The New York Yankees are beginning to come down from their momentous high where they’d typically score 10 runs a game. But if that were the case, it appears Brett Gardner hasn’t gotten the memo yet.
The Yankees left fielder hit his eighth home run of the season against the Rays on Sunday afternoon and has already beat his entire total for all last season. His home run was also the difference maker in the Yankees 3-2 win.
So what is up with Gardner’s recent power surge?
“Because he is a home-run hitter now,” Joe Girardi said following the game. “I’ve seen him hit it [out] in BP. I’m not sure I expected him to hit eight home runs in about a month, but I’ll take it, just keep it going.”
Gardner has been the key to the Yankees success this season at the top of the lineup. Even right fielder Aaron Judge, who made a ridiculous catch to prevent a run from scoring, is impressed with Gardner’s recent success.
“He starts the fire. He gets things going for us,” Judge said. “He can hit a home run any time he wants. He’s got that kind of swing and that power and that discipline. He runs this offense. When he gets on, good things happen. Gardy’s got to be MVP right now for this team.”
Unlike a few years prior, Gardner isn’t trying to be a home run hitter. He’s just been more aggressive at the plate by using his lower half more, which has helped not only himself, but his teammates.
“I was looking for a fastball, he threw me a slider in, and I was able get my hands in enough to get some barrel on it,” Gardner said. “Just wanted to be aggressive.”
And indeed he has.