About Yesterday: Yankees Edge the Tigers 5-4 in 10 Innings
By Tim Kabel
June 6, 2022
The Yankees played an early game to conclude their series with the Detroit Tigers. By early, I mean 11:30 A.M. For a moment, I thought I was at Wimbledon. I was looking around for a bowl of strawberries and cream. Actually, you can keep the strawberries. I prefer peaches. The game was streamed on Peacock. I wasn't sure if I was able to get Peacock so, I listened to the first inning on the radio while I was trying to figure that out. Ultimately, I was able to watch the game. However, in the first inning and actually before the game even started, I was able to hear Suzyn make five or six references to the fact that the game was starting too early. As usual, John remained sequestered until the game began. This got me to thinking about what a treat it would be to drive across the country with John and Suzyn. I don't mean listening to them on the radio, I mean actually being in a car with the two of them on a cross-country trip. With all the complaints, arcane references, and show tunes, I don’t think we would make it through Pennsylvania.
Speaking of trips, the Yankees are on quite a journey this season. They swept their second straight series and now have a six-game winning streak. They are 24 games over .500 and have the best record in baseball. They have reached the 1/3 mark of the season. Before I deserted John and Suzyn to go to the Peacock experience, John was pointing out that if you multiplied the number of wins the Yankees had by three, it would be “a lot”. He did not cite the exact number, as apparently, he dropped his abacus on his way into the booth. Do I expect the Yankees to win 117 games this year? No, I do not but, stranger things have happened. One way or another, they are having an excellent year.
Josh Donaldson had his second walk-off hit of the season. His first was on Opening Day against the Red Sox. (Technically, it was a sacrifice fly yesterday, not a hit but, it won the game.
The Yankees outscored the Tigers 21-4 in the three-game series.
On this date in Yankees’ history, in 1936, Lou Gehrig played his 1,700th consecutive game as the Yankees beat the Indians 4-3.
On this date in Yankees’ history, in 1958, the Yankees beat the White Sox 12-5. In the third inning, Mickey Mantle hit his third inside-the-park home run in a month. Who needs him? We have Aaron Hicks. .
The Big Story:
The Yankees continue to find different ways to win. Aaron Judge is clearly leading the way along with the starting rotation but, everyone seems to chip in. They won the first two games of this series in shutouts. On Friday, they scored 13 runs. Yesterday, they won a one-run game in the 10th inning. Goodness gracious, even Joey Gallo hit a home run. I'm wondering if John Sterling had to rifle through his briefcase to find his home run call for that one, because it's been so long since he hit one. If Aaron Hicks ever hits a home run, you will hear Suzyn sneezing as John blows the dust off that call. By the way, if the games are going to be starting so early on this network, they should call it Rooster instead of Peacock.
Player of the Game:
Joey Gallo momentarily emerged from his season-long stupor and hit a two-run home run.
Michael King has righted the ship. He pitched the 10th inning and struck out the side.
Better to Forget:
Aaron Hicks went 0-4. His quest for a 30-home run, 30-stolen base season remains stalled at 1 and 5, respectively. As John Sterling would say, “That just means that he has a lot of stolen bases and home runs coming.”
The Yankees continue to have the best record in baseball. They are 24 games over .500 and have a 7.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays. The team is firing on all cylinders. Their pitching staff is one of the best in the major leagues and their offense is not far behind. This team is the most consistent it has been in many, many years. It is not the same type of team that it was last year, when they would go into prolonged funks, losing several games in a row and looking listless and uninspired. That is not the case this year. However, as I noted in my last article, as well as in many others, this team is not without flaws.
At this point, it's hard to imagine the Yankees not winning the division. However, they have greater aspirations. This team wants to win the World Series. Their fans want them to win the World Series. There is a big difference between the regular season and the playoffs and World Series. The Yankees cannot afford to carry both Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo into the postseason. Neither of them is productive offensively. If you are going into a playoff series with two sure outs in your lineup as well as a weak hitting catcher and a shortstop with absolutely no power, it is going to be hard to win. I think at this point, the Yankees need to begin considering upgrades. Fairly soon, other teams will begin deciding which players can and should be traded. The Yankees need to examine that list of players very carefully. Perhaps they can find a centerfielder or a leftfielder.
Otherwise, the Yankees may have to find internal solutions. If Matt Carpenter continues to hit the way he has been, he could eventually take away at bats from either Gallo or Hicks. He could assume the DH role and shift Giancarlo Stanton into the outfield on a more regular basis. Ideally, both Hicks and Gallo would be out of the lineup but, that may not be possible. Gallo at least has the potential to hit home runs and drive in runs. He has not been good at all as a Yankee but, he has much more power than Hicks. In a playoff game, he could stumble into a pitch and hit a three-run home run. If he were hitting at the bottom of lineup, which he has been, he might be an asset. Regardless of which solution the team selects, they need to begin constructing and fine-tuning the team to get it ready for the postseason.
On Tuesday, the Yankees open a three-game series in Minnesota against the Twins at 7:40 PM. Minnesota's Bailey Ober (1-2 4.01 ERA) will face Nestor Cortes, Jr. (5-1 1.50 ERA).