April 4: Happy Gleyber Day
The Yankees kicked off their first road trip of the season in Baltimore with a 8-4 win (crazy, eh?), as Gleyber Torres produced a career-best performance that re-wrote the franchise record books.
A happy ending could hardly have been predicted after a horrible first inning in which James Paxton gave up a leadoff homer, two walks, an RBI single, a run-scoring balk and a run-scoring wild pitch, before finally striking out the final two batters to end the inning. 3-0 hole, 24 outs to go … no problem, right?
Yankees #FightingSpirit made its first appearance of the season as they rallied from that three-run deficit to get a much-needed victory. Last year the team won only one game — at Citi Field against the Mets on June 9 — when trailing by at least three runs at the end of the first frame.
Torres started his monster game with a solo homer in the third inning, the 25th of his career. At age 22 and 112 days old, he became the third-youngest Yankee to reach that milestone, behind only Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
But he was just getting warmed up …
Torres came to the plate in the sixth inning with the Yankees trailing 4-2 and two men on base, and did what he does best — smash a three-run dinger put the Yankees ahead for good. If there is such thing as a clutch gene, Torres might have it, and the numbers in “high leverage” pressure situations give us some data to back it up.
Following that homer, Torres had a .444/.479/.867 line with six homers and 31 RBI in 49 high-leverage plate appearances. That seems … good? Since the start of last year, 232 players (as of Friday) had at least 40 high-leverage plate appearances. Here’s where Torres’ numbers rank among those 232:
His final boxscore stats of four hits (2 homers, 1 double, 1 single) and four RBI put him in the company of a couple pinstriped legends.
- He is the second Yankee shortstop with at least four hits, including two or more homers, in a game on the road, joining Derek Jeter on May 8, 2011 at Texas.
- It was his third career multi-homer game; the only Yankee with more before age 23 was Joe DiMaggio (8!)
- He is the second-youngest Yankee to produce at least 11 total bases and drive in four-or-more runs in a game, behind only a 21-year-old DiMaggio (June 24, 1936).
April 6: Red Thunder is Rolling
The Yankees overcame a messy mix of bad baserunning, bad defense and bad bullpen management to put together their first win streak of the season. (Not)Shockingly, dingers saved the day in their 6-4 win on Saturday.
The most glaring wasted opportunity came in the sixth inning when the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs … and scored zero runs. In that situation, based on recent historical numbers, a team is expected to score a run 86.1 percent of the time and score an average 2.3 runs after loading the bases with no outs.
Aaron Judge kept the Yankees in the game with his bat, socking two dingers for his eighth career multi-homer game. Did you forget that he loves to smash baseballs vs this team? Four of those eight two-homer games have come against the Orioles. They were also his 84th and 85th career homers, in his 302nd career game; the only player in MLB history to reach 85 homers quicker than Judge was Ryan Howard (283 games).
After the O’s rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Clint Frazier put on the hero’s cape and saved the day with a ginormous three-run blast in the top of the eighth. Let’s celebrate with this #FunFact:
Clint Frazier #FunFact ?
Yankees go-ahead HR with team trailing in 8th inning or later at Camden Yards:
Clint Frazier (Saturday)
Alex Rodriguez (9/17/10)
Aaron Boone (8/15/03)
Scott Brosius (9/21/01)
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 7, 2019
The Yankees finally pushed above the .500 mark with a dinger-happy 15-3 win to sweep the Orioles in Baltimore. It was the first time since 2003 (at Toronto) that the Yankees swept their first road series of the season (h/t @CharlieRGa). And the win extended their win streak in Baltimore to eight games, their longest road win streak against the O’s since the franchise moved to the Charm City in 1954. But we’re burying the lead here …
The Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname and put on a fun power show , slugging seven homers, one shy of the team record. Overall, its the fifth time they’ve gone deep at least seven times in a game and the first time since July 31, 2007 vs White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The last time they hit seven-or-more homers in a road game was May 30, 1961 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The players with dingers that day: Mickey Mantle (2), Roger Maris (2), Yogi Berra and Bill Skowron (2).
Gleyber Torres got the home run derby started with a solo blast in the first inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. More than half (14) of his 27 career homers have either tied the game or put the Yankees ahead. That’s good, I think.
Clint Frazier was the next guy to join the home run party in the second inning, and then capped off his career-best four-hit day with a ninth-inning shot for his first career multi-homer game. Congrats Clint, you get our Obscure Yankeemetric of the Series: The last Yankee outfielder under age-25 with at least four hits, including two homers, in a game was Mickey Mantle on May 18, 1956 vs White Sox.
And we keep burying the lead …
Gary Sanchez wins our Gold Star of the game thanks to his historic three-homer, six-RBI effort. This one deserves a bullet-point recap:
- Youngest Yankee (26 years old) with at least three homers in a game since Bobby Murcer (24 years old) did it on June 24, 1970.
- First Yankee with at least three homers in a game vs the Orioles since they moved to Baltimore in 1954. The only Yankees to homer three times in a game vs the Orioles/Browns franchise came back when they were known as the St. Louis Browns: Bill Dickey (July 26, 1939) and Joe DiMaggio (June 13, 1937).
- Third player in Yankees history to hit six homers this early into the season (9 team games), joining Alex Rodriguez (2007) and Graig Nettles (1974).
- Youngest player in franchise history with three homers and six-or-more RBI in a game on the road. The only player younger than Sanchez to do this in home pinstripes was Ben Chapman (23 years old) on July 9, 1932 vs the Tigers.
And our signature #FunFact of the game — six of his eight total hits this season have gone into the seats for souvenirs:
Gary Sanchez Hits This Season:
April 7 – HR
April 7 – HR
April 7 – HR
April 4 – HR
April 1 – HR
March 31 – HR
March 30 – single
March 28 – single
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 7, 2019