Sunday, June 11, 2017

Yankee Stadium: The Star Chamber

It occurred to me as I was writing this post that naming a 3-row, 6-seats-per-row section (18 seats total) of Section 104 in the right field Bleachers at Yankee Stadium "The Judge's Chambers," with faux mahogany wood and fans in black robes in the style of a judge, only makes sense when Aaron Judge is on defense, playing right field, in front of said section.

As a righthanded power hitter, he's much more likely to hit to left field. Since The Judge's Chambers were set up on May 22, in spite of the new Yankee Stadium's established status as a hitter's park, only 1 home run has been hit there, but the other Aaron, Hicks.

That's one of the few things that's gone wrong for the Yankees this season, along with Masahiro Tanaka's hungry gopher and a few Joe Girardi bullpen WTFs.

Last night, against the Baltimore Orioles, Judge hit a seat-seeking missile down the right field line, just fair, that Statcast, which has been recording the speed of batted balls since the 2015 season, measured at 121.1 miles per hour, the fastest batted ball they've ever recorded.

Somewhere, Mickey Mantle must be laughing and saying, "Yeah, surrrre!"

And Babe Ruth is saying, "I know, but this is our kinda baseball, ain't it?"

Mine, too, even if I couldn't produce it myself.

In fact, the Yankees have scored 14 or more runs in a game twice this season, and both times, it's been against Buck Showalter's Orioles, the team the Yankees were chasing for most of the season, but have now seriously slumped, behind both the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in the American League Eastern Division.

Judge's 3-run homer last night was part of a 6-run 1st inning. Didi Gregorius also homered in the inning, for 2 runs. Starlin Castro had a 3-run dinger in the 2nd, and that was it for Chris Tillman, who usually pitches well against the Yankees.

Matt Holliday had a 3-run homer in the 4th, Judge had a 3-run double in the 5th, and Gary Sanchez got in on the action with a 2-run homer in the 8th. Respectively, that's 19 homers on the season for Judge, 6 for Sir Didi, 11 for Castro, 13 for Holliday, and 9 for El Gary. Never mind "The Judge's Chambers": Yankee Stadium II is becoming "The Star Chamber": Full of stars and, like its Renaissance-era English equivalent, punitive judgement.

Judge is now batting .332 with 19 home runs and 44 RBIs. Those would be really good numbers at the All-Star Break -- and we're still a month away from that.

Luis Severino made sure that not all of those home runs would be necessary. He went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts. Yeovany Gallegos and Tommy Layne each pitched an inning in which they allowed a run, but that's no big deal.

Yankees 16, Orioles 3. WP: Severino (5-2). No save (ha, ha). LP: Tillman (1-4).

The series concludes this afternoon. Chad Green, who's been pretty good out of the bullpen, starts against Kevin Gausman. Like Tillman, Gausman usually pitches well against the Yankees. I wonder if we'll get a similar result.

Tanaka was supposed to pitch, but Girardi moved him back a day. The Yankees will fly out to the Coast after the game, and Tanaka will start the series opener in Anaheim tomorrow night.

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