The plot of Yankees Game Saturday was taken from the movies, in which a plane that was presumed lost suddenly crashes and takes off, while the missing passengers exit the plane, no worse for the experience.
After spending weeks in parts unknown when NYY27 arrived in The Bronx, there was Giancarlo Stanton and there was Josh Donaldson and there was DJ LeMahieu and there was, surprise, surprise, crime. He had eight hits, five for extra bases, including three home runs, in a 6–3 victory over the Cubs.
It seemed like a typical hazy, lazy day of summer, except it was nothing. The Yankees were limited to 14 hits – three for extra bases – in a three-game losing streak played on Saturday. It was anything but typical for a team whose production had been languishing at the bottom of the AL barrel since the passing of Aaron Judge in Los Angeles on June 3.
Did someone say barrel? Stanton certainly did when he blasted Drew Smiley’s 1-0 sinker into orbit in the bottom of the first with two outs, sending the ball crashing 447 feet into the forecourt of the stadium’s third deck. Its exit velocity was 118.1 mph, making it the third hardest hit ball of the MLB season behind balls hit by Matt Olson (118.6) and Jake Burger (118.2).
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Gerrit Cole, who masterminded 7 ¹/₃ innings of three-hit ball before running into trouble in the seventh.
Manager Aaron Boone said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“I’ve had a few good ones over the years, but he was great,” Stanton said. “It was good to stand us up.”
The Yankees (49-41) have one game to play before the All-Star break and are tied with the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot. Cole has been an ace. Carlos Rodan’s performance in his debut in pinstripes on Friday provides hope for a rotation that has been held together by bailing wire, chewing gum and Cole in the first half.
“He is one of the greats of the game. “He’s been a rock, a model of consistency for us,” Boone said of Cole, who after a 9-2 (2.85 ERA) first half was headed to Seattle with a chance to start for the American League All-Star team. Is. “He’s a great, great pitcher.”
But even if the rotation rotates, the Yankees won’t go anywhere meaningful if the big names packing the lineup continue to spread, and that applies whether Judge is able to provide meaningful at-bats for the club. There is no room to hide the heart of an order that has produced terrifying numbers in the absence of a judge.
Stanton, in his sixth year as a Yankee, has made as light an impression on the landscape as is humanly possible for a guy who weighs 6 foot 6, 245 pounds. He has shown flashes of unusual strength, but has been obscured by his frequent and prolonged stays on the injured list. That’s often an afterthought.
“He’s as unique as they come,” Boone said of Stanton, who hit the right field foul pole with a man on base in the fifth inning for his second homer of the afternoon. Extends the lead to 6-1 by hitting. “You just have to ride through it and when he takes it off he can go for a while.
“That first ball, wow, I’ve never seen that.”
Stanton, who came in after a long stint on the IL during the series in which Judge was injured, posted a slash line of .151/.240/.256 with two homers and eight RBIs on Saturday since his return. entered with He also had a career-low .656 OPS after a .582 OPS in the second half of the previous season.
Stanton, who landed in the outfield (right field) for the 12th time this year, said, “I don’t put too much pressure on myself because of the judge.” “it’s none of my business. It is never lack of effort or lack of work.
Donaldson, who was feared missing, had a .130/.215/.406 slash line with six homers and 10 RBIs as Judge left the lineup. On Saturday, he crushed his 10th home run into the left-center-field stands to take a 2–0 lead in the second. That’s 10 home runs… He has 14 total hits on the season.
“I feel like my at-bats are up there,” said the third baseman, who came in after a long stay on the IL during that ill-fated series at Dodger Stadium. “I can’t control where the ball is going.”
So has Stanton… and Donaldson… and hey, even LeMahieu, who after his first two seasons as a Yankee, has been off a cliff since signing his six-year, $90 million contract ahead of the 2021 season. Has fallen, in which he posted a .336/.386/.536 slash line. Since then, he’s gone .256/.340/.366 over several trips to the IL.
But on Saturday, Lemahieu hit a solid double in the second inning. Baby steps, maybe, but steps nonetheless.
The missing reappeared on Saturday. It was quite a sight. It is possible that they will be seen again on Sunday as well.