Mancuso: Andujar The Difference Maker

Miguel Andujar is finding ways to win games for the Yankees. Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium he went with the first pitch in the seventh inning and with Giancarlo Stanton on base that was the difference in a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers. Two runs that were the difference and attributed to Andujar and his 17th home run of the season

The rookie has been a game changer for the Yankees. He got hold of a pitch Tuesday night in Chicago, his third career go-ahead run got the Yankees a needed win after a four-game sweep up in Boston. The seventh inning or later and Miguel Andujar in the Yankees part of the lineup has come up big.

And real big Saturday afternoon because the storm clouds were approaching. Last thing the Yankees needed was another long wait and the score at 3-3. But that home run to right field came  at the right time before the skies opened up and prevented a possible suspended game.

# 41 Miguel Andujar Credit: Yeng Luciano NY Sportsday

The Yankees don’t need more postponed or suspended games during this 21-game stretch before they get another off day on the schedule.

The  bullpen has been their strength and that home run erased a bad outing from Zach Britton who walked in a run, and there was a balk from Dellin Betances that tied the game.

However, Miguel Andujar changed all of that with one swing of the bat. And during this stretch run, with the Yankees still having hope to catch the Red Sox, though a wild card is more probable, this possible AL Rookie of The Year is a difference maker.   

And this win was possible with the home run ball and again from Giancarlo Stanton. He hit a solo shot in the first inning off losing pitcher Chris Martin that led to a two-run inning. Stanton also played a role in the Yankees two-run  seventh inning with a sharp single to center prior to the Andujar home run.

Stanton rounds the bases after his 29th home run. Credit: Yeng Luciano NYSportsday

Andujar is accustomed to hitting the extra base hit, 33 doubles that lead the American League.  

These go ahead hits, late in the game, are becoming a routine. He has been a difference maker at the plate twice this week including a 13th inning  RBI single at Chicago on Tuesday in the Yankees win over the White Sox.

“ Not only is he a good hitter, he’s a smart hitter,” manager Aaron Boone said about his rookie. “He’s really good with going out there with a plan to get things done.”

The home run was the 50th extra-base hit of the season for Andujar, most among Major League rookies.  He is also the 13th Yankees rookie to collect at least 50 extra base hits in a season.

“Like I always said you have to stick to you plan and find the pitch,” Andujar said through a translator. Regarding his late inning success at the plate, he said “Preparation is the key. Every time I go up there just do the best I can to help the team.”

The best is coming up big in games. Andujar also with his at bats is rapidly making a case for Rookie of The Year honors along with teammate Gleyber Torres.

“When I go out there , I have a plan and I’m looking to find a good pitch to hit,” Andujar said.” Hit it hard and hit it somewhere. Just stick to that plan.”

“First couple of game playing with him,” Stanton said, “I knew he was capable of doing it.” As soon as a struggling Aroldis Chapman closed it out with his 30th save,  Andujar was the first to give the high-five to the closer. But the game winner again was that big hit and late from Miguel Andujar.

Lance Lynn Gave the Yankees 5.01 innings. Credit: Yeng Luciano/ NYSportsday

He has become a difference maker for the Yankees this season, and a rookie who was not slated to be a part of this roster out of spring training. Now with games down the final stretch, and with the numbers showing, Miguel Andujar has a vital role with the Yankees in their quest to play deep into October.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso Watch Sports With Rich/All Bases Covered You-Tube Live

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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