Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees needed a palate cleanser after their tough series split with the Astros, and got one from the Athletics — the worst team in baseball.

They pulled off a three-game sweep despite having to come from behind in two of them. The Yankees were clearly still tired from facing the Astros. But they banded together, stayed focused and make relatively short work of the A’s. Unlike last year, these Yankees beat up on inferior teams.

But a different kind of test comes next: A 10-game road trip. And the Yankees have a lot to work on the rest of the way despite their standing.

Some takeaways:

More Marwin, please. In case you missed it, super-utility man Marwin Gonzalez is having himself a month. He’s batting .317 with all three of his home runs and six of his nine RBI in June. Meanwhile, before Wednesday’s game, Aaron Boone half-admitted that Joey Gallo is, personally, having a hard time struggling all season.


Gallo is a free agent at the end of the year. Why not trade him for low-level prospects and use Gonzalez in the outfield? He can spell in the infield as needed too. Plus, this would give Boone cover to save Giancarlo Stanton’s legs and make him the primary designated hitter.

Pitching pays the price. We’ve all seen the same movie several times. A player gets off to a great start, seems bound for All-Star status and more and then hits a wall in June. This is what’s happened to the Yankees’ starting pitching.

Both Jordan Montgomery and Jameson Taillon had rough outings against Oakland before the offense bailed them out. Taillon, in particular, had a 4.62 ERA this month. Nestor Cortes, near-unhittable all year, posted a 4.15 ERA and is adjusting to having a full workload. Regardless of if MLB has figured out the Yankees’ elite pitching or it’s just a June slump, it’d be smart to check the trade market for help.

The lineup is coming together. It doesn’t matter that the Yankees rely a lot on the home run. This is still a team that can score runs several ways and did a good job finding its base hits against Oakland. Josh Donaldson has been slumping all month, but hit .300 in the series, including a clutch two-run double on Monday.

The Yankees also drew ten walks and outscored the A’s 16-9, even if some of the wins were on the uglier side. This lineup is in sync and rarely takes bad swings. Let’s see it carry over into October.

Josh Benjamin is a Bronx native who lives and breathes the New York Yankees despite being born into a family full of Mets fans. He is the MLB Editor at RealSport and considers himself a student of the game. When not writing, he can be found either at Yankee Stadium or deep in discussion with his fellow sports nuts.