Bombers Bats Put Yanks In First

Look who’s in first. It’s April 29 and the Yankees have the best record in baseball after a 12-4 win over the Orioles in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon.

A few weeks ago, the Yankees were 1-4 and put Gary Sanchez on the disabled list. It looked like the season could be in danger of getting late early. Instead, here we are. They won’t have to dig themselves out of a hole like they did after a 9-17 start in 2016. “Think about where we were a year ago April, when we were really struggling and you think about where we were the first five games, we were really struggling,” Joe Girardi said. “We were within our division when we struggled, so it’s good to see that we’re playing a lot better and we need to continue to do it.”

A day after scoring 13 runs in the final six innings of a comeback win, the Bronx Bombers scored 12 more. Brett Gardner hit a pair of homers off Ubaldo Jimenez, Austin Romine homered and drove in five runs out of the nine-spot, and Aaron Judge hit his 10th home run of the month.

The deep lineup is what impresses the manager most. “You’re not sure where it’s going to come from,” Girardi said. “And that’s good. There’s interesting combinations there and we’ve scored from a lot of different places.”
And this has been with Sanchez not playing, while Greg Bird and Matt Holliday battled through extended slumps. The pitching staff had been the key to the winning, but now the bats are coming around.

Things will really be looking up if Gardner gets going. The left fielder entered Saturday with a .188 batting average and no RBI, before hitting a leadoff homer and then crushing a three-run homer in the second I support of Michael Pineda, who improved to 3-1. It feels like awhile since he hit one out of the park. “Two or three years it seemed like,” Gardner said. “A long time. Guys have been telling me, been giving me a hard time, asking me how many I’ve got. It was nice to get the first one out of the way and contribute a bit on the offensive side of the ball.”

Judge is continuing his show as the most exciting seven-hitter in baseball, a possible home run threat whenever he’s at the plate. “Yeah, you kinda wonder what he’s gonna do,” Girardi said. “Again, his at-bats were excellent today. Patient. Hit a line drive to left field, hit a home run to right-center. He’s swinging extremely well.”

If Judge hits 10 homers a month, that would give him 60, although it’s too early to think about anything like that. Right? “Anything’s possible,” Judge said. “Like I said, if we just keep winning then I’ll take it.”

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