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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/5/2020

Judge is pulling the ball again; Yankees finally have the dynamic duo clicking; Gardner ribbed for home run; an old friend is called up

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The best possible outcome of your plate appearance cannot be a single up the middle. Fly balls to the pull side do more damage than any other batted ball, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Aaron Judge’s tear through the first games of 2020 have been fueled by him elevating and pulling the baseball. Even when he’s not going yard, like his two-hit outing on Monday night, the Yankees’ best hitter is launching balls to left field, and if he keeps it up, the sky is the limit. | Neil Paine: For more than two years, Yankee fans have clamored for an extended run where both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been healthy and hot. As 2020 has kicked off, we’re seeing what we’ve longed for, as the team is 8-1 and owe a lot of that start to their two all-world sluggers, who are both OPS’ing over 1.100. Who knows how long this hot streak will last, but if the Yankees can stretch it out for another couple of weeks, the team could be settled into the top playoff spot early.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Brett Gardner cracked just the second opposite-field home run of his career Monday night, putting a ball into the left field seats before a 78 minute rain delay. Such a rare sight naturally led to good-natured ribbing throughout the ballclub, as his teammates saw an opportunity to razz a player with a reputation of the clubhouse prankster.

New York Post | Dan Martin: We close with a blast from the past, as former Yankee prospect James Kaprielian was finally called up to the Oakland As yesterday. Kap was one of the major prospect pieces sent to the Bay Area in exchange for Sonny Gray back in 2017, and battled numerous injuries both in New York and Oakland’s farm system.