This week was horrific for the New York Yankees. At least we can pull some incredible plays out of this otherwise painful week.
You can only imagine that nothing good could come from this past week’s 1-6 New York Yankees road trip on the west coast. In fact, you could even go as far as some Yankees fans have and say the season is over.
But guess what? It’s just getting started. These Yankees put together a pitiful performance against two struggling teams and managed to get swept for the first time this season.
Despite the negative experience the Yankees had on the Golden Coast, they still made top plays practically every single day. Every member of the team contributed in their own way, just not at the same time.
Certainly the bullpen didn’t make any top plays, but the defensive side of the Yankees game was on fire last week. Sure, there were clutch home runs and tie games but the defensive accomplishments of the Yankees took center stage.
So here we go…take a gander at this week’s Lit Six top plays during this New York Yankees slump.
6. Tanaka Lays Out
Normally I don’t condone pitchers diving for batted balls but in this case, it was a much-needed play for Masahiro Tanaka to make. He has struggled to find his mojo on the mound and this adrenaline-based play might be the right step forward.
Tanaka took the mound aiming for a win after several dismal performances in a row. In the fifth inning with the Yankees up one run, Tanaka gave his body for a bunt attempt by Daniel Descalso of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The layout was followed up by a strong throw from the knees to Chris Carter to secure the out and put an end to the fifth inning with no damage.
If Tanaka can make these plays, maybe he can stop allowing home runs too.
5. Headley Over Heels
Chase Headley’s bat is heating up right along with the weather. It’s his defense that is going under the radar.
Headley has made his fair share of errors on the season but he’s also made some spectacular plays on the diamond. One of those took place during Wednesday night’s loss to the Angels.
Headley made a fantastic diving stop to rob Yunel Escobar of a hit and also preserve a 4-3 Yankees lead. That play, coupled with Matt Holliday’s scoop at first base, made for one of the few highlights in an epic extra-inning loss.
If Headley can keep up at the plate, he will slowly earn more respect from the Yankees fans.
4. Torreyes Slides In Foul Territory
Is this déjà vu? Because I swear we saw an incredibly similar play in last week’s top plays.
The little firecracker has come off the bench and provided a spark for the Yankees whenever necessary. Plays like this are exactly why the Yankees have kept Little Toe around.
A slight bobble almost cost him but it turned into another spectacular play for the Toe Highlight Reel.
3. Yes In-Didi, He Caught that!
Over-the-shoulder grabs were Derek Jeter’s thing, right? Well move over, Captain. Your successor can do the same thing and do it even better.
Didi Gregorius ranged out a long way to center field and impressed the masses by coming up with a difficult catch. He slid backwards, made the catch and lay there for moment. Probably to contemplate the greatness that just unfolded, thanks to him.
We know Didi will never EVER mention himself in his postgame tweets so we have to give him the recognition he deserves. And that play deserves all the praise in the world.
A difficult play, no doubt. However, we trust Didi with our lives and our entire season.
2. Judge’s Clutch Homer
What happens when you bring Aaron Judge home? He continues doing Aaron Judge things, just in a different place.
With family and friends on hand to watch, he launched a go-ahead home run against the Angels in the top of the eighth inning. We’ve seen our fair share of home runs from Judge but this one meant something more.
It put the Yankees up in a ballpark they have historically struggled in. It gave them a lead in the late innings, where their bullpen has been struggling. Judge single-handedly put the team on his back and fought for the win.
We’ll certainly see more Judge clutch homers this year. For now, let’s just enjoy this week’s addition to the highlights.
1. Hicks Robs Grand Slam
For a struggling pitcher, there is no greater best friend than outfielder Aaron Hicks.
Wait…did I really say that? Yup, this year Hicks has been a godsend in the outfield and at the plate. In this week’s best of the best, Hicks climbed the ladder to rob Angels’ Luis Valbuena of a grand slam.
The Yankees were up 4-0, Michael Pineda was in danger of blowing that lead if it wasn’t for Hicks’ superhuman effort. Aaron Hicks, once underrated, now a Yankees hero.
Thanks for tuning in this week. While the Yankees didn’t have the best week record-wise, there was no shortage of top plays to admire while we get through these trying times.