Enjoy the moment, Yankees fans.
You typically begin to sweat in June thinking about your team getting knocked out of the first or second round of the playoffs. Then, there also is whom the club will acquire at the trading deadline. Who will be the big-name pitcher the Yanks will get, and how will he help them?
The Yanks will be in the postseason, but watch the ride to get there. Relax. But.. you won’t.
This time around, there is a very good chance the outcome from the previous few seasons will be different.
Stats aside, this is a Yankees’ team that has a different demeanor and a different type of swagger. It is confidence, but it is being expressed in a lower tone. It’s about going out and getting the job done.
These Yankees have been an efficient, methodical group that doesn’t have to be noticed every single day. They don’t want the attention like a typical Yankees’ team craves. This is mainly a blue-collar, low-profile gang.
They just won their 50th game of the season, putting their record at 50-17 with a .743 winning percentage. Only the Mets (.647) are within range.
The Yanks began Tuesday 12 games ahead of Toronto, and the rest of the American League East doesn’t appear to have a lot of juice to challenge them.
They are on pace to break their 114-win campaign of 1998. Even if they play .500 the rest of the way, the Yanks would end up with 97 or 98 wins. Think about that.
Even though he had a no-hitter in the eighth inning Sunday, Gerrit Cole hasn’t been the dominator everyone expected thi season. Cole still has a 6-1, 3.14 slate, and he’ll be in the All-Star Game this July.
Instead of Cole, Luis Severino , Nestor Cortes, and Jameson Tallion have carried the load. Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German are ready to begin rehab assignments if anyone really missed them.
Remember Aroldis Chapman? His struggles and consequent injury have clouded his season. Clay Holmes has quietly and efficiently stepped into Chapman’s closer role, and Chapman suddenly just wants a spot in the bullpen when he returns from a rehab stint. Speaking of being missed, does Zahc Britton ring a bell? He’ll be back in the bullpen soon.
Aaron Judge is doing exactly what we expected with 25 home runs, and his contact extension talk appropriately has been shelved. The Yanks rank 11th as far as team batting average, and has anyone really noticed that DJ LeMahieu is hitting only .252?
Isiah Kiner-Falfeta has made a big splash, but his recent absence from the lineup hasn’t been missed. Do you really miss Gary Sanchez?
Yes, baseball is a marathon and not a 10K. Plenty can happen from now until October.
But winning 50 games by late June has set a high bar for Yanks, and one for other teams to try and reach.
Don’t GM Brian Cashman who has been the architect behind this team and has taken his share of hits and well as pats on the back for bringing in Giancarlo Stanton to Jose Trevino.
Trevino is another player who has efficiently contributed to this run. He was viewed as a thrown-in, back-up in the Sanchez trade.
Judge will continue to hit home runs, Cole will get his wins, and Chapman and Britton will be back in the bullpen. Stanton is due to get hot in the second half of the season.
Like everything else, there will be bumps along the way.
However, this Yankees’ bunch has a different feel to it. Sit back, watch, and enjoy the ride.
October is a long way away.