About Last Night: The Yankees Pound the Blue Jays 12-3
By Tim Kabel
June 18, 2022
The Yankees opened a three-game series against the Blue Jays, riding a seven-game winning streak. They were 31 games over .500. Before the Yankees started this stretch of games against the Rays, Blue Jays, and Astros, we heard about what a big test it would be. Some fans were actually worried. Well, the Yankees swept the Rays and beat up on the Blue Jays last night.
The Yankees are 19-7 against teams with winning records. They lead the Blue Jays by 11 games. They just keep marching toward the playoffs. The identity of each night’s opponent is irrelevant. I think I will order some giant balloons to celebrate their impending division victory. I won’t inflate them yet but when I do, they will be as big as the moon.
The Yankees’ players say that they have the memory of a goldfish, because they move on to the next game as if they lost, and don’t linger over their victories. Well, how do we know how long a goldfish remembers things? Who analyzes the memories of a goldfish? Is there a little goldfish psychiatrist like Bob Newhart, analyzing the other goldfish? I’m curious about how these things work. Who decided that elephants have long memories and goldfish have short ones? Where is Dr. Dolittle when you need him?
The Blue Jays were 15-6 over their last 21 games headed into last night. Yet, they lost three games in the standings to the Yankees over that span.
The Blue Jays and the Rays are now closer to the last place Orioles in the standings than they are to the Yankees.
The Yankees have now won 8 games in a row, and 15 out of 16. They are 14-1 so far in June.
Jordan Montgomery has allowed 3 or fewer runs 13 times this year. In his last five starts, he is 3-0 and the Yankees are 5-0.
The Big Story:
The Yankees are 48-16, which is tied for second best record in franchise history through 64 games. The 1939 team was 50-14. They lead the Major Leagues in run differential (+140) and home runs (105). They have allowed opposing teams to score 187 runs, which is the fewest at this point in the season in franchise history. They are the only team in MLB to have three winning streaks of at least seven games this season. There isn’t much to complain about if you are a Yankees’ fan.
Player of the Game:
Anthony Rizzo had two hits, including a grand slam and is third in the AL in RBI.
Joey Gallo had two hits, including a home run. Jordan Montgomery had another solid outing.
Better to Forget:
Michael Kay’s attempt to grow a mustache, Niles Crane did a better job on Frasier.
The Yankees just keep winning. This team has the potential to be one of the best teams not only in Yankees’ history but in all of baseball’s history. Things could change. They could go on a prolonged losing streak, perhaps even more than one. However, after 64 games, that does not seem likely. There are many reasons for this but, a couple stand out.
I have never hidden the fact that I am not a big fan of Aaron Boone. That has not changed. I don't think he suddenly became a genius. I think he has an extraordinary team, and he has not gotten in their way. I still have some concern about the playoffs, when the competition will become fiercer, and a manager can make more of a difference, but let's get there first.
However, I do think Matt Blake is an excellent pitching coach. He has molded and developed the pitching staff into an elite group. It is true that pitchers like Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino had already enjoyed success, but Blake seems to get the best out of everyone. Look at Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes. They were essentially on the scrap heap last year and now they are major contributors to the Yankees’ bullpen. However, all you really need to do is look at Nestor Cortes Jr. His humble origins have been well chronicled. and now, he seems destined to be an All-Star. He's also becoming something of a celebrity. If I were a teenager, I would decorate my bedroom with a Nestor Cortes poster. Heck, now that I’m single again, maybe I will do it. I’m sure it will do wonders for my social life. I don't have to grow a mustache in tribute to him; I was born with one.
The other thing that makes this team special is the fact that they get contributions from multiple sources. It is true that Aaron Judge is having an MVP caliber season. However, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and several others, including many of the aforementioned pitchers, are having great years. On Thursday night, when Luis Severino was sidelined due to Covid, Clarke Schmidt and Ryan Weber, who was virtually unknown to most Yankees’ fans, stepped up and had magnificent games. I think the fact that everyone plays a crucial role is what makes this team so special. If that continues, they should have smooth sailing right into the playoffs.
Later today, the Yankees continue the series in Toronto against the Blue Jays at 3:07 PM. Toronto's Alek Manoah (8-1 1.67 ERA) will face Jameson Taillon (7-1 2.93 ERA).