The 52nd installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s opinions on the Yankees
After sweeping the rival Red Sox in a 4-game series, the Yanks headed up to Toronto with a chance to win the AL East. A strong showing against the Jays would not only seal the division but would also strengthen the team’s confidence as the playoffs near. They really need to put that terrible stretch they went through firmly in the rearview mirror before October begins.
Here are some thoughts in random order on the series of Yankees baseball from Jacob Schoeneberger:
Jays Win a Walk-Off
The Jays got a big win in the 1st game of the series as Vlad singled in the winning run in the 10th. It was a well-pitched, well-played game by both teams, but the Jays got the last licks and won this one 3-2.
Sevy started for the Yanks and went just 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. Right now he’s probably the 4th starter if the Yanks need one in the playoffs, but German may have a case for that. That’s a Boone call and it may be a tough one.
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: When a record is at stake, it’s hard not to press. No home run for Judge but he continues to draw walks every game. That’s where it gets tough. He’s pressing a bit with the pressure of tying the record on his shoulders. And no pitcher wants to be the one to surrender it so he gets walked a lot too. It won’t get any easier as each game goes by.
Yanks Take the East
The Yanks won the 2nd game of the series and officially claimed the AL East title. Taillon got the start and is looking in great shape as we head toward the playoffs. He gave the team just what it needed, tossing 7.1 innings, allowing just 2 runs and leading the way to a 5-2 victory.
Judge drew 4 walks as they continue to take the bat out of his hands, but he scored 2 runs in this one and I’m sure he’s just glad to have finally clinched the division. Hopefully this takes some of the pressure off and allows him to swing more easily at that record.
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: Winning your division is the first step. This Yankee team wants to win the whole thing, and this was the way to get it all started. While they won’t have the top seed in the AL, that will go to the Astros, they will have home-field advantage in the 1st round. That’s a good thing.
In the top of the 7th inning, game tied 3-3, Aaron Judge stepped to the plate with no outs and his teammate Aaron Hicks standing on 1st base. He drove a 3-2 pitch on a hard line drive to left over the fence for his 61st home run of the season. He’s the only man other than Roger Maris to hit 61 home runs in American League history.
What an honor it has been to watch and chronicle this chase. The man has done all this with the utmost class, and as a lifelong Yankee fan I’m so happy for him and to have gotten the chance to see this in my lifetime. No fan was able to catch the home run ball, so Aaron presented it to his mother after the game, which the Yanks went on to win 8-3.
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: When you see a guy make history, it always feels so much better when he’s a likable guy. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lots of baseball fans don’t like the Yankees and it’s understandable. But baseball fans can rejoice about Aaron Judge tying the AL home run mark. The guy is a class act, he’s a team player, he’d make the fans of every team in the league celebrate him if he played for their team, and he’s earned this. Let’s not forget he turned down a contract offer before the season and bet on himself to perform. Now he’s tied the AL homer record, and he’s still leading for the Triple Crown. How can you not respect a person who bets on themself and then delivers in a big way? This season from Aaron Judge is something every fan of baseball should celebrate.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Yankees Thought of the Day
If there’s a single Jacob Schoeneberger Baseball Nugget of Wisdom it’s this: It’s hard to keep a dry eye when you see a player you’ve watched and admired for years accomplish something truly special. Judge has made Yankee fans gasp in astonishment since he first came to the team. This year has been a spectacle unlike anything most Yankee fans have seen. And Jacob Schoeneberger is not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes watching him round the bases with his record-tying home run.
The Yanks now head home for a 3-game set with the O’s before closing the season with a 4-game series on the road against the Rangers. Here’s to praying Aaron has at least one more in him…