Before this weekend, the New York Yankees had not won a series against the Baltimore Orioles. With a sweep against them, though, they’ve improved their record to 15-10 in August.
Luke Voit made a huge impact on the win in Game one. His four RBI (2 two-run homers) accounted for a majority of the score. He collected another two-run shot in Game four to extend his hot streak. In his last seven games, he’s hitting .476 with three home runs. This impressive hitting has earned more playing time.
On the contrary, Greg Bird has been an area of concern for the team for an extended period of time. His struggles have been season-long and, despite many opportunities, he’s failed to improve. In the past thirty games, he has a mere .178 BA. With Voit in the midst of a hot stretch, Bird may find himself on the bench more frequently.
When asked about Voit playing more, Boone confirmed he will have more chances if he keeps hitting well, Newsday’s Erik Boland reports:
“Swing the bat like that, you create opportunities for yourself,” Boone said, again speaking of Voit. “Those were quality at-bats [Friday]. Obviously big at-bats in big spots. Yeah. There are some opportunities out there to be had right now. Performance matters.”
Gleyber Torres has started to come alive at the plate. In his past seven games, he’s slashed .407/.484/.519. Following his return from the DL, he struggled to find the rhythm and continue the success that defined his first half of the season. The improved offense for him is crucial with Didi Gregorius on the DL. Miguel Andújar’s sustained hitting consistency yielded him a great series. He collected 9 H and 6 RBI, increasing his BA to .303. He continues to make a statement for Rookie of the Year.
The team chemistry has seemed off for the team in recent weeks. With the heart of the lineup missing and disappointing losses, the Yankees as a team have not had the presence they usually carry.
The Yankees don’t seem to have the energy of a winning team. I understand some key players are injured, but they don’t seem to be hustling out there.
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) August 22, 2018
This series though, the team seemed to regain some of the charisma and energy that was once such a significant part of their game. The mood seemed lighter in the clubhouse. With hopes for the division still alive, the team is in a better position. Players were able to express their personalities during Players’ Weekend with personalized jerseys, bats and other gear.
With the sweep this weekend, the Yankees are now just six games behind Boston. Just several weeks ago, the Yankees making a run for the division seemed nearly impossible. Now, though, the team is reaching closer to the top of standings. The Rays became the first team to sweep Boston all season, and them doing so was a huge favor for the Yanks.
As September quickly approaches, every game becomes crucial to win. The Red Sox have lost five of their last seven games. The Yankees’ division chances that once seemed so rare are now within reach. With players like Voit, Torres, and Andújar providing consistently, the Yanks may embark on an exhilarating run before the postseason.