After a sluggish start, the New York Yankees have been everything they were cracked up to be.
They’ve won 19 of their last 22 games and have climbed back from 7.5 games out to a tie for first with the Red Sox in the AL East. At 28-12, the Yankees have the best record in baseball.
They’ve done it with great pitching and timely hitting, and they’ve done it with the long ball.
When Giancarlo Stanton hit his 10th home run of the season in Sunday’s 6-2 win over the As, he become the fourth player on the team to have 10 or more home runs, along with Aaron Judge (11), Gary Sanchez (10) and Didi Gregorius (10).
Giancarlo Stanton is 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon25) May 13, 2018
No Yankee team has ever had four players with 10 or more homers through the first 40 games — not the Babe Ruth- and Lou Gehrig-led “Murderer’s Row” lineup of 1927, not the M&M (Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle) boys of 1961, not the 1977 “Bronx Zoo” with Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson and Graig Nettles, not the 114-win 1998 Yankees or the Alex Rodriguez- and Mark Teixeira-led bombers of 2009.
“Look, we have a really good lineup,” manager Aaron Boone said, according ESPN. “I just love the way they go about it.”
The last team to have four players with 10 home runs through 40 games was the 2003 Texas rangers, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That team featured A-Rod, Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett and Rafael Palmiero.
With Gary Sanchez hitting his 10th home run today, it is the first time in Yankees history the team has had three players reach 10 home runs before the team's 40th game of the season.
Aaron Judge (11), Didi Gregorius (10) are the other Yankees with double-digit HR this season. pic.twitter.com/0rHh8A0lv7
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2018
“We can hurt you at any time. And that’s why I say my job is really just to get on base for these guys,” Brett Gardner said, reported ESPN. “Once me, Judge and Didi and Stanton and Sanchez and [Aaron] Hicks and on down the order [get on], I mean, we’ve just got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things, grind out at-bats and make the opposing pitching staff really work.”
In other words: “We’ve got some guys that can really swing it,” Gardner said.
Through 40 games, the Yankees have 57 home runs. The MLB record for most home runs by a team was set in 1997 by the Mariners, who had 269.
That may be hard to catch, but another record may be in their sights. The MLB record for most players on a team with 30 or more home runs is four, set by multiple teams, including, most recently, the 2009 Phillies with Ryan Howard (45), Jayson Werth (36), Raul Ibanez (34) and Chase Utley (31).
This record is well within New York’s reach, but no team has ever had four players hit 40 or more home runs in a season.
Only the 1973 Braves with Dave Johnson (43), Darrell Evans (41) and Hank Aaron (40); the 1996 Colorado Rockies with Andres Galarraga (47), Ellis Burks (40) and Vinny Castilla (40); and the 1997 Colorado Rockies with Larry Walker (49), Galarraga (41) and Castilla (40) have had three.
It’s a tall order, but if they keep up at the pace, the Yankees would do it.
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