About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Drubbed the Cubs 18-4
by Tim Kabel
June 13, 2022
The Yankees wrapped up a three-game series against the Cubs yesterday afternoon. Before the game, John Flaherty was cautioning the YES viewers that this could be a trap game. He felt that because the Yankees won the first two games of the series, have a day off today, and then open a lengthy stretch of games against top contenders, they might produce a lackluster effort against the Cubs. Well, so much for that. The Yankees were anything but lackluster.
By the way, I didn’t agree with Flaherty. I was happy to just be able to watch the game. It was a nice change of pace but, I did find myself wondering what shenanigans John and Suzyn were up to in the late innings.
Jameson Taillon, the Yankees starter, was not great but, he pitched well enough to win. He gave up three runs in five innings. The Yankees find ways to win almost every day. On Friday, they won 2-1 in 13 innings. On Saturday, they won 8-0, as Jordan Montgomery was dominant. Today, they bludgeoned the Cubs into submission. We are well into June, and they have only lost 16 games. It is true that the competition will improve drastically starting on Tuesday, as the Yankees will play a stretch of games against the Rays, Blue Jays and Astros. Before we panic, just remember that those teams also have to play the Yankees. They are looking at their schedule and saying, "Oh no!"
The Yankees are now 28 games over ,500. They just keep rolling along. This is a great summer so far. I don’t have to agonize over losses and figure out ways to Boone-proof the team. I can sit back, relax, and concentrate on important things like seeing how many hot dogs I can hold in my hand at one time. (I’m up to three. It’s the buns; they take up space but, they are worth it. The bigger the buns, the more delicacies you can pile on the hot dog.)
The Yankees swept their seventh series of the season. It is the tenth game of the year in which they scored at least ten runs. They have a +127 run differential this year.
The Yankees outscored the Cubs 28-5 this weekend.
Matt Carpenter had two home runs and 7 RBI. He is the only player in Yankees’ history with six home runs in his first ten games. He has 6 home runs and 13 RBI for the season. (That’s 10 games, folks). Aaron Hicks has 2 home runs and 11 RBI in 51 games. Joey Gallo has 8 home runs and 15 RBI in 50 games. Carpenter is building a case for a lot more playing time.
Yesterday was Hideki Matsui’s 48th birthday. He is the only Yankee ever to hit a grand slam on his birthday.
The Big Story:
The Yankees have played sixty games this season and they have won 44. That’s a .733 winning percentage. On days like yesterday, when you think they might struggle, they destroy the opposition. This team seems to be driven and on a mission. They are consistent and focused. This is not the streaky, unpredictable team from last year. This could be a special season. Remember to take a step back and savor it for what it is.
Player of the Game:
Matt Carpenter is on the level. He hammered two home runs and is built for Yankee Stadium. (My father was a carpenter. I could make these puns all day long.)
Kyle Higashioka had three hits, including his first two home runs of the season.
Manny Banuelos pitched three innings, earning his first save. He clearly appreciates his success this season. It is a good story and a lesson in perseverance.
Better to Forget:
Nothing. Soak it all in and enjoy it. Sometimes, everything is good.
The Yankees have played more than a third of the season and are winning at a historic pace. I don't know if it will continue but, even if it slows down, they are on target for a tremendous season. They're getting contributions up and down the roster, with a few exceptions. No one could have predicted that Matt Carpenter would be on the team, let alone have six home runs in his first seven hits, something that has only been accomplished one other time in recent history. Championship teams get contributions from many players. Remember in the '90s, Cecil Fielder, Darryl Strawberry and Shane Spencer (among others) all played major roles.
If this year's team Is going to win the World Series, expect big playoff contributions from players such as Jose Trevino, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Matt Carpenter, Lucas Luetge, and Clarke Schmidt. There could be others too. Obviously, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rizzo, and Nestor Cortes will need to come up big. However, the Yankees will probably need heroic moments from unlikely sources. Remember Bucky Dent and his home run in 1978? And Brian Doyle in the same year? I think at this point, we can have a lot of fun speculating about who the unlikely heroes will be. You could make a case for Matt Carpenter. However, he may push the issue to the point where he becomes a semi-regular. Don't forget, he was an All-Star with the Cardinals until he fell off the proverbial cliff a couple of years ago. He worked hard to get himself back, and as a left-handed power hitter, he is perfect for Yankee Stadium. He is a better fit offensively than Joey Gallo, and they didn't have to trade anybody for Carpenter.
It is possible that the wheels could come off this team. Stranger things have happened. And as fans, many of us have a doom and gloom mentality lurking around somewhere. However, this team is the New York Yankees. They have more World Series wins than any other team. If the pitching holds up, which I believe it will, they will be in good shape for the playoffs. Aaron Judge is having an MVP caliber season but, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres are providing a lot of offense as well. If DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson heat up, the team could be practically unstoppable. Games such as the one that was played today, are quite entertaining. When you have one of the announcers of the team warning you before the game starts that the team might not do well for a variety of reasons, and then they put up 18 runs, you feel pretty good as a fan. So far this season, the fans have felt pretty good almost every day. Let's enjoy it as long as it lasts, hopefully until the final game of the postseason, with the Yankees as the victors.
On Tuesday, the Yankees open a series at home against the Rays at 7:05 PM. Tampa Bay's Corey Kluber (3-2 3.88 ERA) will face Gerrit Cole (5-1 3.63 ERA). Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!