Who knows how far the New York Yankees will make it into the postseason. However, their biggest threat has emerged in the past few weeks in the form of Brett Gardner.
After a hot April, the New York Yankees cooled off considerably. Now, come October, the Yankees are making a push for a playoff run after falling out of first place early on.
Right now, they are threatening to enter the playoffs riding a hot streak, playing baseball that resembles the likes of season’s past. And just as the team is heating up, so is an incredibly important element to their dominant game.
Brett Gardner has recently become red-hot, just not in the way he was earlier this season. While he hasn’t demonstrated a power surge as he did earlier this season, he’s still finding ways to drive in runs and make magic happen.
Criticize the lifetime .264 hitter all you want, but when he’s hot, he’s one of the most dangerous players in that lineup.
Right now, he’s a one-man wrecking crew, riding a 10-game hit streak and hitting in all but three games this month.
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That recent hitting streak includes six hits in his last two games and five stolen bases in his past three games. He is making moves to help put his team in a position to win.
During that 10-game hitting streak, the Yankees have gone 8-2 with Gardner driving in six runs. When Gardner is getting on base, he is making a huge difference in the outcomes of the game.
And it’s not just your imagination. Brett Gardner is doing what he does when he gets hot: hitting to the opposite field and bunting for base hits. He is reverting back to the Gardner of old, the one who never was afraid of taking extra bases and being aggressive at the plate.
Sure, he’s hot now. But why would he be a threat during playoffs?
He might not be launching bombs but he is getting more aggressive on the base paths, using his speed to make things happen. And if you haven’t noticed, speed kills.
Just watch the Boston Red Sox or the Cleveland Indians. Their players are consistently taking the extra base, forcing their opponents to make plays. The Yankees haven’t done that in 2017.
This season, they’ve relied on the long ball to propel them towards victory. In the postseason, it won’t be that simple. That’s why Gardner’s hot streak is so important at this point in time.
He’s bringing back a skill to the game that the Yankees have been lacking so far this season. With his speed and tenacity on the base paths, snatching bases any chance he gets, the Yankees are set to make a deeper run in the playoffs.
Who knew that one little guy could make such a huge difference when he comes out of his slump. Just by showing what he can do on the bases, he’s proving his value in that lineup.
Forget home runs. While those are incredibly exciting to watch, Brett Gardner is bringing speed back to the Yankees’ offensive game.