Saturday, June 11, 2022

Bronx Bombers Bash Six Solo Shots To Back Monty

Aaron Judge touching third base on his first inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees cruised to an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, what Manager Aaron Boone called "almost a perfect night out," as they bashed six solo home runs, including two from Aaron Judge, to back up starter Jordan Montgomery, who threw seven shutout innings.

The Yankees improve to 43-16, the best record in the Major Leagues, and the fifth time in franchise history they have won 43 of their first 59 games. They started 46-13 in 1939, '59, and '98, and 45-14 in 1928. They are just the fifth team since 1971, and ninth since 1947, to win at least 43 of their first 59, joining the 2001 Mariners (47-12), 1998 Yankees (46-13), 1953 Yankees (46-13), 1984 Tigers (44-15), 1955 Dodgers (44-15), 1986 Mets (43-16), 1970 Reds (43-16), and 1952 Dodgers (43-16).

Aaron Judge wasted no time getting the Yankees on the board against Cubs starting pitcher Matt Swarmer in the first when he led off the game with a home run on a liner into the seats in the left field corner. Giancarlo Stanton nearly got one of his own when he hit a towering fly ball to the fence in center field, in which Christopher Morel leaped up to grab it. 

Stanton would get his redemption in his next at-bat to lead off the fourth, as he lined one off the facade of the second deck in left field, and it ricocheted back onto the field. It was his 13th of the season, to go along with 37 RBI.

Giancarlo Stanton being greeted by Gleyber Torres on his way back to the dugout after the homer. Photo by Jason Schott.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of his reaction to that latest blast from Stanton, "We all just kind of look at each other, he gets back, and I'm like, 'you're weird,' which was followed by laughter. 

The skipper continued, "That's all I can say, it's just fun watching him grind an at-bat, too, like his first at-bat was so good, and he hits the ball 108 (miles-per-hour), Morel makes the play at the fence on him, but it's just watching his process, and watching him go get what he's looking for, and finally get it, and then did the same thing, I feel like the same quality of at-bat the next time, you know, like only G can."

On the very next pitch, Gleyber Torres launched a, blast to right-center field to make it 3-0. 

The home run derby continued in the fifth when Jose Trevino got a solo shot, Judge lined another one to left field, just to the left of the Chicago bullpen for his second of the night, his 24th of the season, and Anthony Rizzo followed with a bomb to right field, giving him a homer against against his former team, to make it 6-0.

That was all for Swarmer, who allowed six runs, all earned since it was six solo home runs, on seven hits and no walks, with four strikeouts, as he fell to 1-1. His ERA jumped from 1.50 to 4.24 with this performance, just the third start of his Major League career.

The Yankees tacked on another couple of runs in the sixth when Isiah Kiner-Falefa got an RBI single, and Judge later on in the frame had a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0.

Jordan Montgomery pitching to Patrick Wisdom in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

Jordan Montgomery earned his second win of the season to improve to 2-1, with a 2.70 ERA, as he  threw seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits and no walks, with five strikeouts. It was his second scoreless start of the season, with his first coming on April 15 when he threw five shutout innings in Baltimore. His seven shutout innings matched how long he went against the Angels on May 31. 

Boone said of what stood out about Montgomery, "Cutter again a factor, thought he got a really good one at times, and I thought he had a little bit of everything going again, I feel like it's been that the last few times for him - his mix has been good. Good changeup, breaking ball, I thought he was on the attack really well. I thought he started to waiver there a little bit in the sixth and seventh, I think he had to kind of find his legs a little bit, but was able to finish it. Seven huge innings by him, you know, you say it now, it was gonna be a struggle if we didn't get a lot of length out of him today, that was just what the doctor ordered, and the obviously the offense was terrific, but Monty was huge tonight."

Boone was referring to how much the bullpen had to throw in Minnesota on Thursday, covering the final 6 2/3 innings after Gerrit Cole left in what turned into a 10-7 victory, and then throughout Friday night's 13-inning, 2-1 win over Chicago 

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