Perspectives: The Stars Are Aligning…
by Paul Semendinger (September 17, 2020)
What a difference a week (or so) makes.
What a difference!
The Yankees have now played 49 games. They have 28 wins. If this was a full season, they’d be on pace to win 92.5 games. That’s not bad. It’s not great, mind you, but compared to where this team was a week ago, it’s light years away.
After going an unheard of 6-15 over a 21 game period, the Yankees have now won seven in a row. After the losing streak turned their season around, this winning streak has turned it around again and has them back on track to reach the playoffs.
A week ago, the Yankees were barely hanging on as the #8 seed in the playoffs. They’ll wake up today as the #5 seed. What a turnaround. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Over the Yankees’ last seven games, they have scored 61 runs while only allowing 13.
In his last two starts, Gerrit Cole has allowed just five hits over 14 innings. He’s walked three in that span and has struck out seventeen. His ERA over the two games is 0.64.
Deivi Garcia has also pitched 14 innings over his last two starts. He has allowed eleven hits, walked two, and struck out twelve. His ERA is 3.21
J.A. Happ has also pitched surprisingly well. Over his last five starts, 29.1 total innings, his ERA is a nifty 2.47.
On and on, it’s clear that the Yankees have turned it around.
Over the last two days, the superstars have also returned. Two days ago Giancarlo Stanton finally played again. Last night Aaron Judge returned.
The Yankees’ catcher is finally hitting homer runs at a frightening rate. (Never mind that it is Kyle Higashioka and not Gary Sanchez.) Higashioka has homered in each of the last two games he has caught Gerrit Cole. We might be seeing a move to have him be Cole’s personal catcher.
Gio Urshela is back from injury and playing great defense. He’s also batting a very respectable .286/6/23. Over a full season (162 games), Urshela’s home run total would translate to 20. He is proving that he is for real.
A week ago, I did not believe that D.J. LeMahieu would come back to the Yankees after this season. I was reading the tea leaves, trying to put myself in his shoes as, at 32-years-old, he is looking at his last big payday. I wondered if he’d want to be a part of a team that had crumbled and might not have a bright future. A week later, all looks different. He has to come back. The Yankees must give him a huge deal to keep him. If they don’t want to pay for his mid-30’s seasons, they should frontload the contract to make it well worth his while to stay. LeMahieu is second in the league with a .373 average. His 9 home runs translate to 30 over a full season. His OPS is 1.047. Amazing.
And then there is Luke Voit. How are these numbers? .280/19/45 Put those homer and RBI totals over a full season and you would have 63 homers and 149 runs batted in.
The Yankees have eleven games remaining in the 2020 season. They play the Blue Jays five times, the Red Sox three times, and the Marlins three others to close out the season. Their fate is in their own hands.
They have turned it around.
A week ago all seemed lost… boy have the winds changed and the stars have aligned.
The Yankees have me believing again.