Heading into Sunday afternoon’s game, the storyline to watch was Jordan Montgomery’s ability to take the ball into the later innings. After 18 hits, 16 runs, and four home runs between Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, it turns out that storyline was moot. On a hot September day in Arlington, Texas, the balls were flying off the bats for the Yankees. It earned them a timely series win, picking up a game on the Red Sox who were already served a loss by the Rays earlier in the day.
Sanchez got things started in the first. After laying off a handful of A.J. Griffin’s 65 mph eephus pitches, he clobbered a high fastball 412 feet into left field to take a 1-0 lead. Montgomery wasn’t able to hold that lead very long. He cruised through the first inning, but made a mistake in the second, missing a spot that Robinson Chirinos took advantage of to put one into the seats in right, tying the game at 1-1.
The third inning brought on the first of many Didi Gregorius hits and RBI today as he doubled down the first baseline to score Gardner and move Sanchez to third. Didi had himself a day, going 4-4 with 4 RBI. Judge drove Sanchez in with a sac fly that made it 3-1, Yankees.
The fourth inning is where things started to get out of hand. The inning began with Jacoby Ellsbury being hit by one of Griffin’s infamous 65 mph curves. Luckily, that didn’t seem to put him on the 60-day disabled list. Austin Romine followed that up with a single that ended Griffin’s short day as Nick Martinez came in to pitch. Things did not go so well for Martinez. The Yankees hit for the cycle against him in a fourth inning that he never escaped.
It went a little something like this: Brett Gardner two-run triple, Chase Headley RBI single, Sanchez double, Didi RBI single, Starlin Castro grounds into a double play that scores a run, and then Judge sends a towering solo shot to right for his 40th home run. After the smoke cleared, it was 9-1 Yankees and Martinez was taken out.
On to the bottom of the fourth where a couple of walks and a RBI single ended Montgomery’s day. Monty offered a serviceable performance, longevity aside, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks over 3.1 innings. It wasn’t his best outing of the year, but with a red-hot Yankees’ offense, it got the job done. Chad Green came in and allowed a sac fly by Delino DeShields to make it 9-3 Yankees.
Both teams tacked on a few runs in the next inning, bringing us to Judge in the 6th with a 11-4 lead. As he does, Judge demolished home run number 41 to the back of the Yankees’ bullpen, traveling a mere 463 feet to give the Bombers a 12 - 4 lead. It was a banner day for Judge who notched his 107th walk of the year—a rookie record—and joined an elite crew by reaching the 40 homers under age 25 mark.
Yankees w/ 40+ HR in Age-25 Season or Younger:— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) September 10, 2017
Mickey Mantle (1956)
Joe DiMaggio (1937)
Lou Gehrig (1927)
Babe Ruth (1920)
In the 8th inning, jealousy got the best of Gary Sanchez. Not wanting to be out-homered by Judge, the Kraken hit his second dinger of the day, a 461-foot blast to deep center. There hasn’t really been a time for the Yankees when both Judge and Sanchez were mashing and if this game is any indication of the future, the Yankees are going to be sprinting through September, leaving brutalized baseballs and sad pitchers in their wake.
The rest of the game carried on in a similar fashion, with the Yankees putting away the final out to win the game 16-7 and take the series from the Rangers. Sitting just 3.5 games out of first with a comfy lead in the Wild Card standings, the Yankees have a lot to be confident about as they head back to New York.
Tomorrow’s game will be an away game for the Yankees as they take on the Rays at Citi Field at 7:05PM EST. Tune in on YES to see if Judge and Sanchez can hit three dingers each.