The New York Yankees have been playing pretty good. Lately, I guess. But now the rest of the American League is in trouble as the most powerful offensive machine in baseball is about to really start slugging.
Okay, New York Yankees fans, I admit the title was a bit hyperbolic. Indeed, this amazing and historic run reminiscent of the Golden Age of the Bronx Bombers has seen the Yankees assert themselves as the best team in baseball, at this still the very early stage of the season.
Pitching, hitting, defense; they’ve all come together over the last three weeks. And of course, the entire clubhouse has been injected with the clutch gene. This team is and has been special.
But every dominating Yankees winning streak contains a silver lining. And in this case, it’s just plain scary news for the rest of the American League: Beginning last night, the Yankees offense has really started to explode.
Boom, Boom, Boom
And it’s not like their offense has really been mediocre; again, just a bit of fun. They lead the AL in runs, RBI, and OBP…and spreading terror in opposing bullpens. But everything is about perspective, and what the Yankees offense is about to do will make what it has done look very, very average.
That’s because, for the first time this year, three of the Yankees top four hitters in the line-up are all getting hot at the same time.
Lead-off man Brett Gardner had been slumping like Stephen Drew, until last night. But then the streaky Gardner collected three hits (two doubles and a triple). If that wasn’t enough to get him going, which history overwhelmingly suggests it is, his last hit was the game winner.
It gave his team not only the lead in the division but also the best record in baseball. That, along with this spoken word menage-a-trois as reported by Kevin Kernan of the NY Post, can only have a restorative effect.
“He’s just a broad-shouldered tough player,’’ Aaron Boone said. “You appreciate that, especially here. So no matter the situation, no matter what’s going on with him, he just has the way of competing in the biggest spots that you cherish.”
When those words were passed to Gardner he took a second to reflect on what his manager said, and noted, “That’s quite the compliment. I try to show up here and be the same guy every day whether I’m going great or whether I’m going bad and try to help the team win.”
The man batting first can be the best spark plug for any team, and Gardy is back to being that guy for the Yankees. But it’s the men who bat after him who will turn that spark into an offensive explosion.