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Judge And Stanton: Yankees Dominance

Aaron Judge connects for a 433 foot solo-blast in the first inning of Friday night's series opener against the White Sox - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Is this Yankees dominance? Friday night in the Bronx in an opening series with the White Sox the Yankees lineup clicked again, Nestor Cortes (2022 AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher of the Year) won his first game in over a month. And that duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered again in the same game.

When Judge and Stanton hit home runs in the same game the Yankees are 35-4, which also includes the playoffs. But the Yankees failed to reach the playoffs last year because Judge and Stanton missed numerous games on the Injured List in what was described as a disastrous season.

Aaron Judge is hitting .408 in his last 15 games – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

But both home run hitters are healthy, so are the Yankees a team on the roll. They won their fifth straight, 4-2 and in mid-May are unbeatable with an American League best record of 31-15, second best in baseball behind the Phillies.

“Their talent is shining through,” manager Aaron Boone said about his team and how the lineup is hitting on all cylinders. “So I’m not surprised, but I’m happy to see it.” And that lineup does not solely rely on Juan Soto, who had a quiet night (1-for-4) and that speaks measure even though Judge and Stanton homered together the fourth time this season.

That’s 10 home runs for Judge and Stanton in the past two weeks. It means wins for the Yankees as the Baltimore Orioles keep pace for the AL East division lead. But this duo has become the Yankees version of the Bash Brothers and if they continue at this pace they won’t lose many ball games or series.

Giancarlo Stanton launched a 417 foot solo-home run in the bottom of the sixth inning in Friday’s game – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Talk to Boone and he is a confident manager, yet there is no denial that having a healthy Judge and Stanton in the lineup everyday will win ball games. There is no denial the Yankees can’t expect this pace to continue but for now they are winning and with conviction.

“When Aaron’s swinging it like he is right now, the guys definitely get a jolt out of that,” Boone said. “And we’ve seen a lot of that the last week, some early shots fired by A.J.”

As Stanton said, “Once we got on top, we stayed on top.” And when Judge hits a home run in the first inning, a blast into the second deck down the left-field line, the Yankees lineup continues to tack on runs, though four seems to be enough. Because Judge and Stanton have become ominous to any pitching staff in the league.

Giancarlo Stanton watches his sixth inning blast land into the left field Yankee Stadium seats – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Stanton, coming off the worst season of his career, has put to rest the noise about a career that was on the downslide and has rebounded from a slow start, his fourth home run in the last eight games was one of the hardest hit this season, 116.2 mph in the 6th inning. The solo shot went also to the left-field line but in the first deck.

Judge has 12 home runs, trailing the Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, Kyle Tucker of the Astros, and Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson for the Major League lead. Stanton with his 7th of the season, recorded double-digit home runs in a season for the 13th time in his career, tied for second since 2010 next to Andrew McCutchen (14).

Aaron Judge rounds the bases on Friday night – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Regardless, the Yankees say this is a team effort. But realize also this is the production they expected coming out of Spring Training. They can score in bunches and two home runs from Judge and Stanton this time proved to be enough.

“Last year is the past,” Stanton said, who doesn’t indeed want to be reminded. “You just live for now, And try to help us win every night. It’s unreal (Stanton said about Judge). He can’t hit a single right now. His singles are his walks. It’s been fun to watch.”

Said Judge about Stanton: “He looks like Big G. “I know he’s been battling injuries the past couple of seasons, but I think he’s finally feeling healthy and feeling like himself.”

It also helps that Cortes got the win, a cog in the rotation who has struggled. Cortes (2-4 record) struck out six, allowed five hits, and did not allow an earned run in seven innings.

Nestor Cortes was named the 2022 American League LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award winner by the LSWBA – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

The Yankees bullpen did the rest and Clay Holmes got his AL leading 13th save, keeping his scoreless streak intact with 19 appearances out of the pen. The Yankees during this streak have seen their starting rotation allow one earned run over 33 innings giving length with six.

But the talk is about Judge and Stanton. Home runs will win ball games and when they come in the same game. Judge said he is not missing the ball and neither is Stanton. They say for now it is working.

But at this pace the Yankees will not lose many.

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer and contributor to
X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786  – Mancuso

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