There’s a metamorphosis taking place with the Yankees.
A by-product of the abundance of injuries to their regular players has transformed the Yankees from being overly reliant on the home run to a team that has gone back to the good ol’ fashioned ways of manufacturing and scoring runs.
The lineup that the Yankees are putting out there is not one that will slug you to death so it’s nice to see that there has been a component of “small-ball” that has been implemented into the offensive game plan. The Yankees have been blasphemous to the analytical era with their recent use of the bunt and the stolen base.
Tyler Wade is the poster child for this revamped way that the Yankees employ their offense. The other night against the Angels, Wade reached first base with two out in the ninth, stole second and scored the go ahead run on a base hit by D.J. LeMahieu. Yanks ended up winning a game they may have lost last season because they manufactured a run and didn’t rely on the long ball.
In the absence of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit has carried the team to some extent. I have to admit that I’m surprised that Voit has picked up where he left off last season.
There’s another aspect of the 2019 Yankees that has been a surprise. Yanks have gotten solid starting pitching while the bullpen has surprisingly been sub-par and has already cost some early games.
It’s no coincidence that the rotation began to settle down after C.C. Sabathia came back. Except for Masahiro Tanaka’s hiccup against the Angels Thursday night, the rest of the rotation has done their part. When the starters are performing admirably, that also helps the bullpen.
Consider the case of James Paxton, who has been outstanding of late. Carlos Beltran has gotten due credit for spotting a flaw with his mechanics where the left hander was tipping some pitches, but I feel Sabathia has also had an impact on Paxton. When C.C. speaks, teammates listen. With both Paxton and Sabathia being left handed, you have to think the veteran offered some advice to his new teammate and it’s paying off.
J.A. Happ is the latest starter to start picking it up. The left hander tossed seven scoreless innings against the Giants yesterday. There seems to be a healthy competition developing amongst the Yankee starters.
Mets took two of three from the Phillies to start off a key home stand on the right foot. A sweep would’ve been nice, but the importance of this ten game stay at CitiField cannot be overstated.
The Mets played 16 of their first 21 games on the road. They need to establish dominance at home, something that has eluded them for the most part since they moved to CitiField ten years ago, but now they’ve lost three straight and need to avoid being swept by Milwaukee.
The Mets did not get what they were looking for in game one against the Brewers as Jacob deGrom did not look good in his return from the IL Friday night.
The NL Cy Young Award winner gave up five runs in four innings against the Brewers. deGrom’s fastball looked flat and he hasn’t had the same command as in the past. As long as deGrom is healthy, I don’t think this sudden inability to get people out will last too long. I would expect him to get it together shortly.
Noah Syndergaard is not holding up his end of the bargain. Including last night, Syndergaard has given up 15 earned runs in his last three outings. He’s got to be a lot better than that if the Mets hope to do anything this season. Like deGrom, I think Syndergaard will pitch better.
Coming into last night’s game, Peter Alonso was struggling but that’s to be expected.
After his blistering hot start, Alonso was 6 for his last 37 with 2 HRS and 4 RBI’s. In 16 games previous, the rookie first baseman had 6 HRS and 17 RBI’s, but he broke out with 3 hits, his 9th HR and 3 RBI’s last night. That’s a good sign for the Mets going forward.
LAST LICKS: Tough break for Phillies SS Jean Segura. He was activated off the IL last night, but in his second at-bat, he was hit in the head by a pitch and left the game. Reportedly, Segura tried to stay in the game but he was removed and sent for observation. If Segura goes back on the IL, that’s another huge loss for the Phillies who have been able to tread water in the tough NL East…..Colorado began the season 3-12 but they’ve gotten their act together to pull within one game of .500 at 13-14 and are 3.5 behind first place Los Angeles, 3 behind second place San Diego and 2.5 behind the surprising Diamondbacks. Watch out for the Rockies, who are beginning to make their move…..On the opposite side of the coin are the Washington Nationals. Many pundits thought they would be better off without Bryce Harper. That’s not how it’s worked out so far. Nats have lost 6 of 8 and are 11-14…..Yankees are benefiting from an American League that is not very deep this year. Only 6 teams in the AL are over .500 while the surprising Texas Rangers are at .500