Most fans would excuse the New York Yankees for having a difficult time managing the plethora of injuries that is currently plaguing the club. Yet, that did not stop the Yankees from rallying from a 5-0 deficit to win a impressive sixth straight victory. It was not a traditional comeback for the Yankees either, as the side fought back with grit and traditional base hitting. No “Bronx Bombers” here.
The New York Yankees have won eight of their last ten games and as a result find themselves only 1.5 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. Meanwhile, New York is in the midst of a west coast swing that could have easily seen the club fall further back in the standings. Instead, players like Luke Voit, Brett Gardner, and Gleyber Torres have been instrumental both offensively and defensively in keeping the Yankees afloat.
Last night Jonathan Loaisiga came into the game in the sixth inning and allowed the Yankee hitters to rally. Loaisiga, who has traditionally been a starter this season, allowed only two hits over the course of his three inning stretch. He ultimately gave way to Aroldis Chapman to close the deal on an impressive win against a struggling Angels team. CC Sabathia, who was attempting to reach 3000 career strikeouts in his third start of the year, never exhibited his best stuff all night. He struggled with his pitch placement and gave up back to back home runs to Andrelton Simmons and left slider hanging to Kole Calhoun.
Aaron Boone’s batting order only featured four hitters that were included in the Opening Day lineup. Gary Sanchez, who was one of the four, just returned from the injured list and went 0-4 in his first game back. The club also just lost outfielder, Clint Frazier, to a sprained ankle , and today traded for veteran Cameron Maybin from the Cleveland Indians in order to cover for a thinning outfield.
While it might be unreasonable to expect New York to keep up the on-field performance, there is a great deal that has been learned about just how difficult the Yankees will be once everyone is healthy. The multifaceted nature of the team from being a home run focused powerhouse to a grind it out ball hitting club is not an attribute that can be ascribed to every club. Most teams are known for having a certain playing strategy and it can be arduous to deal with the loss of crucial players, but that is exactly what New York has been able to do this early in the MLB season.
Aaron Boone has a lot to be proud of, and if the trade for Maybin is any indication, he and upper management are not going to sit idly by as they await the return of their star performers. Boone attributed the winning streak to the club coming together,
“The way that these guys are picking each other up, rallying around each other, rallying around the adversity we’ve had has become a calling card… they [the players] are very close, very resilient, very tough.”
The leadership of veterans including Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia have no doubt helped get the best out of the younger players, who perhaps did not envision an opportunity to play as often as they have in the early goings of the year.
New York needs to continue to push for wins. The next six games out west will require the best out of a tiring Yankees squad, but there is no time to rest. The Boston Red Sox have been performing better of late including a sweep of the Rays last weekend. It might be early, but come the end of the season every win could make the difference in claiming the AL East.
Photo Credit-Unsplash: Dan Gold