By Alfredo Alvarez
Miami- Down by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning, it seemed that the Yankees would give up first place of the American League East, but these Bombers do not give up, and watching them play in 2018, it’s something special.
With a double by Neil Walker opening the eighth inning, and a walk to Gleyber Torres after one out, it was enough for manager Alex Cora to appeal to his closer Craig Kimbrel, who faced veteran Brett Gardner. He connected a decisive triple to center field, putting the Bombers ahead 7-6. The nail in the coffin would arrive just after, when Aaron «All Rise» Judge sent the Queen of 108 seams over the center field wall to set the scoreboard to 9-6.
It felt like October, but we’re only in May. The 47,088 fans who filled the Cathedral of Baseball: Yankee Stadium, shouted so loud that slugger Aaron said: «I could not hear anything during my at-bat.» After he took it for a ride, it felt, according to the players, as if the floor itself trembled.
That triple by Brett Gardner was more than clutch, it proved manager Aaron Boone’s comments right. Boone, who had been asked before the game if he was considering taking veteran Gardner out of the lineup, immediately answered: “That would not happen.” Gardner is a player respected for his guts and courage. That was what Boone and Gardner did on their part with that triple, showing that “Gardy” still has gas in the tank.
It was the 17th win in the last 18 games, which had not been achieved since 1965. The incredible thing about all this is that the Yankees still do not have their machinery at full steam. The bullpen is missing key pieces; in the starting rotation, Jordan Montgomery is out, and Sonny Gray still cannot find his rhythm. In the Bombers’ lineup, they are missing their everyday first baseman Greg Bird. Add to that that Neil Walker is hitting 200, Gary Sanchez 205, Gardner 214, Aaron Hicks 225, and Giancarlo Stanton 237. If these pieces find their place in the great machinery, we could be in the presence of something special, perhaps never seen before.
Tonight the Yankees will try to sweep their arch rivals the Red Sox in what is expected to be an electrifying match. For the Yankees, the veteran of a thousand battles will take the ball: C.C Sabathia (2-0, 1.39 ERA), while Eduardo Rodríguez will pitch for the Sox’s.
Sources of support: https://www.baseball-reference.com/ https://www.wikipedia.org/ http://sabr.org/
Images were taken from MLB.tv
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