The Yankees beat the Red Sox 3-2 for their 16th win in 17 games, on the back of an 11-strikeout night from Cy Young candidate Luis Severino and a go-ahead RBI single from Aaron Judge in the seventh, to move into a tie for the best record in the AL East and in all of baseball. But all any of them wanted to talk about afterward was Giancarlo Stanton’s swing.
Stanton homered twice for his third multi-HR game of the season and the 31st of his career, which leads MLB since his 2010 debut.
Let’s see that first swing again, because it doesn’t seem real: a nearly level hack that allowed him to yank a high fastball down the line.
CC Sabathia, let’s see your impression of that cut:
“You can only do that if you have incredible power,” Didi Gregorius said as he waggled his fingers like Stanton and took a mighty chop.
“I just kind of looked and smiled. That’s weird,” Aaron Boone said. “A superhero swing.”
Stanton, after a rough start (and getting “dropped” to cleanup in the order), is gradually getting his batting average and OBP up to where he expects them to be. Oh, and he’s on pace for 42 home runs. (He’s tied with Gary Sanchez at nine dingers; Didi Gregorius leads the team with 10, and Aaron Judge has eight, the slacker.)
So they’re hitting, as expected. And the starting pitching has been excellent. And only now, after going 16-1 for the first time since the 1953 Yankees, have they caught the Red Sox, who started the season 17-2.
Two of baseball’s best three or four teams are in the AL East, and while I have mixed feelings about the existence of the wild card, the second wild card fixed a lot of those problems. Because of the play-in game, the race for this division actually matters. And it’s going to be a good one.