Against American League East opponents this past week, the New York Yankees put together quite the highlight reel for us to admire.
Well, it’s been quite a week for the New York Yankees. They lost a series in Toronto. They headed back to the Bronx to face their rival Boston Red Sox in a pivotal three-game set.
Along the way, they had quite a few fabulous plays, both offensively and defensively, that resulted in a pretty good week for the Yankees.
And no, sadly there are no Aaron Judge highlights on this list. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more to come as the season rolls on.
And maybe, just maybe (spoiler alert) this countdown was hijacked by another Aaron.
So let’s take a peek at this week’s top plays. You’ll be watching these on a loop for what will likely be the rest of the season.
6. Big Toe Getting The Job Done
Ronald Torreyes is still getting hits when it counts most, just as he did in Toronto this week.
Toe lined a single right up the middle to add to the Yankees 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth inning. Possibly the greatest part of the play is Joe Espada eating it when sending the second runner home.
But Toe had an excellent piece of hitting with one out, to finally help the Yankees’ poor RISP stats. Plus he gave the Yankees a comfortable 8-5 lead at the Rogers Centre.
And once again, that hit came on a first-pitch fastball. Toe, can you try and be a little less obvious next time?
5. Didi Being Didi
Sir Didi Gregorius has proven he’s a slick-fielding shortstop so he, of course, makes the top plays every single week. This week, he showed that he can make those plays while on the move as well.
With the Yankees leading 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Gregorius ranged to his right from the shift to stab the grounder. Body falling away from first, he fired a strike to Chase Headley to record the out.
That body control was impressive. That arm strength is possibly even more impressive. Gregorius does it again.
Remember when the Yankees were worried they wouldn’t have a good shortstop after Derek Jeter’s retirement? They were clearly wrong.
4. Gold Glove Gardy At It Again
Our Gold Glove left fielder is doing his typical Brett Gardner thing out there!
Gardy made a stellar diving grab on a sinking liner. But he wasn’t done yet … Gardner threw to second to double off Hanley Ramirez who was caught sleeping on the base paths.
That catch helped preserve a 5-2 Sox lead and helped the Yankees stay in the game. While that game didn’t turn out quite like they wanted it to, at least Gardner kept his team in the game.
And we’ll never get sick of seeing Brett Gardner do stuff like that. Trust me, I could watch this smooth video all day long.
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3. Release the Kraken!
Gary Sanchez has had some struggles this season behind at the plate…both as a catcher and a hitter. I have to say though, the latest home run we witnessed from Sanchez was absolutely incredible.
In a display of brute strength, Sanchez took a pitch off the plate and deposited a laser into the right field seats for a two-run home run to give the Yankees the early lead against the Red Sox.
I mean…wow. That home run was unlike any we’ve seen so far this season or in seasons prior. Sanchez didn’t even think it was gone.
But that ball got out of there in a hurry. And for those fans who were complaining that Sanchez got that home run solely because of Yankee Stadium, think again. The Pesky Pole is only 302 feet away from home plate.
2. Hicks Hits It To The Sticks
Aaron Hicks made his presence known this weekend in the Bronx, especially on Friday night when he launched a two-run home run to wake up the New York offense.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, it seemed that it was just another game where the Yankees would get shut out, losing to their rivals and dropping 5.5 games behind in the division. That is, until Hicks stepped up to the plate.
With Brett Gardner on first, Hicks launched a deep fly ball down the right field line for a two-run shot to bring the Yankees within one run. That home run sparked the offense, which put up three more runs in the inning to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
Hicks essentially gave the Yankees life in one at-bat. His reaction was probably the best part of his home run, shouting and pumping his fists to celebrate that monster shot.
And we’re not done with Hicks yet because half an inning later…
1. Hicks and Toddfather Team Up For Incredible DP
Hicks saved the game with his bat. He also saved the game in the top of the ninth inning with his stellar throw to nab Eduardo Nunez trying to advance on a sacrifice fly.
Sure, Hicks let the run score to bring the Red Sox within one. But the important thing was he stopped Nunez from advancing to third for the tying run.
Hicks caught the easy fly ball in left and fired towards third base to nab Nunez. However, the role of Todd Frazier cannot go unnoticed, as his slick pick of the short hop saved the play and allowed the Yankees to complete the improbable double play.
The play was met with confusion. The cameras were following the runner going home before turning back just in time to see Frazier lay the tag on a diving Nunez for the out. Although it was challenged, the call stood. The Hicks-Frazier duo saved the game.
Probably the biggest moment of this series, Hicks showed just why he’s missed so much in the lineup during his time on the disabled list.
Yankees fans, there is a long road ahead of the Yankees to get to the playoffs. That road might be decided by the end of next week.