The New York Yankees turned in a strong week against two strong opponents. Triple plays might also have been involved!
One week ago, I suggested that fans should unplug from the New York Yankees. The team’s offense was frustrating and bordered on unwatchable. The pitching, no matter how good, was meaningless without run support. With Toronto and Oakland on tap, could things get any worse?
Either we’re in Bizarro World or, and I hope we’re not jinxing this, the New York Yankees are back. Not only did the Bronx Bombers clip the Blue Jays’ wings in Buffalo, but the mighty Oakland A’s were humbled in a weekend trip to New York. New York is still in third place in the AL East, but the gap has narrowed significantly.
Oh, and somewhere in the middle of it all, the Yankees turned not one but two triple plays. Let’s recap the festivities.
Tripping up Toronto
Initially, New York looked doomed for another loss on Tuesday. The Blue Jays were up 5-2 in the sixth inning and the Yankees were struggling to put together quality innings. Thankfully, the lineup took advantage of Toronto’s weak bullpen and chipped away before Clint Frazier’s double gave the Yankees the lead in the eighth.
Following that 6-5 victory, Gerrit Cole pitched eight strong innings in a gritty 3-2 win. The New York Yankees had issues scoring runs again, but Gary Sanchez’s pinch-hit home run gave them the lead and marked his second home run in as many days.
And though the Yankees completed the sweep on Thursday, the victory was not the star of the evening. Thanks to truly awful baserunning from the Blue Jays, the Yankees turned their second triple play of the season.
Throw in limiting AL MVP and Triple Crown candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounding into the triple play, making a key out on the bases Wednesday, and hot having a single home run or RBI in the series, and the New York Yankees did exactly what was needed against the Blue Jays.
Now, they just had to do it again against the mighty Oakland A’s.
Slaying the A’s
Thinking about it now, the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s are very similar despite the latter’s reluctance to write the big checks. Both are all about those analytics, have general managers with little time for folly, and are constantly chasing that elusive World Series ring. Except, there’s one key difference: the Oakland A’s are currently in first place.
That didn’t stop the Yankees from taking two of three games from the A’s. Even better, Sunday’s game ended with another triple play as New York told the A’s they could put Moneyball in the past where it belongs, right next to my uncle’s old Grateful Dead mixtapes.
Jokes aside, though, the A’s are a very talented team and showed it this series. Friday’s loss came down to a dumb luck homer by the light hitting Tony Kemp, the equivalent of your friend’s annoying little brother beating you in Mortal Kombat on SNES. But Saturday and Sunday, the Yankees twice came from behind to win the series.
Even better, both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays had rough weekends too, and here we are with today’s standings.
Right now, it’s hard to be a New York Yankees fan and not feel just a bit more confident. Sweeping the Blue Jays was huge and further proof that, in Buffalo, things rarely go the home team’s way. Playing and beating Oakland always brings a playoff vibe to the Bronx. It’s very tempting to keep riding the high.
Except that’s the last thing the fans and the Yankees should be doing right now. One good week doesn’t equal complacency, nor should it ever. The Kansas City Royals start a three-game series at Yankee Stadium Tuesday, and they just took two of three from the Red Sox.
Speaking of the Red Sox, this coming weekend marks the Yankees’ first trip to Fenway Park, not long after their hated rivals swept them at home.
Make no mistake. These New York Yankees will come prepared because, at this point, they have to be.