It’s very likely Shohei Ohtani will need to win 20 games and capture a batting title if he has any hope this year of keeping his MVP crown. Vladdy Guerrero’s unearthly evening at Yankee Stadium was more of an advanced trailer to a Michael Bay movie that will likely feature triple crown special effects, a touch of Akira Kurosawa samurai heroics, and a little finger-crushing drama. The blood was real last night as Aaron Hicks almost single-footedly ended the Blue Jays hopes this year by crushing Vlad’s exposed and seemingly scripted hand. Naturally, the dugout time spent fixing up his digit was almost cinematic itself as a hushed home crowed nervously discussed Starbucks lattes and espresso shots while bewildered Canadians were left streaming in stunned silence.
Now that’s the José Berríos we all know and respect; lots of first pitch strikes (19/24) and he generally attacked the plate. Calling it a significant improvement over his first start would be like saying mechanized warfare is less damaging than nuclear warfare, but I digress primarily because his ERA has fallen to a more functionally respectable 11.81. Nevertheless, momentum is usually found against serious competition that brings out the best in professional athletes, and winning a four-game set against the Bronx Bombers is how you end up with a division crown.
Since we’re still in New York for one final game, I’d like to remind readers that I still can’t fucking believe Aaron Judge turned down $213 million dollars at the age of 30 and with a team that wants him around for seven more years. Also, Mookie Betts makes less and is the superior player.
That is all.
Is there anyone more important to the fate of this team right now than Yimi Garcia? I may be stating the obvious, but it needs to be understood how crucial late-inning relievers are to the overall health and well-being of an unfairly hyped baseball team. For the middle-aged enthusiast, Garcia evokes shades of Mike Timlin; a versatile, experienced arm that’s used in virtually every scenario, and gives off a warm and fuzzy vibe where his poise and evolution as a bona “glue-man” is securing the adoration of angsty fans still bitter about how a single blown game cost them an entire baseball season.
“Wish it was against somebody else so I could watch it on TV and see it live. That’s the type of player he is. He can take over a game.” Those are Aaron Judge’s thoughts on our generational phenom that’s propelled the Blue Jays to heights of greater baseball glory. Two home runs and a double off Gerrit Cole? Endless praise from his rivals on an almost weekly basis? In 48 career games against the evil empire, Vladdy Guerrero Jr. is slashing .308/.358/.559 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, making him not only a genuine Yankee killer, but someone who thrives under the glare of the spotlight and in the biggest market imaginable.
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