35 games into the season and the New York Yankees sit atop the American League East. Many people didn’t expect this at all but the Yankees continue to prove people wrong. So far, everything has been clicking for the Yanks. They’re scoring runs like never before, the pitching has been very good thus far and just about everybody is contributing. The Yankees lineup has proven to be one of the deepest in league.
From #1-9 in the lineup, there is hope of someone getting a hit. The beauty of the Yankees lineup is that it changes just about everyday. No one hits in the same spot continuously, exceptions for Brett Gardner in the leadoff spot, but even that changes. The Yankees continue to put up runs just about every game and love to win big. The Bronx Bombers, although in first place, do have there own set of problems.
The Yankees started the season 1-4 but then turned on the jets for an extremely impressive April. They had their fair share of win streaks and manhandled many teams, including a sweep of the defending champion Cubs in their home of Wrigley Field. Recently they’ve endured a losing streak of 3 games and for Yankees fans thats alot this year. Some of the problems are due to struggling pitching, one of the biggest question marks coming into the season.
At the end of last week, the Yankees began a 4 game homestead against the Houston Astros, who are as of right now the best team in the MLB. It was hyped up to be a great series but shockingly enough the Astros seemed to take care of the Yankees. The first 2 games it seemed like the Yankees were non existent at the plate. Then again, facing Dallas Kuechel and Lance McCullers isn’t easy.
In the final two games, a doubleheader on Derek Jeter day, the Yankees pitching struggled immensely. Although the Yankees escaped the doubleheader with a win, they didn’t look good at all in the second game. Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka pitched a combined 4 innings and gave up 11 earned runs and a total of 16 hits. These two guys have arguably been the Yankees top 2 pitchers thus far so seeing this performance from them, especially against the best team in the league is unexceptable.
The Yankees did find a way to win the game Severino pitched but feel short during a comeback of 10-7 loss in the second game.
The Yankees starting pitching was the biggest question mark coming into the season. They have shown to be very consistent and been the main reason of many of the Yankees wins. Pitching is key to winning baseball games and if starting pitchers aren’t pitching well and not deep into games, teams are going to have trouble.
The bullpen has been a highlight for the Yankees pitching staff. Thieve come in, even when the starters haven’t done well and have dominated other teams. The end of the Yankees bullpen is one of the, if not the strongest in all of the majors. Tyler Clipart, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman have dominated this season so far. Chapman had a terrible outing against the cubs, blowing a lead in the 9th. The Yanks ending up winning that game in the 18th inning. Its now been shown that Chapman has inflammation of his left rotator cuff and ha been put on the 10 day DL. He’s expected to miss about a month, which sucks for the Yankees.
Losing Chapman isn’t as big of a loss as it seems, though. Thats because the Yankees bullpen has been so good that they can fill holes easily when they lose a pitcher. The Yanks also survived when top players Didi Gregorious and Gary Sanchez were n the DL to start the season.
Aaron Judge and co have been the best hitting team in baseball thus far. They’re currently 3rd in homers and RBI’s and continue to put up runs every game. The problem is everyone started the season super hot and its almost impossible to continue that all season long. Many batters have cooled off, including Chase Headley and Judge. But the beauty of the Yankees offense is that when someone is struggling, someone else is excelling. Brett Gardner has been one of the best hitters in the majors in the last 16 games.
The position thats killing the Yankees offensively and defensively is first base. Young stud Greg Bird is on the DL with an ankle injury and doesn’t have a timetable for return. Chris Carter has taken over as the starting first baseman and hit bat is just terrible. Carter is a strikeout machine and can never be counted on for any hit at any time. Its surprising that he is still on this team.
Matt Holliday, who has been hot of late, has played a lot of first base in Bird’s absence. Tyler Austin, who broke his foot during spring training, just recently faced live pitching and is expected to be back soon.
For the Yankees to continue to stay in first place and play amazing ball, they need to fix the problems with runners in scoring position. They have always struggled with runners on and can never seem to bring them home if it its via the home run. Bringing in the runners is huge and can be the difference in games.
Staying healthy is obviously the most important thing and is a key for the Yanks. Luckily for the this team, Aaron Hicks has been amazing so either Gardner, Ellsbury or Judge can have a day off whenever they need. Also in the infield, Ronald Torreyes can play anywhere besides first so a lot of off days are offered there as well.
Taking advantage of playing bad teams, pitching well and deep into games, and scoring runners that are on are just a few of the many things the Yankees must do to continue their success. This team is one of the best in the league and will continue to prove it throughout the season.