Tha Sports Junkies 101

Yankees Keep Rolling, Judge Keeps Smashing

Yankees Keep Rolling apardavila via flickr


Yankees Keep Rolling, Judge Keeps Smashing

The New York Yankees keep rolling as they win five in a row. Aaron Judge crushes a 495 ft home run, part of a two-homer game. With the 14-3 win against Baltimore on Sunday they outscored the Orioles 38-8 in a 3 game sweep.

Exceeding Expectations

Expectations were low for the New York Yankees heading into the 2017 season. The off season was a relatively quiet one as they planned to lower their payroll, wait for hefty contracts to expire, and allow the wave of young future stars to gain experience in the big leagues.

Fast forward to June and the results thus far have blown expectations out of the water. The team sits at first place in the AL East with a record of 37-23. Only the Houston Astros have a better record in the American League.

They came into Sunday’s game tied with Tampa Bay for the MLB lead in home runs with 98. Their team ERA sat at 3.61, third best in all of baseball. That second number is pretty impressive when you consider Masahiro Tanaka, their supposed ace, is sporting a ghastly 6.55 ERA.

The biggest story in New York, and perhaps the entire league, is towering right fielder Aaron Judge and his MVP caliber performance through the first 60 games. Judge holds the MLB lead in home runs with 21, and the lead in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 3.7.

It’s hard to believe that the team was considering starting Judge’s season in Triple-A. The worry was whether or not he could cut down on strikeouts and produce at the major league level. Well, worry not Yankee fans.

Aaron Judge

Judge has completely transformed his swing and his approach at the plate. He is laying off pitches outside the strike zone and crushing anything inside the zone. He holds the record for the top 4 hardest hit balls this season, including the hardest hit ball in the Statcast era, a home run on Saturday night with an exit velocity of 121.1 mph.

So Judge is looking like an MVP, star catcher Gary Sanchez is heating up, the rest of the lineup is producing, the bullpen is locked in along with the starters. Well, all the starters except for one…

Perhaps the only question mark for this Yankees team, and it’s a big one, is whether or not ace right hander Masahiro Tanaka can get back on track. Tanaka has been getting hit hard and often, and it makes you wonder if he’s not quite healthy or if he’s just in a slump.

One thing is certain, the Yankees will need Tanaka to find that form and pitch like an ace if they want to make a title run this year. They could look to make a trade for an ace before the deadline, but the market isn’t exactly ripe with aces at the moment.

Help could come from within soon, as young minor leaguers like Gleyber Torres and Chance Adams keep performing and pushing their way towards the show.

Can the Yankees keep rolling towards number 28? So far after 60 games they have shown that they have the talent to make a serious run at a World Series championship. What they do in the next 102 games will prove just how real they are. It’s going to be exciting to watch.