The Lit Six: New York Yankees Top Plays from 5/15-5/21
May 19, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Matt Holliday (17) doubles during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The mediocre week for the New York Yankees may not have been the best, but there was no shortage of spectacular plays to weed through.

A 3-3 week for the New York Yankees puts them at 25-16 for the season. That’s good, but when we’ve just gotten used to the stellar play we’ve seen at the beginning of the season, this comes as a bit of a disappointment.

Still, nine games over .500 isn’t anything to feel ashamed about. And hopefully these plays will help bring some positivity to an uncharacteristic losing week.

Let’s get right to it, everyone! Here are the top six plays from this past week.

6. Gardner Robs Soler

Brett Gardner is looking like an All-Star on both offense and, now, defense. He is proving he might have the most valuable arm in the outfield right now.

With all the focus on Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge’s laser cannons in the outfield, Gardner’s underrated arm has been doing all the work, it seems.

The Yankees already boasted a 5-0 lead over the Kansas City Royals but Gardner wanted to put another damper on the Royals’ Tuesday evening.

Jorge Soler drove a pitch down the left field line, which was cleanly fielded by Gardner. He fired to second in plenty of time to nab Soler on a one-hop throw.

Brett Gardner, your bat is extremely hot right now. However, I’m looking to protect that arm because that’s exactly what the Yankees need.

5. Sanchez Home Run

Are we witnessing another home run tear for Gary Sanchez? Maybe because this three-run shot was actually a bomb.

With no score against the Royals, Sanchez took a 92 MPH fastball to dead center for a three-run home run. His third home run of the season traveled 428 feet, according to Statcast.

It looks like our power catcher is back! Since his return from the disabled list, he has been a legitimate threat at the plate. Watch out opponents, 2016 Sanchez is making a return.

He’s struggled defensively as of late so hopefully that will be his focus with his offense red-hot.

4. Holliday’s 2-run home run

Everybody loves dingers! Matt Holliday dingers are probably the best.

This one came at the most opportune time. Down two runs in the top of the eight inning, who do you want at the plate?

Mr. Forearms himself, obviously. Holliday took the Rays bullpen deep with one out to tie the game after a lack of offense looked to doom the Yankees.

His eighth of the season, he has brought a much-needed punch to an already strong Yankees lineup. Safe to say, if Joe Girardi knows what’s good for him, he’ll be having Holliday pinch-hitting in the late innings instead of Chris Carter.

3. Chad Green performance

The Scranton Shuttle has held Chad Green captive for a long time. Now, he’s getting his first shot at the major leagues this year.

With the way Green performed on Thursday night in Kansas City, he’s likely to hang around the Bronx for good.

Already losing 5-0, Green was called in for relief and provided just that…including striking out the side in the seventh inning. He kept the Royals from doing any more damage. He pitched three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out six.

Chad Green, you’ve earned a spot in the bullpen. Let’s see if the Yankees decide to keep you there.

2. Joe Girardi’s ejection

This isn’t necessarily a play but Joe Girardi’s ejection was one of the most entertaining things to happen this week.

In his first game back after attending his daughter’s high school graduation, Girardi made an early exit after things got…dirty.

After a mound visit, Girardi and Larry Rothschild were ejected by the home plate umpire, leading Girardi to get his money’s worth. That would include covering home plate in dirt, simply to make a point.
The real hero of this incident? Gary Sanchez, who was the one to single-handedly clean off the plate. What a guy.

1. Judge’s diving catch

Without a doubt, the best moment of this past week happened just yesterday. Aaron Judge simply held the baseball in contempt after committing a robbery of his own.

Judge completely robbed Evan Longoria of a run-scoring double in the top of the sixth. Even better, he got to his knees right away to double off Corey Dickerson.

Just…wow. The catch was absolutely incredible and definitely upped his street cred when it comes to being a solid defender.

He basically put on his Superman cape and saved the game for the Yankees. Preserving a 3-2 lead, Judge helped the Yankees barely escape with a victory.

Ending the week on a victory brings forward momentum to continue winning into the next week. Hopefully the Yankees take that momentum into next week’s match-ups with the Royals and the Oakland A’s.


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