Home is where the heart is for the New York Yankees. It’s also where all of their top plays took place this past week.
Stop me if you heard this before: the New York Yankees have finished out this week with a 4-2 record and a whole lot of confidence moving into the dog days of summer.
The only way for this team to go is up, as they are in the midst of an incredible race to the finish line in the American League East. It seems that the division lead changes over every day, as Boston and New York battle it out for that coveted division title.
But it’s still way too early to predict. Things could drastically change between now and October. But at least we can all sit here and enjoy the ride, right?
This week, there are a plethora of top plays. Some come from Yankees games while others occurred during the best tradition in the history of sports: Old-Timers’ Day.
Take a gander at the top six plays of the week from our favorite boys in pinstripes.
6. Torres, the king of tags
Gleyber Torres is known for doing practically everything on the field. However, I think one of his skills that gets looked off is his ability to make an incredible tag.
That’s exactly what he did here, as Brett Gardner made a stellar throw but Torres made an even better tag to nab Adam Eaton trying to leg out a double. And this is definitely not the first time that Torres has shown off his athleticism when nabbing runners attempting to take extra bases.
Torres, we love your home runs but it’s also really fun to watch you make a difference on defense. Keep up the great work!
5. Neil's over-the-shoulder snag
A ball in no-man’s land? No problem for substitute first baseman Neil Walker!
Walker shut down what could have been an easy bloop single with a fantastic over-the-shoulder catch. In the process, he made it look incredibly easy as well when we all know it is anything but.
Walker has been primarily coming in as a sub and was getting playing time at second base so seeing him do great things at first has to allow Aaron Boone to breathe a sigh of relief, especially since Tyler Austin was sent back down to Triple-A.
4. Johnny Lasagna dealing
Intimidation was not in Jonathan Loaisiga’s vocabulary on Friday night’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Loaisiga was called up from the Double-A Trenton Thunder and delivered a lightning strike, going five scoreless innings while striking out six. Many determined that he wasn’t ready for the big show but he proved that he didn’t need Triple-A to get the job done in the Bronx.
While he did walk four batters during his first outing, his defense bailed him out and he gave a performance that allowed the Yankees to take Game 2 of the series.
How much longer will we see Loaisiga in the majors? That is unclear at the moment but for now, the Yankees are going to milk his performance for all it’s worth.
3. Sanchez- 1, Runner- 0
Up by just one measly run to the Rays with a runner threatening on second, Gary Sanchez stepped up his game and made a picture-perfect of a rocket throw to nab Carlos Gomez attempting to steal on Chad Green.
Kids, make sure you pay close attention to this play here. Sanchez is moving before the pitch lands in his glove, adjusting his feet to have his momentum already going towards third for the strong, accurate throw. This is a perfect example of why Sanchez remains behind the plate despite his offensive struggles as of late.
Plus, that throw cleared the bases for Green, who promptly got out of this jam. All hail Sanchez’ arm, which is probably one of the best in the business right now.
2. Welcome back to the Bronx, Swish!
Nick Swisher, aka Swishalicious, put on the pinstripes once again and he absolutely dominated. Granted, it was during the annual Old-Timers’ Day game, which isn’t exactly the most competitive, but he still did some pretty awesome things.
Aside from a two-run double, Swisher also launched a monster home run to the second deck in right. He also laughed the entire way around the bases, taking in the atmosphere in his return to the Bronx.
How can you NOT be happy watching the way Swisher shares his joy for the sport? He clearly love the game. The new goal should be to find someone who loves you the way Nick Swisher loves playing the game of baseball.
1. Gleyber of the Year
Gleyber Torres and the three-run home run are in a relationship. And no, it isn’t casual by any means. He is seriously in love with the prospect of launching three-run home runs of any kind at any point in the season.
This time, the majestic shot came off of what was likely to be ball four and it was absolutely clubbed to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning. Down a run against a dominating lefty in Blake Snell, Torres got down in the count early and made up for it with his 13th homer of the season. That ties him with the monster Gary Sanchez.
Torres is continuously playing to the best of his ability every single day and people are still saying that he might be traded? I think he just proved to everyone just how untouchable he is, no matter how badly the Yankees need a starting pitcher.
While those are the top six, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more incredible plays that we missed. I mean, that doesn’t show Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird slowly heating up. It also doesn’t show a back-to-back performance of home runs by Giancarlo Stanton and Sanchez. The point is, there are so many more plays that we can’t fit them all into one piece.
So next week will show the Yankees facing the Washington Nationals to finish up a rain-delayed game and a makeup contest. Then, they welcome the Seattle Mariners to the Bronx for a three-game showdown before heading down to Tampa to face the Rays once again.
If we know anything, we know this squad is certainly up for the challenge. Let’s see what incredible top plays they come up with next week!