After yet another destructive day by New York Yankees’ rookie Gary Sanchez, it’s safe to say that this is unusually freakish.
Just over a month ago, the New York Yankees called up highly touted catching prospect Gary Sanchez following a fire sale to simply “see what he could do.”
On August 3, his permanent promotion occurred. On August 10, the 23-year old slammed his first home run of his major league career.
Now, on September 21, just 42 days after his first shot, the tale of the year the Kraken took the league by storm is entirely apprehended.
In the top of the second inning during Wednesday’s game at Tropicana Field, Sanchez went deep for a three-run homer giving him 18 in just 45 career games, a new major league record.
Think that’s nuts? Well, he wasn’t satisfied.
Just four innings later, he hit his 19th home run of the season off Justin Marks, making him the fastest player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach that number (45 games).
The second-fastest was Wally Berger, who reached number 19 in 51 games back in 1930.
Powered by those two home runs, Sanchez was also able to register his first career five-RBI game, which not only sparked the Yankees to an 11-5 win, but delivered him even closer to more history.
The youngster now has 38 RBI in 45 games, which is the fourth most by a Yankee to start a career. Joe DiMaggio (46) is first, Tony Lazzeri (42) is second, and Joe Gordon (40) is third.
All three are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
While making an unthinkable dent baseball’s record book, Sanchez has tentatively revived the Bronx Bombers.
Powered by their catcher, who has homered in four straight games, New York has won two in a row, while Toronto and Baltimore each lost. With that, the Yankees are now just 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot with 11 games left to play.
They will go for the sweep of the Rays on Thursday night, then travel North of the border where they begin the season finale — ten straight games against contenders.
Even if the heavy lifting Sanchez has done over the last two months isn’t enough, though, he has exploded upon the baseball scene like no one has (literally).
Regardless of a postseason presence, he has established himself as not only the foundation of the franchise’s skyward trend, but has inspired hope to a team that considered 2016 to be a lost cause.
Sanchez might have done enough to win the Rookie Of The Year Award, but he has unquestionably earned “Team MVP” for a team that would be in the cellar without him.
Forget playoffs, forget wins (for now). Just like the distant generation bestowed stories of DiMaggio, Maris, and Mantle, the modern crop of Yankees’ fans now have stories of their own.
The fans, who are currently starstruck by Gary Sanchez, will be able to tell their kids about the year he took the league by storm with his faultless value, historically epic first impression, and the representation of the most innovative core of superstars.
Enjoy it, while it lasts.
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.