Maybe it’s the dad strength.
After hitting a walk-off home run on his wife’s first Mother’s Day on Sunday, Gleyber Torres put up all the offense in today’s win over the Blue Jays. A three-run home run and tack-on single buoyed yet another strong outing from the team’s pitching staff, as they took Wednesday’s game 5-3.
Jameson Taillon was finally hit a bit by the Blue Jays, who he had masterfully handled in two previous starts. His final line — 5.1 IP, 6H, 2 ER, 4:1 K:BB — actually raised his ERA on the season, but it’s still a more than respectable 2.93.
The key to Jamo’s hot start has been his control, staying in the zone and limiting free passes. He walked the first batter he faced and hit the third, and overall struggled to make much of anything work in the first inning:
He ended up loading the bases and surrendered a run on a fielder’s choice, but it could have been a whole lot worse. After the first inning, he settled down nicely, retiring 10 of the next 11 with a pair of strikeouts.
Into the sixth, he gave up a double to Bo Bichette — who of course reached base twice again today — but stared down Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who after a swinging strikeout reduced his own Louisville Slugger to firewood:
On the other side of the ball, it really was all about Torres today, who channeled his inner Booker T driving in a run five times, five times, five times, five times, five times today. With the Yankees down 1-0 in the fourth inning, MLB’s xStats wunderkind for May took José Berríos out to the short porch:
Now before any wayward MLB managers complain, that would have been a home run in six, possibly seven, ballparks depending on the source. After Michael King allowed an inherited run to score on a sac fly, Torres came through again with a two-run single, giving the Yankees a three-run cushion they would not look back from.
Gleyber’s been on the cusp of breaking out, ranking in the top ten in xBA, third in xwOBA and first in xSLG since May 1. Of course he had the walk-off home run over the weekend, and between that and his performance today, he looks more and more like the lineup anchor he was always supposed to be. Hopefully this run sparks a little something that lasts all year.
Aaron Boone had a really strong game from the dugout today as well. Every move he made seemed to click — I don’t know how much input he really gets on lineup construction, but the team didn’t need Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu hit well at cleanup, and Torres was the right call hitting fifth.
It felt aggressive, in a good way, to yank Taillon when he put men on the corners and go right to Michael King, who’s been so good this year. Then when King put a man on an inning later, they wasted no time going to Clay Holmes, who immediately engineered a double play to end the inning. The game’s best reliever worked another full inning after that, lowering his ERA all the way to 0.55.
We can say it now, but this was a really exciting two-game series. Yeah, Aroldis Chapman monkeyed around a little in the ninth, but the team still came out on top for the third game in a row. Every inning of this quick series felt tight, competitive, and was just a really pleasant viewing experience, once again perfectly countering the idea that baseball is boring. This was fun, made more so of course by the Yankees sweeping.
The Yankees board the plane for Chicago, kicking off a four-game series in the Windy City against the White Sox tomorrow. Luis Gil will be called up to make his season debut, and first pitch is at 8:10pm Eastern.