The New York Yankees once again played a doubleheader, this time against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa and New York would split the doubleheader. In the first game, New York won 8-4, but in the second game, they lost 5-3. So for this doubleheader, we will look at five takeaways from the 14th and 15th game of the Yankees 2020 season.
Takeaway #1: 100 Pitch Count Wall
When it comes to modern-day pitching, the “almighty” pitch count is everything. The pitch count controls how long a pitcher remains in the game regardless of effectiveness. And during the first game of the doubleheader, the Yankee Ace, Gerrit Cole hit the proverbial wall after the 100 pitch mark. The Tampa Bay Rays would make Gerrit Cole work and thus elevating his pitch count to the 100 pitch mark by the fifth inning. And as the 100 pitch came so too came the runs from the Rays. Tampa would score on an RBI double by Ji-Man Choi and a two-run homerun by Jose Martinez. Prior to getting to the 100 pitch plateau, Cole was dominating with ten strikeouts. But upon reaching that ever so spoken about number of pitches, Cole became ineffective and would not receive a decision.
Takeaway #2: Aaron Judge Keeps Hitting
During the doubleheader, Aaron Judge would come to the plate for a total of eight at-bats. And during those eight at-bats, Judge would have five hits, 2 RBIs on a long roof-hit homerun, and only one strikeout. For the season, Judge has an OPS+ of 201. (League-average for OPS+ is 100.) Meaning that right now, Judge is twice as valuable as a league-average player. And if Aaron Judge can maintain his health and this pace, one of our bold predictions will come true, and Aaron Judge will be the AL MVP.
Takeaway #3: Giancarlo Stanton Hurt…Again
One thing that has sadly become a recurring theme with the New York Yankees is injuries. And unfortunately, for one player more than any other, Giancarlo Stanton is often injured and out of the lineup. After a mammoth homerun in game one of the doubleheader, Stanton would be on the basepaths and come up a little lame. And because of it, Giancarlo will likely hit the IL for the first time this season, after only playing in 12 games in 2019. Another hamstring injury begins to put into question
Takeaway #4: Sanchez Struggles Could Be Ending Soon
The 2020 season has not been kind to Gary Sanchez. Over the course of 41 plate appearances, Sanchez is slashing a measly .086/.220/.200. However, things may be beginnings to break for the Yankee backstop. In the first game of the doubleheader, despite going 0-2 with a strikeout, Gary Sanchez would work two walks. Many former batters and hitting coaches will tell you that the first signs of life for a struggling hitter is the base on ball. Gary was given off during the second game, but will likely be in the starting lineup for the finale of the series. And we will have to watch the at-bats for the Kraken to see just how close he is to break out.
Takeaway #5: Gleyber’s Coming Around
Much like with Gary Sanchez, the 2020 season hasn’t yet been kind to Gleyber Torres, either. Both Gleyber and Gary have an OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging) of .420. That isn’t the type of average you want for that statistic. Just for context, Gio Urshela has an On-Base Percentage of .423, meaning that Urshela is merely getting on base more than the total production of either Gary Sanchez or Gleyber Torres at this time. However, again like Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres also walked in an at-bat today. And add in the fact that in six at-bats today, Torres would get two hits. Today both Torres and Sanchez worked at-bats and worked deeper into counts that allowed them to see better pitches. With a few more at-bats like the one’s today, both Gleyber and Gary will have start producing as expected.