It almost figures, really.
Having a Yankee game on in my house has been pretty much waiting for Judge to come to bat, watching his at-bats, and returning to what you were doing once he doesn't get a homer, on repeat, ad nauseam. It was cool for a bit, like I think I did get to see #60 happen on MLB network, but every Yankee game since has been waiting for something to happen and, while the team still wins, Judge not getting there.
So of course the one night I'm out of the house watching a movie with a friend is the night where I get the text from my dad. Just saying '61'. Of course it's the moment I turn myself away from baseball.
Anyway. Aaron Judge has tied Roger Maris and that's wonderful. Roger Maris's son has said that McGwire, Sosa and Bonds's marks are all illegitimate and Judge's should be the true high mark in baseball and that's also wonderful. The Yankees have the division and a high playoff seed and that's fantastic. We're actually playing really well right now and that's...
...well...is it a bad omen?
Look, I wanna be excited for this Yankee team, and I wanna sing the praises of all these players doing well, but it's been 11 years of setting myself up for failure. Yes, this team is great, yes, this team accomplished so much this year, yes Aaron Judge hit 61 homers, but...unless this team is somehow different, the Astros are winning the ALCS again. And even if the Yankees lose, we do NOT want the Astros to make another goddamned World Series. I am through with that. We are leaving that in the pre-strike world.
So all I can say right now is that the team is finishing the season strong. After a month or so of crumbling, the rotation's actually really good right now. I am confident in this team going into the postseason with Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino and Jameson Taillon as starting options. Sevvy, since coming back, has been really good, bringing his ERA down to 3.41 and crossing the 100 strikeout mark. It's not a full season, but it's one of the fullest seasons we've gotten from him since 2018. It's a little disheartening that because of all the injuries he's no longer the safe bet heart of the rotation, but he's still extremely good and can dominate games. And then Cole and Cortes are both awesome and I'd trust either of them in a postseason duel, though Cole needs to stop giving up gophers.
I am pleased with Harrison Bader's work in center field, and I like the depth that Oswaldo Cabrera, and to a lesser extent Oswald Peraza, have brought to this team. Cabrera's versatile, and he can hit pretty well; so far he has 4 homers and 17 RBIs. Hicks has honestly been putting in some decent work lately as well, even if he might not have a starting position for much longer.
At the end of the day, this is a Yankee team that got great performances out of Judge, D.J. LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Gerrit Cole. We are an all-star team, and we're dead-set on some progress. I really, REALLY hope we can get past the early rounds this year. These guys deserve something.
Coming Tomorrow- A 2010s hero that I figured would never start games again...having a respectable comeback year for a contender.