Yankees’ Team Effort Keys Franchise Tying Start

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

At 9-2, the Yankees have matched the best 11-game start in franchise history. The Yankees put forth a team effort that propelled them to a 7-0 win over the Miami Marlins Monday evening in the Bronx. Compared to last season, there is a distinct difference with left-handed presence in the lineup.

Juan Soto is a difference maker with his second home run of the season and first at Yankee Stadium in the fourth inning, while also reaching base three times. Anthony Volpe is off to an MVP type start with a go-ahead three run homer in the fourth inning, his second of the young season. Starting pitcher Nestor Cortes gave manager Aaron Boone a career high eight innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

There have been better at bats for Giancarlo Stanton, who is 6-for his last 12. This all taking place without Aaron Judge hitting towering baseballs out of the ballpark. Right now, the Yankees are leaving minimal doubts about failure. There is optimism in the Bronx and they’re getting contributions in what they say is a team effort.

But this night was about Soto, Volpe, and Cortes who had a fastball, cutter, sweeper, and changeup that kept the Marlins off balance. True it’s a young season and the young and injured Marlins (1-10) are struggling to score runs. Last night, they did not even have a base runner reach second base.

The Yankee lineup put up a six spot in the fourth inning, their most in one inning since a late June game last year in Oakland. “Everyone has trust in each other that the next guy can get it done,” Volpe said.

The Yankees are getting contributions from everyone and based on these 11 games out of the gate there is no contention to this claim. A look at the numbers:

-Hitting .321 (17-for-53) with a double, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 7 BB and 4 SF with RISP over their last eight games (since 3/31).

– 8HR in their last five games

Soto has brought a different energy to a team that was dull and lackluster last season. He smiles, teammates gravitate to his presence, and the trade that got him to the Bronx from San Diego is a major difference from a Yankees team last year that struggled to score runs and get on base. So, on a day the country stopped to view a rare eclipse of the sun and moon, Soto and the Yankees adjusted their schedule to also take in the moment. Game time was moved to 6 PM and Manager Aaron Boone delayed pregame batting practice.

I feel like we’ve been a solid offense night in and night out,” Boone said. “That said, we don’t have everyone going off right now at the plate necessarily. “I feel like we’ve been solid on defense and made really important defensive plays in winning moments.”

That defense Boone alluded to comes from the Gold Glove play of Volpe. His confidence at the plate is one aspect of this difference but flashing the leather is another. Though Boone reiterated again it’s early with 11 games played.

We’ve got a long way to go,” he said. About Cortes, Boone said “One thing with Nestor, if he’s healthy and going, I don’t worry about his confidence. He knows he’s good, and he’s now had extended success in this league for a couple of years as a starter.”

Cortes is anchoring the rotation until the expected return of Gerrit Cole, and he’s been a difference maker as he kept the Marlins off balance and hitless until the fourth inning. A healthy Cortes does make a difference after missing most of last season with lingering issues to a left shoulder.

These guys have big swings’ Cortes said about the Marlins. “I felt like there was a couple of guys in there that I was able to throw a changeup to. I got into counts where I was able to throw it, and I executed really well.”

And this is what the Yankees want from Cortes. They acquired Soto to make a difference and Volpe with a rigorous off-season plan is off to a good start. Again, it’s early but quite a difference from last year.

Soto’s home run landed in the right-field seating area and there was never a doubt that followed the one from Volpe. It’s the offense the Yankees envisioned from Soto and growth from Volpe in his second year, who is tied with the Braves’ Orlando Arcia as the Major League’s leading hitter (.417)

He’s incredible, everything he’s done,” Volpe said about Soto. “He brings the energy. We’re obviously all looking toward him to see what he’s doing. He leads by example.”

And this Yankees example is leading to this good start. Quite a difference from last year.

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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 BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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