Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Image result for 2017 yankees
Photo credit: Rich Schultz/Getty Images
With all the commotion about the Baby Bombers and how good they look, they are about to walk into their biggest test so far this year. Look, anybody can look great on paper, and this team really does. You have to hand it to Brian Cashman and how he was able to protect the rookies in the farm system. Now they are in the next phase of their development, where they have to go out and demonstrate what they actually can do. Can the hitting and the pitching and the defense all come together, at least for three pressure games?

Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP
When the season began, we knew this team had "stuff". Potential. Talent. Whatever you want to call it. It has become obvious that they like to play at Yankees Stadium, and not too many other places. I am interpreting that to mean that the kids are riding an emotional high of a home crowd cheering them on and they can translate that into wins. I interpret it that way also because I'm an optimist and that's the best story you can tell about them. Their road record is a little disconcerting. I know it’s only a couple of series. Still, it could be a troubling sign if they shut down when they hear boos or don't feel at home. They're young, so it could just be nothing.

Apr 23, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
Fenway Park is a beautiful place for a player to find out what you're made of as a Yankee. To say that they hate us there is an understatement. I've been there, with my Yankee t-shirt. I took a shoulder to the chest and had them run out of water as soon as I got to the front of the line. I can't say I've ever seen a Red Sox fan get that kind of treatment at the Stadium, but that's another topic for another story. The point is that it's a pressure cooker in that park. If you can master that environment, you've got the nerves of steel to handle playoffs or whatever else comes.

Image result for 2017 yankees

Keep your eye on Aaron Judge. That Home vs. Away stat breakdown is misleading. The Yankees played their first six games on the road, and Judge had a cold start. After a .133 batting average 5 games in, he has turned it around. His average is up to .279, his OPS is up at .983, his home runs are coming, and he is riding a 4-game hitting streak going into the Boston series. Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes, the two big “subs”, are hitting .293 and .324 respectively. Chase Headley continues to be on a serious tear, batting .339 and reaching base safely in all but two of the Yankees’ first 18 games. Except for Judge, these guys are hitting well above expectations and even their career numbers. You hope it’s the effect of a winning mindset.

Apr 7, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports)
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports
The pitching is where we have seen the biggest difference between home and away games. At home, Yankee pitchers have an ERA of 2.33. On the road, it’s 4.08. That tells the story right there. I am paying close attention to Luis Severino, the starter for the first game against the Red Sox. A lot hangs in the balance on this kid’s ability to return to form. His first game was a clunker, and the last two he has shown much improvement. That said, he pitched those two games against the Rays and the White Sox. Boston is a much better team. Will he maintain his current trajectory? CC Sabathia, the starter in the second game, started out well in his first three starts and the last one was a dud. I have him at 50/50 on being able to give us a quality start.

Photo Credit: Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports
The bottom line is that this week is going to be a real test. Yes, they faced the Orioles and the Cardinals, two very competitive teams. If you’ve been a fan of the Yankees for any length of time, you know this series is always different. The kids are going to feel the weight of this series, and we’ll see what they’re made of. Like I said before, I’m an optimist.

--Ike Dimitriadis
BYB Contributor
Follow me on Twitter: @KingAgamemnon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on Bleeding Yankee Blue.