Taking three out of four against the Twins was just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers got their first series win in over two weeks and finally seemed to make the best of a bad situation. As injuries piled up, unsung heroes emerged from the shadows. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had two home runs and six RBI in the series. Oswald Peraza got his first MLB hits and flashed the leather too.
Now, the Yankees have the real test: face the rival Rays at home and build on their slim 4.5 game lead in the AL East.
A much-needed tuneup. There would have been serious cause for concern if the Yankees couldn’t beat the also-struggling Twins. Vintage New York arrived and outscored Minnesota 20-11. Aaron Judge continued to star and even Gleyber Torres seems to be taking some cleaner swings.
This is the kind of series that gets a team’s confidence back. And with the Rays next on the schedule, confidence is key for these banged up New York Yankees.
Let the kids play. There’s a silver lining to the Yankees having so many key injuries in the lineup. Youngsters like Peraza, Cabrera, and Estevan Florial have a simple “just go out and play” attitude that follows them onto the field. Peraza and Cabrera, in particular, seem to embrace Yankee Stadium’s natural adrenaline rush. Who would have thought that in September, IKF would be one of the Yankees’ heroes?
Granted, this doesn’t mean the Rays series will be a walk in the park. Far from it. But at least right now, we know this makeshift Yankees lineup is capable of performing and can win important games.
Win, now build. Winning four of your last five is nice, but means nothing if another lengthy losing streak follows. This is the test the Yankees need to ace against Tampa Bay this weekend. Recent good play aside, Aaron Judge and the pitching staff are still very much carrying New York.
That means it’s time to focus, remember it’s a home series and, ideally, slay the Rays. DJ LeMahieu’s bum toe finally landed him on the injured list and Anthony Rizzo’s back epidural has yielded some ill-timed side effects. Giancarlo Stanton is lost and Josh Donaldson has struggled all year. There’s no cavalry coming to save the day, so the time for the team to show up is now.
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