It’s far too early for the Yankees to focus on the postseason. But you have to win to get there, and they have been racking up victories since defeating their American League East rival Boston Red Sox, 6-5, in 11 innings in their opening game on April 8. The Yankees were 20-8 heading into Tuesday night’s game versus the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, at the time a tie with the Mets and Los Angeles Angels for the most wins in Major League Baseball
They have already strung together an 11-game winning streak, going unbeaten from April 22 through May 3, before it ended with a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays on the road on May 4. It was the Yankees longest winning streak since taking 13 straight last August. ”Winning 11 in a row, that’s no small task. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” noted Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson after the defeat.
The loss was intense and heated. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was thrown out of the game in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes with slugger Aaron Judge at the plate. “He stood up for us, and stood up for me, and I appreciate it,” said Judge.
The left fielder/center fielder went into Tuesday night’s contest against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium tied with four players for the Major League Baseball home run lead with nine; one of those players was first baseman and teammate Anthony Rizzo. The 30-year-old Judge is outperforming the seven-year, $213 million extension the team offered him at the start of this season.
The Yankees’ pitching has also been efficient, leading the American League in the least runs allowed per game at 2.68. Lefty starter Nestor Cotes continued the Yankees’ sterling pitching to begin the week by taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Monday in a 1-0 shutout in the Bronx over the Texas Rangers. Cortes’ no-hit bid was broken up on his 103rd pitch, a bloop single by Rangers center fielder Eli White. The outing lowered Cortes’ ERA to 1.41 and he’s 1-1 in six starts.
The Yankees hosted the Blue Jays again last night before going on an eight-game road trip that starts tonight in Chicago versus the White Sox and continues for four games in Baltimore facing the Orioles. They return home next Friday to play a three-game series against the White Sox.