Yanks keep rolling as Monty, HRs roast Birds
Blending their rejuvenated power-hitting offense with some strong pitching, the New York Yankees clinched their 25th consecutive winning season while continuing to keep the heat on the Red Sox in the American League East race.
Yanks keep rolling as Monty, HRs roast Birds
Didi Gregorius jersey and Greg Bird jersey hit a pair of three-run homers to support Jordan Montgomery’s scoreless outing as New York secured a 9-3 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, its 11th win in 14 games.
“It’s been really good. It’s come from all kinds of places in our lineup,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Different places every day, everyone contributing. It’s what we did more the first two months and a week of the season. We went through some stuff and kind of struggled, but we got back on MLB jerseys wholesale track.”
With the victory, the Yankees remained three games behind the Red Sox in the division, with Boston securing a 3-1 win at Tampa Bay on Saturday. New York holds a commanding five-game lead over the Twins — who lost to the Blue Jays on Saturday night — for the first American League Wild Card spot.
The win was the Yankees’ 82nd of the season, extending a run of consecutive winning campaigns (since 1993) that ranks second in Major League Jerseys history only to the 1926-64 Yankees, who secured 39 straight seasons of winning baseball.
Gregorius belted his 23rd homer, moving within one blast of equaling Derek Jeter’s 1999 mark for the most home runs hit by a Yankees shortstop, and Bird launched his second shot in the past two games as New York chased Jeremy Hellickson after just three-plus innings. Todd Frazier added a two-run blast, his 26th, in the seventh inning.
While this marks the first time since 1914 that the Yankees have taken the field in The Bronx without their pinstriped tops, it is the third time that they have worn an “alternate” uniform. On April 8, 1996, at Detroit, they wore replicas of the Negro Leagues’ New York Black Yankees, and on April 20, 2012, they wore reproductions of their 1912 uniforms to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.
“I guess what I would say is, this is not a permanent change,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “For one weekend in August, we’re going to leave our normal home jerseys in the lockers untouched and we’re going to be part of an MLB initiative to continue to get young kids — particularly Gen. Z kids — interested in baseball, and to show them that baseball, even at this highest level, can be fun.”
Gregorius’ Friday night spikes also include spot-on recreations of Elmer Fudd, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird and Yosemite Sam; generally, he said that he was able to complete one shoe per flight. His Saturday gear pays tribute to the never-ending battle between the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, while Sunday’s white cleats feature Marvin the Martian.
“I liked watching all of them — Tom & Jerry and all those were the big ones when I was growing up,” Gregorius said. “I like watching Bugs Bunny and especially Road Runner and the Coyote, because he’s always trying to get him. It’s always fun.”
For those less artistically inclined than Gregorius, some outside assistance was required.
Todd Frazier asked an Under Armour representative to help create a memorable pair; Frazier’s left spike shows him holding the Home Run Derby trophy in 2015 and a postage stamp of Frank Sinatra, while the right spike shows his cheap MLB jerseys hometown of Toms River, N.J., and himself rounding the bases after hitting a homer in the 1998 Little League World Series.
Bird batted third in the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup this season, but he had just six hits in 60 at-bats (.100) before landing on the disabled list.
The Yankees auditioned other first basemen, most notably Chris Carter jersey, who hit .201 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 62 games before being released. Bird said that he never fretted about losing his spot to Carter or another player; for one, the Yankees had attempted to acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets, only to see him dealt to the Rays instead.
“It’s part of this. You have to understand that,” Bird said. “It’s just part of the game. It’s a business. They’re in the business of winning, so they’ve got to play who’s doing the job. Obviously when you’re not out there doing it with wholesale MLB jerseys, someone else is, and you’ve got to understand that.”
Bird missed all of 2016 following surgery to repair his right labrum, but the Yankees are still banking that he can recapture the magic of his last seven weeks in ’15, when he slugged 11 homers and drove in 31 runs in 46 games while filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira jersey.
“It’d be huge, just depending on what Joe wants to do in each game,” Todd Frazier said. “In these playoffs, you need all the chess pieces to line up. I think we’ve got a whole bunch of them. There’s no selfishness about this team, because if you’ve got that, we don’t want you. We’ve got guys in here who just want to win.”