The 2021 New York Yankees have been puzzling to say the least. Before the season, the Yankees we’re projected to be a top tier team. Everyone thought it. However, the season did not start that way. Through the first month of play, the Yankees ended April with a record of 12-14. Of course, we don’t look at the April records all that serious but that wasn’t the team we all had in mind. The Yankees found themselves bouncing in between third and fourth in the AL East for quite some time.
Through the next two months the Yankees were doing some historic things but not winning games. Corey Kluber threw the Yankees 12th no-hitter in franchise history and they turned three triple plays. The Yankees found themselves entering the All-Star game at 46-43. Then came the trade deadline.
Cashman’s Magical Trade Deadline
Everyone, including myself, did not expect too much out of Brian Cashman and the Yankees upper management. The Yankees have made it clear that they want to stay under the luxury tax. With the team sitting around .500 ball, there were questions that the Yankees could have been sellers. Brian Cashman worked his magic with this deadline. The first move started by acquiring RHP Clay Holmes from the Pirates. That of course being a smaller move, Holmes has turned out to be quite the reliable reliever in his few appearances as a Yankee. After the Holmes deal, we had to say goodbye to a long time Yankee, Luis Cessa as well as Justin Wilson.
The Yankees traded the pair for a player to be named later. This was a late night shock to all Yankee fans. Cashman then exploded by trading for OF Joey Gallo, LHP Joely Rodríguez, and 1B Anthony Rizzo. Then finishing off the deadline by acquiring RHP Andrew Heaney from the Angels. Gallo was rumored to become a Yankee, however, The Rizzo move came out of nowhere. The Yankees gave up a haul of prospects for both players but didn’t touch any of the top-10 prospects.
Yanks Heat Up
In the Yankees last 28 games, they have gone 23-5 which gives them their most wins in a 28 game stretch since 1998. The Yankees have completely turned their season around and got hit at the perfect time. Their long time rivals, the Boston Red Sox, went cold just as the Yankees got hot. Boston once held a 10-game lead over the Bombers in the AL East. This historic stretch could not have been done without the help of the new guys as well as the guys who have stepped up. Anthony Rizzo went on a run Yankee fans have never seen. Rizzo is the first Yankee to ever reach base eight plus times in his first two games, the first Yankee to have two plus home runs and five plus runs in his first two games, and is only the third Yankee to record two plus hits and two plus runs in each of his first two games.
Only other Yankees to do such thing was Jerry Lumpe in 56′ and Joe DiMaggio in 36′. Joey Gallo has yet to get into a consistent rhythm, but has blasted some clutch runs for the team. Aaron Judge is quietly having a MVP season with a .285 AVG, 118 H, 65 RBI, and a .900 OPS. The guys like Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Rougned Odor, Jonathan Loáisiga, Nestor Cortes and, as of late, Andrew Velazquez have all had a huge impact.
No Telling What Could Happen
The Yankees find themselves 4.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay’s schedule is significantly harder then New York’s to close out the season. With 36 games left in the season, the Yankees have a chance at the division. As of now, the Yankees hold the number one wild card seat three games ahead of the Red Sox. Personally, I cannot believe I’m saying that this far into the season. This team is going out everyday and having fun. They are getting the job done and their doing it at a pace we haven’t seen in a long time. The 2021 New York Yankees have been a roller coaster for fans near and far. The sky is the limit for what this team can accomplish if this historic run continues.