Yes, I’m aware it’s early May. Yes, I know there is a long way to go, but my question to any Yankee fan would be this.
If you root for the New York Yankees, how in the world are you not jumping for joy?
The New York Yankees played a terrific month of baseball throughout April, but there was still a sense of some skepticism as the team traveled to Chicago to take on the Cubbies, the reigning World Series champions.
I looked at last weekend’s series as a serious litmus test for the young Yankees. How would they handle the big stage?
Well, if you were to grade the Yanks based on the weekend, you’d give them an A-plus and then some.
The Yankees beat the Cubs in a variety of different ways in the three-game sweep. They were down to their last strike on Friday afternoon and found a way.
On Saturday, the Yankees scored five runs in the first inning and finished up with 11 runs on 14 hits.
Sunday, they survived a rare slip from flame-throwing closer Arodlis Chapman, and won an 18-inning marathon game showing a ton of resiliency and guts along the way.
The weekend sweep over the reigning World Champions was a statement to the rest of Major League Baseball: “we’re back.”
I’ve subscribed to the theory that the 2017 Yankees may be a year away from being a legitimate contender, but the hot start has me challenging everything I thought about this team from the beginning of the year.
The future may be now.
The Yankees have a lineup that should score a ton of runs on a night-in, night-out basis.
Aaron Judge is no fluke folks. In every level of the minor leagues, Judge struggled initially before mastering the competition.
Sure enough Judge struggled throughout 2016, but now looks like a completely different player.
The lineup’s depth goes beyond Judge’s power.
Every player throughout the lineup has chipped in one way or another. Aaron Hicks, Ronald Torreyes, Brett Gardner, take your pick. It’s been a different hero on a nightly basis, the sign of a quality baseball team.
They have proven throughout 2017 that they can beat you in so many different ways.
Hitting home runs, stealing bases, putting together clutch at-bats. It’s been a thing of beauty.
The lineup is versatile, the depth is there, and the scary part is that there is more talent down at the minor-league level waiting in the wings.
The starting pitching has clearly exceeded my expectations. The trio of Michael Pineda, Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery has pitched far better than anyone could have possibly imagined.
I still have some reservations, but it’s a rotation that is clearly better than I thought it would be.
The fact that the Yankees have one of, if not the best, bullpen in the sport will only help take the pressure off the rotation.
The fact that the Yankees are playing so well in a “rebuilding year” is not going to sit well with the Yankee hater.
Yes, it’s only May, but when you have a run differential of plus-58 through 30 games, it speaks volumes.
Dramatic wins, a variety of different heroes, color me impressed.
After watching the Yankees sweep the Chicago Cubs, I’m all aboard.
I’m not ready to predict what the end game of the 2017 Yankees will be, but I know that for the first time in a long time, it’s going to be a fun summer in the Bronx.
You can listen to me Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. & Monday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM.