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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Pound the Royals 8-2

By Tim Kabel

July 31, 2022


The Yankees continued to right the ship, winning their third games in a row against the Royals. They have won 14 straight series against the Royals. Even after their recent struggles, they once again have the best record in baseball and are 36 games over .500 and lead the division by 13 games. I think we can all heave a collective sigh of relief. The team seems to be back on track. Barring any more major injuries, it should be smooth sailing to the playoffs.

Quick Stats:

  • The Yankees have scored 10 or more runs 17 times this season, which leads the Majors.

  • Aaron Judge hit his 200th career home run yesterday. He is the second fastest to reach that number in MLB history after Ryan Howard.

  • Aaron Judge has more home runs in July than the LA Angels.

  • The Yankees have won 23 games by five or more runs, which is the most in the Majors.

  • Matt Carpenter hit his 15th home run as a Yankee. He joins two other players as the only Yankees to have 15 home runs and 30 RBI in their first 40 games with the team: Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

The Big Story:

The Yankees picked up where they left off on Friday night and took an early lead against the Royals. They never looked back. D J LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Matt Carpenter all hit home runs. Nestor Cortes had a solid, if not spectacular outing and won his ninth game. Aroldis Chapman pitched another scoreless inning, with two strikeouts and no walks. Clarke Schmidt had his second three-inning save this season. It was a clean, efficient and workman-like victory. The Yankees just need to repeat this effort tomorrow and for the rest of the season

Player of the Game:

DJ LeMahieu had three hits, including his tenth home run, and two RBI.

Notable Performances:

Chapman and Schmidt had solid outings in relief, which is a positive sign for the bullpen.

Better to Forget:

Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks went hitless.

My Take:

The Yankees are virtually guaranteed a post-season berth. Unless something goes drastically wrong, they will make the playoffs. That is not sufficient this year. This team and their fan base are expecting to be World Series champions at the end of this season. They certainly have a very good chance to do so. The question is: Is the team, as presently constructed, good enough to win the whole ball of wax? If it is not, they have until Tuesday to make changes, other than bringing someone up from the minors.

The Yankees lost out in their quest to acquire Luis Castillo. He was traded to the Mariners for a collection of their top prospects. It seems as if the Yankees will turn to either Frankie Montas, Noah Syndergaard, or some other, as yet unknown, pitcher. Apparently, the Yankees lost out to the Mariners because they were unwilling to trade some of their prospects, most notably, Anthony Volpe. It is very easy for fans to have a knee-jerk reaction and say that the team should forget about prospects and make trades right now to win this season. That is an understandable statement. However, let's take a step back. At this point, despite the recent struggles of Jordan Montgomery, and to an extent, Jameson Taillon, the pitching staff has been solid all year long. It would have been very nice to have Luis Castillo on this team. But would it have been worth the cost? Luis Severino is expected to be back soon. The team was trying to find a way to limit his innings anyway, so this stint on the IL could be a blessing in disguise. If he returns to form, that will solidify the rotation.

The Yankees project Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and some of their other prospects as solid major leaguers, at the very least. Would Luis Castillo have been such a tremendous upgrade over the pitchers they currently have that it would have justified giving up three or four future pieces of the team? Remember, the Yankees did not sign any of the major shortstops in the free agent class because they felt they had minor leaguers who would soon be able to man the position very well. They need to stay the course. An upgrade in the starting rotation is certainly desirable but, you have to consider the cost and the talent the team already has.

The Benintendi trade was a major upgrade, and it did not cost the Yankees any of their top prospects. If they do not trade Oswald Peraza for a starting pitcher or someone else by next week, they should definitely bring him up. There is little point in keeping him in Scranton. He is seemingly ready to be on the major league level and would be an upgrade over Isiah Kiner-Falefa in every facet of the game. That move would upgrade the Yankees in two ways. Peraza would be an improvement in both the short and long terms over Kiner-Falefa, who would be a far superior backup than Marwin Gonzalez.

The Yankees only have a few days to make any trades. They already made one by acquiring Benintendi. I believe they will add someone to the bullpen and possibly another starting pitcher. I think at this point, Brian Cashman has earned the trust of the fans based on what he has done over the years, and particularly this year. You could certainly count Matt Carpenter as another upgrade. He did not cost any prospects. It is possible to fine-tune this team into a championship squad while still maintaining key pieces for the future. I believe the Yankees do not want to win just this year. They are looking to replicate what they did in the late 90’s. Let's just sit back, enjoy the ride and carefully consider the moves they make or don't make in the next few days.

Next Up:

Today, the Yankees conclude the four-game series against the Royals at home at 1:35 PM. The Royals’ Zack Greinke (3-6 4.36 ERA) will face Jordan Montgomery (3-3 3.50 ERA).

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