Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Friday, July 27. When Aaron Judge crashed to the deck at Yankee Stadium last night, Yankee fans got a loud reminder of why the team traded for the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton.
I had my doubts when the deal went down and I wrote about them in this forum. I knew he and Aaron Judge couldn’t be the next M&M boys because they essentially played the same position, rather than Mantle playing center and Maris playing right. But the fact that Judge will lose nearly a month (and that’s being kind) with a chip fracture to his wrist brings into sharp focus what Stanton was summoned to the Bronx to do. He’s the home owners’ insurance you buy while yapping about the expense. Then when a tree branch slams through your roof, you call for the insurance man. The pitcher who injured Judge is the drunk driver who smashes your perfectly good car to ruins and leaves you walking if you haven’t called Geico when you got the car.
Up to now the two great hitters have mirrored each other through the season. They’re both within a good hot streak of hitting .300. Stanton has 23 home runs, nowhere close to the 59 he hit in Miami a year ago. Judge has commanded the crowd to “All Rise” 26 times. Even before last night’s injury He wasn’t on a pace for the 52 homers he slugged last year. They both have 61 RBIs. Last year, Stanton was the National League’s MVP. His best chance to win that title in his new league, and to win over Yankee fans who have booed him is to perform like an MVP the rest of the way, especially while Judge rides the pines.
His task is a daunting one. With Judge and injured catcher Gary Sanchez both out until the end of August at best, Stanton won’t have much in the way of protection. Pitchers can walk him knowing they have little to fear from the rest of the order unless Gleyber Torres returns and starts to hit the way he was hitting before he went down. Incredibly, the Yankees are bringing up Tyler Wade to fill Judge’s roster spot. Wade is, first of all an infielder and second of all a .173 hitter. Talk about replacing a Ferrari with a skateboard.
Yesterday’s best game took place in daylight at Wrigley Field. The Cubs, down 6-4 in the last of the 9th got a 2-run home run from rookie David Bote (Pronounced BoTee) and a walk-off blast from Anthony Rizzo to stun the D-Backs 7–6. Bote joined the Cubs earlier this week when Kris Bryant went on the DL with a sore shoulder. Bote filled in for Bryant in April for the same reason. His first taste of the bigs wasn’t a bad 25th birthday present for the Colorado kid who hit .294 in a small sample. Not only did he hit a 9th-inning home run, Bote also poisoned a D-Backs’ rally early on. In the second inning, David Peralta hit a hot smash with the bases full which Bote caught, thus ending the inning and the rally. The Cubs won in spite of a grand slam by Nick Ahmed in the 5th inning. As for Rizzo, he had 3 walk-off shots before launching one off Brad Boxberger yesterday.0