The Lit 6: New York Yankees Top Plays From 8/21-8/28 (Highlights)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Jacoby Ellsbury #22 of the New York Yankees follows through on a fourth inning three run home run against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on August 26, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees put together one heck of a week on the field, putting together a few amazing plays along the way.

Can you smell that? That sweet, delectable scent is the smell of the playoffs, looming closer to New York City than it has in years.

Last year was a disappointment and this year was set to be a rebuilding year for the New York Yankees. Luckily for us, rebuilding for the Yankees actually means contending for us.

The Yankees faced some worthy opponents this past week and came out on top, securing four victories to help inch within games of the Boston Red Sox for the lead in the American League East. In between an ugly brawl, some beautiful plays came out of this week.

So, feast your eyes, Yankees fans! These are the “rebuilding” Yankees we get to see this year. I just want to say, if this is a rebuilding year, next year will be absolutely incredible.

Here’s what the New York Yankees did to earn top play honors this week.

6. Sonny Gray’s ‘Sonny’ Day

Sure, Sonny Gray aka ‘Pickles’ struck out nine Mariners over seven innings of strong work to help the Yankees earn the win. But he also did it on the day that his father passed away, 13 years later.

They say that baseball is just a game. However, to some players, it’s so much more than that. Gray, who told reporters that he and his father played together when he was younger, was able to give this victory to his dad.

And not only did he lead his team to victory, but he did it in epic fashion with his best performance in a Yankees uniform.

Have a day, Sonny Gray. We know your dad is so proud of you.

5. Jacoby’s Three-Run Jack

Jacoby Ellsbury is the $153 million man. On this day, that contract was worth every penny.

Having already driven in the Yankees’ first run of the game, Ellsbury figured he’d make his presence known, crushing a three-run home run to right to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

Brandishing the nickname “Chief” on his back, Ellsbury put that ball in the seats and earned him some consideration as to whether or not he should be starting in the outfield. With that type of offense, he can start every day of the week.

Thanks for that, Ellsbury. You’ve earned some respect in the eyes of Yankees fans…for today, at least.

Sorry, that’s just how it works when you come from the Boston Red Sox.

4. Didi Defies Gravity

Didi Gregorius is always doing something fantastic on defense. This time, he completely defied all the laws of physics in making this play.

I mean…he makes the stop. He tumbles. And yet he STILL manages to get the throw off, despite being completely sideways.

And let’s not discredit Ronald Torreyes, who made a stellar stretch to get the out for Gregorius.

Just WOW…I can’t even get over this play by Sir Didi. He’s one heck of a young shortstop and he continues to prove himself every single day he steps foot on the field.

Yet people will say he’s not as good as Derek Jeter. I love Jeter but, seriously? Come on.

3. Gardy, Get Your Gun

Brett Gardner is known for his speed in the outfield. But what about that arm?

The lefty tested out the gun against JaCoby Jones and emerged victorious. He first attempted the sliding catch, which he barely trapped and then cut down Jones attempting to take an extra base.

Run on the Gold Glove winner from last year? Psh, nice try, JaCoby. Gardner just made you pay for even considering running on him. I mean, look at that arm!

Gardner did this a few times this season and every single time, it’s been so much fun to watch.

2. Hicks Makes Stellar Play

Aaron Hicks has returned from the disabled list in a huge way. On offense, sure, but more so on defense.

Hicks started off looking lost but ended up making a spectacular grab behind his back to record the out. In a 1-1 game, Hicks refused to let anything past him and we ended up getting a top play out of it.

Sure, offensively he isn’t quite where he was before the DL stint but his defense has been top-notch since his return. After that catch, he gave the crowd a little smile, knowing he pulled off something pretty amazing.

And that he did. He finds new and creative ways to make some pretty stellar catches. I don’t hate it.

1. The Kraken Is Back-en

Gary Sanchez is just an absolute beast. There’s no other way to describe it. And that’s what he did against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

These weren’t just home runs. They were absolutely launched to get the Yankees’ offense going. First was the two-run blast heard ‘round the world, traveling 457 feet into the Detroit bleachers. Second came his oppo taco blast in the top of the ninth to cap off the victory.

Remember when fans were worried about his slow start to the season? Well he’s heating up once again in August, just like last year. And just at the right time.

Sanchez may not have 37 home runs but he certainly is doing his part in getting the Yankees into the playoff hunt. Thanks for giving us hope in the home run game, El Gary!

This week has been pretty solid for the Yankees but their big tests care coming up with the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. It’s time for the Yankees to buckle down and get the job done.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.