This week in the world of the New York Yankees consisted of division rivalries, which equates to stellar moments all around.
The New York Yankees have truly approached their first test of the season with playing all of their division rivals one after the other. The teams they have to beat are all gunning for the Yankees, who currently sit atop the American League East.
Luckily, these 2017 Yankees aren’t scared. They are not ready to roll over. They are simply ready to keep their heads down and keep running away with the division.
This past week, the Yankees spend three days at Camden Yards before completing a four-game set at Rogers Centre. In an overall rough week, the Yankees still managed to hit some milestones and make some great plays along the way.
Without further adieu, here at the six top plays from this week of New York Yankees baseball.
6. Gardner’s 1000th hit
Psh, people said that Brett Gardner wouldn’t still be on the Yankees. Well, nine years later he is a huge part of the team AND he just got his 1000th hit of his career.
With the Yankees already up 5-0 on Thursday evening, Gardner took a Marco Estrada fastball right back up the middle to notch his milestone hit.
Not known for being a power hitter in the past, his signature was a hard-hit single. That’s exactly how he reached the milestone.
I don’t care if you are all aboard the Gardy fan train or are buying him a ticket for the first train out of the Bronx. Whoever you are, you have to be accepting of such a great accomplishment for the longest-tenured current Yankee.
All hail one part of the Bald Brothers!
5. Rob Refsnyder Brings Life To First Base
The Yankees decided to give Rob Refsnyder a fair shot at a currently vacated position. Well, they’re patting themselves on the back for it now.
On Tuesday night at Camden Yards, Luis Severino forced Seth Smith to ground sharply towards the right side. With a diving stop and scrambling towards first, Refsnyder got the out and kept Baltimore off the base paths.
Ref showed off his agile side and made the play, along with getting a few other tough scoops at first base. It’s not his first position but the Yankees are getting the utility usage out of the famed journeyman.
Don’t think he can play multiple positions? He just proved that he can. AND he can do it in style.
4. CC Sabathia Hits Strikeout Milestone
I told you all, it was certainly a week for milestones on the New York Yankees. CC Sabathia got in on the fun, passing Frank Tanana for fourth on the all-time strikeouts list for left-handed pitchers.
In the bottom of the first inning, Sabathia struck out Jose Bautista to bring his career total to 2,774 strikeouts. The only lefty pitchers with more strikeouts than him? Mickey Lolich, Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.
Honestly, I’ll say he’s in pretty great company. That milestone is just a testament to what a great season he’s had this year, despite expectations being quite low for him.
Sabathia is a dominant lefty this year and this list proves that. Looking forward to many more strikeouts from the Southpaw on the mound this season.
3. Gary Sanchez Goes Yard Twice
We were waiting for the Gary Sanchez power show to take off. Well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is!
Sanchez took Estrada deep in the top of the second and then followed it up with an absolute bomb in the top of the fourth inning. Both home runs went a combined 874 feet.
Umm, okay Sanchez, we see you. You’re not overrated just yet. When he gets a hold of one, he truly blasts it into outer space.
With all the focus on Aaron Judge, maybe Sanchez feels a little forgotten. Either that or he’s petitioning to have his own section in Yankee Stadium…the #IAm seats?
2. Aaron Hicks’ six-RBI night
We all know Aaron Hicks has been pretty spectacular this season, especially after last year’s putrid effort. This year, Hicks is gunning for a starting spot and when given the opportunity with the Jacoby Ellsbury injury, he’s delivered.
However, he had a record night in Toronto. Thursday night, he had a bases-clearing double, followed by three more doubles.
Dang, Hicks! He went 4-for-5 on the night and helped the
Yankees coast to an easy victory over the division rival Blue Jays.
Maybe we should be calling him “The Mailman” because he always delivers good things right on time.
1. No Power Outage Here
Rounding out this week’s top plays is a collection of plays from the Yankees dominant performance against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
Yup, that’s right. They slugged four home runs IN ONE INNING. One game? Sure, that’s normal. One INNING? Well, that’s worthy of celebration.
Loyal Yankee Gardner started off the power display with a strong shot to right field. Cool, another run for the Yankees.
That’s four in one inning, three in a row. Just another testament to just how dominant this lineup is; they’ve got power up and down every slot in the lineup.
So, there it is. Those are this week’s top plays. With more offensive displays than defensive, the Yankees will look to add more to the queue this week during their home stand against the Boston Red Sox and the Orioles.