Saturday, June 10, 2017
Aaron Hicks led off the sixth inning with a tiebreaking homer into the Judge’s Chambers in right field and then launched a two-run roundtripper in the seventh as the Yanks beat the Orioles, 8-2, to pick up their third straight win Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Hicks has put up All-Star numbers as he fills in seamlessly for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out since May 24 with a concussion. Hicks now has 10 home runs this season, one short of his career high, to go along with his .318 batting average and 1.010 OPS, both of which rank near the top among American League outfielders.
“He continues to shine, and he’s been really helpful,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He believed in himself last year, but obviously he’s having more success. He’s been huge for us.”
Hicks has been so good that he has earned the chance to play even when Ellsbury returns. While Girardi won’t call Hicks his full-time center fielder, he admitted it won’t be easy to take him out of the lineup. “He’s going to play a lot,” Girardi said. “He’s going to continue to get a ton of at-bats.”
While it’s certainly a good problem to have to have too many capable outfielders, it’s still a problem. I’m all for giving guys (especially guys like Gardner and Ellsbury, who are super fragile) regular rest to keep them in good shape for the end of the season, but obviously someone is going to have to get the short end of the stick, playing time wise. You figure that it has to be Ellsbury (through really no fault of his own), but we shall see.
Anyhow, this was another excellent victory. Jordan Montgomery pitched another one of those decent starts that makes him a very valuable pitcher to have in the starting rotation. He is one of those guys who wows you by how much he excels withOUT wowing you, although on Friday he even broke out a few outright “wow” pitches, like some stunning curve balls. Knowing that they will at least have Severino and Montgomery for next year’s rotation is huge.
Speaking of Severino, let’s hope that he can keep the good times going Saturday night. Of course, the Red Sox and Rays both won, because, well, you know, evil division yadda yadda.
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