CHICAGO, Ill. — The New York Yankees could’ve easily swept the Chicago White Sox, that’s how well they’re rolling right now. Yet, sweeping a four-game set on the road is tough for anyone so you take winning three-of-four in the Windy City against a team with postseason expectations. The Yankees improved to 11-2 against the American League Central this season and are 16-0 when they score five-plus runs in a game.
The Yankees have won six of their last seven games and are 18-3 in their past 21 games and 20-4 in their last 24 contests. Plus, the Bronx Bombers are 25-9 (.735) to start the season, the best record in MLB. That ledger matches their fourth-best 34-game start to a season in franchise history and represents the ninth time in club history and just the third time since 1959 that the Yankees have won 25 of their first 34 games of a season.
Giancarlo Stanton: I really could’ve gone all offense here with guys like Josh Donaldson and Joey Gallo heating up. Yet, I’m going with Stanton here. He absolutely smashed on the South Side. Stanton homered three times, including twice on Thursday when he drove in six runs. Stanton’s slash line in four games was .500/.556/.1.125/1.681. Now he’s headed to Camden Yards where he’s 22 for his last 50. Lookout!
Nestor Cortes Jr.: It’s quite remarkable what he’s done isn’t it? He goes from a Super Mario Bros meme to a nice story to a legit candidate for an All-Star nod and Cy Young consideration. On Sunday he yielded solely one run in a career-best eight frames, fanning seven. Cortes Jr. boasts a 1.35 ERA, the lowest in the Junior Circuit. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in seven starts. He rates third in MLB in opponents’ batting average (.164), fourth in WHIP (0.85), opponents’ OBP (.225), and opponents’ OPS (.504), and ranks seventh in K/9.0IP (11.03) and his 49 K’s are the sixth-highest in the AL.
Gerrit Cole: I loved how Cole picked up his teammates, specifically shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He truly did dig in Friday and showed why FIP is probably a more accurate indicator than ERA. If not for a brain freeze of his own where he balked in a run, it would’ve been an even better outing. Yet, his nine K’s in 6.1 frames with three runs allowed was a quality start.
Aroldis Chapman: It’s tough to watch him pitch when he can’t harness his fastball. When he can’t locate the fastball, other teams sit on his 83 mph slider and whack away. In his defense, manager Aaron Boone probably should’ve kept rolling with Clay Holmes into the ninth inning Saturday. Alas, Chapman allowed a walk and a pair of hits for the loss.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: He was better at the plate but he botched in the field Friday and on the base paths Saturday, which probably cost the Yankees the game.
Aaron Hicks: While he did knock in two, he was a dreadful 1-for-11 in the series.