Thursday night in the Bronx the power returned and each time the Yankees hit a home run it was a homecoming. Those four games up in Boston that Yankees power surge wasn’t seen but playing teams also under. 500, that can’t pitch will restore the power.
At Yankee Stadium it was the Texas Rangers and a rookie starting pitcher. Ariel Jurado gave up four of the Yankees five home runs that contributed to 7-3 win. And the home run that Aaron Judge hit to left set a Statcast record for fastest long ball tracked at 121.7 mph.
It is that distinction from other teams in the American League of the Yankees proficiency to hit the home run ball. And they have been good at hitting long home runs in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium as was the case in the first half of the season.
Now in the final stretch of August and September, and with the postseason almost certain to be a wild card entrant in the AL, the Yankees are without Aaron Judge. And for another few weeks Judge will continue to nurse a chip fracture to the right wrist which means others in this potent home run hitting lineup won’t stand still.
But Stanton is on a tear. His power surge is coming at a time with Judge not in the lineup. His 28th home run was his fourth and 10th RBI in the last ten games.
“It’s cool when you get to numbers like that,” Stanton said. “But in general, if it goes over the fence it goes over the fence. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. So, I seen balls 95 mph go over.”
Home runs are good. Manager Aaron Boone won’t complain about runs coming from the power, but the Yankees also need some power from the starting rotation and they got 6.0 innings and 9 strikeouts from J.A. Happ in his second start as a Yankee after reinstatement from the disabled list.
However, the power surge that is always a threat, well that’s what will get the Yankees wins down this stretch run of August and September. And unless those Red Sox have a historic collapse, the Yankees will need the momentum of that home run ball as they hold on to the first AL wild card spot.
Neil Walker from both sides of the plate with two home runs, first time in his career. Aaron Hicks hit his 20th home run, a mark he achieved the first time in is career, the Stanton blast, and a two-run blast from the rookie Miguel Andujar his 16th of the season.
Four players now on this team with at least 20 home runs, the power these Yankees were built to do and when they can’t pitch around them the home runs will come.
Happ said he needed to give his team some innings. The Yankees needed to go with their bullpen in Chicago and Stanton provided some run support with his home run power. But back to the Bronx and the friendly confines of Yankees Stadium where this team is home run friendly.
“In today’s game it really is amazing how hard he hits the ball when he squares it off,” Boone said about Stanton.
And when Walker hits home runs from both sides that can also be something special. It was the first time in his career that Walker homered from both sides of the plate in the same game.
“It’s pretty special in terms of being a switch hitter,” he said. “I think when you’re barreling balls up just from both sides of the plate especially in the same game or same series, regardless of the outcome that’s kind of your goal as a switch hitter. That’s kind of the mentality of what you’re trying to accomplish and that’s a good sign that the timing and rhythm are where they need to be.”
Thursday night the timing was right with five home runs It’s what these Yankees are all about and were constructed to do. They may have to wait a little longer for the return of Aaron Judge to the lineup.
But no worries. For now, the Yankees power surge has returned and that’s a good thing.
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