BRONX, N.Y. — This is what we expected down the stretch from the New York Yankees. A soft landing spot on the back end of the schedule and the Bronx Bombers taking full advantage. A combination of healthy bats breaking out in a big way and a stabilized starting rotation went a long way toward a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees have won eight straight contests and absolutely blasted the baseball, setting a major league mark with 19 home runs in three games. The sweep also created further separation in the division and if nothing else the Yankees are inching closer to at least securing home-field advantage in the Wild Card round.
Yankees 20. Jets 17. Giants 16. Who needs football in New York when you have a baseball team like the Bronx Bombers? The pinstripes absolutely pulverized the Blue Jays in a 20-6 rout and it wasn’t even that close. This all came with Giancarlo Stanton returning to the lineup and going 0-for-4 with a walk. It was quite the statement as the Yankees posted their highest run total since Aug. 30, 2015.
Believe it or not, the Yankees actually trailed in this one, after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took Deivi Garcia deep in the second stanza. Yet, that lead was short-lived in the home half.
Facing Taijuan Walker, the Yankee bats went to town. Gio Urshela, also back in the lineup, lined a one-out double to left. Clint Frazier reached on a fielding error by Derek Fisher in right, enabling Urshela to move to third. Brett Gardner followed with an RBI-single to center to square the contest at one. With two down, Frazier scampered to third on a wild pitch. Consecutive RBI singles from Tyler Wade and DJ LeMahieu made it 3-1.
The ensuing batter Luke Voit delivered the big bop, launching a three-run round-tripper to left.
Shun Yamaguchi played the role of the sacrificial lamb in the third inning. Urshela walked and advanced on a balk. Frazier and Gardner were also given free passes and Gary Sanchez and Wade were hit by a pitch. LeMahieu capped it all off with a bases-clearing double to left.
Prior to the deadline the Yankees could’ve targeted a pitcher such as Walker but decided to trust their youngster Garcia. The move or non-move seemed to pay off Tuesday evening. The rookie hurler did more than pitch to the scoreboard, he more or less breezed through the Blue Jays bats.
Garcia provided the pinstripes plenty of length with seven solid frames. The young righty fanned six, scattered six hits, walked two, and allowed three runs. The aforementioned Guerrero Jr. home run and a longball by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the fourth frame were the extents of his damage yielded.
BOMBER BALL ROLLS ON
The bomb show continued into the fourth frame. Sanchez drilled a three-run tater to left off Anthony Kay. Voit was merciful for once with an RBI-single to right.
It was much of the same formula in the second game, as the Yankees tossed up another football score with a 13-2 victory. The Bronx Bombers belted seven bombs and Aaron Judge didn’t even have one. I believe Gerrit Cole may have a new personal catcher as well.
COLE KEEPS IT 100
Cole kept the ball rolling for the streaking pinstripes and was rock solid. If players are mentally in the June portion of the schedule, well, that was pretty good in 2019 for the Yankee ace, when he pitched to a 1.89 ERA. If you believe he’s in the Sept. mentality, well, you wouldn’t be that far off either, as he pitched to a 1.07 ERA during that month last season.
Cole was laser-focused tossing to Kyle Higashioka. He mixed his pitches really well and shoved for seven strong innings. The power pitching righty fanned eight, including striking out the side in the seventh stanza to cap off his evening. Cole, who no-hit the Jays through five frames, allowed three hits total and one run on a wild pitch in the sixth inning.
The victory marked career win No. 100 for Cole.
BRONX BOMBER BRIGADE
LeMahieu again was a tone-setter in his familiar leadoff spot. Facing Tanner Roark in the first frame, the Yankee second sacker socked a solo shot to right. It was the first of two for LeMahieu, who clocked a two-run tater in the fourth frame.
The only one who could top the man atop the batting order was the man on the bottom of the totem pole, Higashioka. During the third inning, the Yankee backstop smacked a two-run homer to dead center. Higgy would pop a solo swat off Jacob Waguespack in the sixth inning. The following inning he capped it all off with a two-run bomb off Hector Perez for good measure.
This marked the first time in team history the Yankees have hit six-plus homers in consecutive contests.
It was a bit of a seesaw affair in the early going as the Yankees and Blue Jays exchanged a couple of runs apiece. Yet, the Bronx Bombers busted it open by walloping five round-trippers in a seven-run fourth frame. Other than Jonathan Holder making this game closer than the score would indicate, it was another relative romp and a 10-7 Yankee victory for the sweep.
Along with the longball, the trend of solid starting pitching continued for the pinstripes. Masahiro Tanaka carried the torch. As with Garcia and Cole, Tanaka tossed seven strong frames. Tanaka scattered seven hits, fanned five, and allowed three runs, two of which were home runs to Gurriel Jr. in the third and fifth innings respectively. Aside from that he relatively coasted along with the scoreboard.
The Bronx Bombers made home run history during the fourth frame against Chase Anderson, which is saying something considering the homer history of the Yankees.
New York would actually take the lead on an RBI-double by Sanchez to left, which was the second hardest-hit ball in the bigs this season. Some major foreshadowing.
The ensuing batter Voit crushed a solo shot to right-center for the third consecutive home run. Voit became the third Bronx Bombers slugger to hit 20 home runs in the team’s first 50 games, joining Babe Ruth (three times) and Mickey Mantle (once).