After the New York Yankees started off the 2019 season pretty slow, they have taken over first place thanks to their powerful offense.
With a series sweep and the latest 12-1 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Inside Yankees fan joke), the Yankees find themselves atop the division once again. Last week was rough with the recent struggles of the pitching staff. However, something clicked, and we got the best start and first complete game for the Yankees this year out of Tanaka. The brilliance displayed over the course of the nine-inning masterpiece was sensational. Boone trusted his ace, and he delivered.
With a solid five from Happ, and possibly CC’s best start in over a month, the Yanks are in full attack mode. The pitching staff must have heard the whispers and negative comments said towards them. They were completely dominant to a division foe and that is everything they need.
Judge is due back on Friday and will be added to an already stacked lineup. With Edwin Encarnacion entrenched as the new DH, the odd man out seems to be Maybin and Gardner. Stanton with his outstanding play in right field on Tuesday night seems to get the nod in left field while Gardner is reduced to the fourth outfielder spot. On the other hand, there is a case for Cameron Maybin to stay afloat on the roster.
The veteran has bounced around the league but has proven to hit and field the ball on the biggest stage in baseball. While most fans think he deserves to be the fourth bench player, the Yankees haven’t made up their minds yet. Keeping 13 pitchers on the roster is something the Yankees have decided to do for a while now and if they change that and only keep 12, they must really enjoy the presence of Maybin. Personally, I am all for keeping Maybin, but who would the Yankees have to send down? Cessa is the most likely candidate. He hasn’t been great thus far and for the majority of his tenure. There will be a huge decision looming today, and I trust the Yankees to make the correct decision.
This Houston Series is important. Getting swept by them earlier in the year should leave a bad taste in their mouth, heck the 2017 ALCS should still leave a sour taste. A good portion of that team is still on the Yankees and every time they play each other should have a postseason atmosphere.
Winners of five straight, the Yankees should feel comfortable this time around in the Bronx. The majority of the bullpen is rested and ready to rock. With Judge set to return, the lineup is now complete and it should be a clash of the titans for this series. May the better team win.