Yankees making history with this show of home run power
September 18, 2020
September 18, 2020 | 12:29am
Homer barrage is not enough. It doesn’t do it. We have seen homer barrages before. So it is inadequate to use those two words to describe what the Yankees did for three days to the Black and Blue Jays.
For the Yankees earned their Bronx Bomber moniker with a century of clout. Yet, no Yankees team had ever done what this one did for three days. Pretty much every night, it would have been easier to make a list of the Yankees who did not homer than the ones that did.
If you thought the backup catcher, Kyle Higashioka, going deep three times Wednesday was what would drop a jaw or raise an eyebrow, then you should have seen the three-pitch, three-homer assault the Yankees delivered in what turned out to be a five-homer fourth inning Thursday in a 10-7 victory.
The Yankees hit 19 homers, a record not just for a three-game series but a series of any length. Those homers traveled nearly 1 ¹/₂ miles combined. The Yankees became the first team ever with at least six homers in three straight games. They became the first Yankees team to ever homer five times in an inning. It also ties the major league record. And their 88 home runs are the most the Yankees (29-21) have ever hit through 50 games.
It was three days of flexing as the Yankees passed the Blue Jays into second place in the AL East, pretty much informed Toronto not this year for finishing ahead of them in the standings and closed to within one game of the Twins for the AL fourth seed and home field in the first round.
With eight straight wins in which they have fully rediscovered their power, the best of their starting pitching and their mojo, the Yankees have done much to re-establish themselves as a force for the postseason.
“That is an impressive series right there,” Aaron Boone said after this club destroyed the Blue Jays 43-15 over the three games.
Even Boone acknowledged this was different, and he has watched the Yankees hit a major league best 573 homers the last two years. The ball may be juiced, and the Blue Jays pitching not special, but still 19 homers in three days? Three homers by Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu and an MLB-leading 20th from Luke Voit in three Chase Anderson pitches? Five in the inning over 13 pitches?
Masahiro Tanaka, who was the starting beneficiary of the Yankee power, was down the dugout runway during the fourth inning. There is no TV feed to watch. But “I was listening,” and he could hear the crack of wood and the excitement from the dugout, and so he knew something special was unfolding.
“It was awesome,” said Giancarlo Stanton, who hit one of the five. “You go down inside and miss two homers.”
Stanton was 4-for-5 in his second game off the IL. Aaron Judge is likely to play his second game off the IL on Friday. The Yankee lineup is healthy and whole and in one of those runs now in which you look for the soft landing spot, and it is hard to find. Even Gary Sanchez’s at-bats have been better of late. He hit the Yankees’ sixth homer Thursday in the seventh inning. But his double in the fifth — which preceded Gardner’s homer — was 117.5 mph and not only was the hardest hit ball of this game, but of this season by anyone.
“That is a good word for [the lineup] — scary,” Stanton said of having the full group back together. “With all of us in there, it is special and fun to be part of and coming together at the perfect time.”