Manager Joe Girardi said it was hard to describe his New York Yankees team and the way they hit the ball out of the ballpark. His Yankees used the long ball Friday night including five home runs in a hard to describe 14-11 extra inning win over the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx.
Yes, hard to describe because this was supposed to be a Yankees team that would display something for the future and stay competitive. But this month has been more than what Yankees fans would have envisioned because this is a team that will be around this season and very difficult to beat at home.
And all good teams play that good and come from behind baseball, even in the month of April. Matt Holliday hit the walk-off three run homer in the tenth inning that erased an eight run deficit over the first place Orioles. That emerging superstar, Aaron Judge hit two home runs, his first multi-home run game and you wonder what more is to come?
On a night when CC Sabathia did not have his good stuff, a win like this is something the Yankees and their fans will look back on during the offseason. But the way things are going this first month of the season these Yankees may have a very short off season by playing baseball and deep into October.
“He kind of triggered something,” manager Joe Girardi said about Judge who has become the newest sensation in the Bronx. The second of two home runs by Judge started this incredible rally that showed the Yankees are not going to quit.
Girardi was not one of those skeptics that said his team had a minimal chance to compete this season. This is the manager talking but the results are speaking volumes about a team that is closing April as a top team in baseball. The rebuilding with youngsters and a mix of veterans provided that emphasis to compete but at this juncture the Yankees are more than competing.
They are a team to be reckoned with and as April comes to an end are tied for first with Baltimore in the Al East.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Girardi said. “We’re down 9-1, and then we were down 11-4. They never quit. We have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark and that’s what we did.” He said that home run ball was seen during the spring and now the results are showing when the games count and in the Bronx.
Starlin Castro tied the game with a two run homer in the three run ninth inning. It was the fourth home run of the evening for New York, Castro’s fifth of the season and 16th run batted in. And as much as that home run was dramatic the winning drive from Holliday was more.
“I thought it had a good chance,” said Holliday. “I was hesitant to get too excited because Adam Jones is out there and if it’s just clearing the fence he’s got a chance to catch a lot of those.” It was the Yankees biggest comeback win since 2012 when they were down 9-0 to Boston in a game they eventually won 15-9.
Holliday is that veteran, one that GM Brian Cashman saw as a catalyst to help the youngsters. It is seen on the field, on the bench and in the clubhouse how Judge has responded to having that veteran presence around him.
On a night when Sabathia was not at his best, and when the Yankees at one point were down 9-1, there still was that enthusiasm and feel that the game was never out of reach. Good teams with that chemistry in April can take that all the way to October, assuming of course that the Yankees stay healthy and keep getting the quality pitching from their starters and from a bullpen that was not at its best Friday night.
Said Castro about his home run, “We keep together and pick each other up. Just got up there to look for something to drive and it happened the right way. We are not going to take nothing for granted, keep fighting and not give up anything in anyway.”
At this point the Yankees don’t look like a team that wants to give up anything and not right away. They look to continue this good first month with two more against Baltimore Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.
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