi and the umpires to call for the trap and a lengthy delay. When the game resume around 2:30 a.m., Kirby Yates proved no better in the control department and a 6-5 lead slipped away, turning into a 9-6 Texas victory.

Top performers –

Carlos Beltran:

As has been the case all season, Beltran continues to mash. In June, Beltran batted .366 with seven home runs, 22-RBI and slugged at a .659 clip.

Didi Gregorius:

Sir Didi is getting it done against lefties and righties, hitting with pop and hitting ’em where they ain’t. In June, Gregorius batted .337 with four home runs and 18-RBI, slugging .535. Gregorius had a team best 34 hits.

Andrew Miller:

Miller was absolutely filthy in June. Miller went 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 26 K’s across 14 innings, holding batters to a .130 average and posting a 0.57 WHIP.

Michael Pineda:

From #BADMike to #BIGMike again. Pineda flourished in June and was the Yankees best starter by far, capping off the month with a dominant 12 strikeout performance against the Rangers. On the month, Pineda posted a 2.75 ERA in six outings, fanning 49 in 36 innings, holding batters to a .201 average, posting a 0.97 WHIP.

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