The 50th installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s opinions on the Yankees
After dropping a 2 of 3 in Milwaukee, the Yanks headed home for a quick 2-game series against the Pirates. The Bucs have the 3rd worst record in the majors so you have to hope the Bombers can win both of these games in this tight race to the AL East finish. I say tight race because even though the Yanks still have a 6-game lead over the Jays in the loss column, the Yanks have played pretty crummy baseball the entire 2nd half of the year and the Jays could still get hot at the right time.
Here are some thoughts in random order on the series of Yankees baseball from Jacob Schoeneberger:
Judge Hits 60, Stanton Slams a Walk-Off
Nestor got the start in the 1st game of the series and looked pretty solid. He turned in 5 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. Not a bad night as he continues to round into form with the playoffs looming (hopefully). But then the pen came in and things got hairy.
Marinaccio allowed 2 runs, Trivino allowed a solo homer, Loaisiga was completely ineffective, then Holmes allowed a 3-run homer when he came in to relieve Loaisiga. It all amounted to the Yanks trailing 8-4 heading into the 9th inning. Chappy got the 9th started right by retiring the Pirates in order. Then came the drama of the bottom half of the inning.
Judge led off the inning by cranking his 60th home run of the year, a truly dramatic moment that rallied the team back to life. The guy is having an insane year. You really can’t say enough about it. It’s not like he’s only cranking homers and nothing else. He’s essentially carrying a 1st-place team, and after action in this game he’s holding the Triple Crown title. He’s now hitting .316, leading Bogaerts who is now at .315, and Arraez who is now at .314. His 60 homers are dwarfing AL competition, Alvarez is in 2nd with 37. And his RBIs are probably a lock too as he has 128 and Ramirez is in 2nd with 115. Even if he doesn’t complete the Triple Crown and he’s off by a few hundredths in average, this is still an absolutely incredible season.
I said it early on, the Big Man bet on himself this year and it’s paying off huge. I can’t wait to see how the last few weeks of this historic season play out. Yankee fans, and indeed any fans of baseball, couldn’t have asked for a better guy to be chasing home run history. This guy is a team player who always has a smile on his face. He’s a great ambassador for the game and he’s doing it right. No ego, class act, eyes on the bigger picture, and having fun doing it. You can hate the Yankees, but don’t hate this guy. Every team would love to have him.
Like I said, his solo dinger cut the Pirates’ lead to 8-5, and inspired the Yanks to rally. After Judge’s blast, Rizzo swatted a double. Then Gleyber drew a walk. Then Donaldson blooped a single to center, which loaded the bases and set the stage for Stanton. He turned on a 2-2 off-speed pitch and laced a line drive grand slam to send the fans home happy with a 9-8 Yankee win.
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: Walk-offs can lift a team to new heights. This was definitely the kind of win that can get the Yankees off on a big run to finish this season. It featured another dramatic Judge homer and then the team responded in kind and rallied for one of the most exhilarating wins in recent history. Any night could be a record-setter for Judge and this team is starting to respond to that energy.
Sevy Returns, Lineup Ignites
Sevy returned from the IL and turned in 5 solid innings in the 2nd game, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits. His return is another huge positive for the Yanks, who are looking to get red-hot over the final couple weeks of the season heading into the playoffs.
But Sevy wasn’t the only good news on the night. The lineup erupted for 14 runs behind some big swings. Cabrera hit a grand slam in the first inning to get the ball rolling. It should be noted that Bader has come off the IL hot with 3 RBIs in his 1st game and another 2 RBIs in this game. That makes the Monty trade hurt a lot less, and I for one was a huge critic of that trade. Then Gleyber swatted 2 homers in the 8th inning, a solo shot to lead the inning off then a 3-run shot later in the inning. Judge hit 2 doubles, raising his average to .317 and staying one hundredth of a point above Bogaerts who is at .316 as he continues his chase for the Triple Crown.
Jacob Schoeneberger believes all in all it was a feel-good night for the Bombers as they stomped the Bucs 14-2. Hopefully, this means they’re on a positive roll.
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: A team feeds off the energy of a guy chasing history. Judge is not just chasing Maris and the single-season AL home run record, he’s also chasing the Triple Crown and is in the midst of a tight race for MVP as well. The entire team needs to get energized by this historic season and let it lift their game up as well.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Yankees Thought of the Day
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: Beating a rival in September is a huge boon to a team. The Yanks now face the Red Sox for 4 games in the Bronx. This is a golden opportunity to put the hurt on Boston and secure their playoff spot. After this series they head to Toronto for a 3-game set against the Jays, so they need a strong showing against Boston to be in a good place for that series. Right now they hold 6.5 game lead over the 2nd-place Jays (7 in the loss column) with 14 left to play for the Yanks and 13 left to play for the Jays. Not insurmountable but getting tougher for the Jays by the day. Need to hold that big lead when they head to Toronto.