Expectations are just expectations.
As the 2021 MLB season enters, many baseball observers assume the American League East, a division of the New York Yankees, has lost. Fast-forward two months and New York is looking up in the standings. three Teams – Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays The Yankees’ lineup on paper appears to be the team’s strength. with question marks around their turnover
The opposite has played out. New York ranks among the lowest scoring teams in the majors. and rely heavily on initial pitching. Behind the scenes strong performances from Gerrit Cole, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery and the now injured Corey Kluber. The Yankees head into Sunday just three games over .500 with a negative-3 run margin.
meanwhile Boston was at the heart of the competition for this division, just one game behind number one Rays. which is something very few people can predict. Motivated by the bounce-back performance of JD Martinez and Rafael Devers, in addition to Xander Bogaerts̵7; lunge, which played like the most offensive shortstop in baseball. The Boston offense ranks fourth in the scoring majors. So far, the spin has been anchored by depth, with Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez providing consistent outings with every exit.
As they wrap up their first series of 2021, with Boston looking for a possible 3-game sweep. This is how each team got here, what’s real and what’s not, and will this part continue to look like this?
Records heading to Sunday Night Baseball: 31-28 (.525), fourth in AL East
How they succeeded: The Yankees’ pitchers are a wild card coming into the season with the German return (3.27 ERA, 1.04 WHIP in 55 innings 2021) from a one-year suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence protocols and The offseason acquisitions of Kluber (3.04 ERA in 53.1 innings, not to mention the franchise’s first unbeaten game since David Cone’s 1999 perfect game) and Jameson Taillon (5.09 ERA in 53 innings). Still) Neither has played the entire season since 2018.
But the Yankees are second in the American League and sixth in baseball in the ERA – behind the Padres, Mets, Dodgers, Giants and White Sox – with Cole (2.26 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 104 strikeouts in 75.2). The undoubted ace and one of MLB’s best pitchers, the injury – especially the two-month loss of Kluber due to a shoulder pain – made the pitching rep more shaky. in summer
“Our throws were all we could have hoped for at this point, I think the start was really strong,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. And we’ve seen men emerge and create bigger roles for themselves. We hope to get a guy who likes [Zack Britton] and [Justin Wilson] and [Darren O’Day] back, but in the meantime Some men have really stepped up in character. Overall, I think the pitching is great.”
Closer Aroldis Chapman, a 0.41 ERA athlete with 42 strikeouts in 22 innings this season. Still holding on to the strong altar That has been one of the team’s consistent strengths over the past few seasons. Even with Britton, Wilson and O’Day on the injured list, Boone relies on Jonathan Loaisiga (2.08 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 30.1 innings. ) and Chad Green (3.14 ERA, 0.87 WHIP in 28.2 innings) for strong performances.
So far they have not accomplished this: Considering the number of alchemists on the roster The Yankees weren’t expected to rank among the lowest in baseball. The Bronx bombers are in fifth place in baseball this season, surpassing only the Mets, Pirates, Nationals and Tigers.
Boone said he did not expect the team’s offensive struggles to persist throughout the season.
“The attack after a slow start. tends to increase slightly Then we had to struggle again. That’s an area where we’re looking for more consistency,” Boone said. “I think I feel in the long run it’s going to be an overwhelming strength for this team.”
“Did you see the people on our team? That gives me a lot of confidence,” Boon said when asked what gave him confidence in the team’s offense. “Those who are really talented really pay attention to what they do and has a history of doing So far it’s been difficult. But that’s part of the team. It’s not always easy in 2021, it might be as hard as it used to be. But I believe in people That’s so much that we’ll eventually make it come true. And I feel like it’s starting to happen now.”
According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, that sense of calm and lack of panic is what gives Boone the right personality to manage the Yankees and help fix the boats in the market with scrutiny from the media and fans.
“Bunny never panicked,” Cora said. “He was very calm. And I know they have ups and downs in Boston and New York. it can be very heavy And he does not deviate from who he is. I think he’s done a great job lately. A few years with the course and doing his thing and this is the same guy. He does it on TV too. You listen to him on Sunday Night Baseball and it’s very calm and soothing and sends a message to the audience and That’s what he did with the Yankees. And I’m very proud of it.”
Players to watch closely: DJ LeMahieu set the highest standards during his first two seasons with the Yankees, winning two Silver Slugger Awards and finishing two top four MVPs. LeMahieu’s version is yet to be seen in New York this season, beating it. at .259/.339/.329 With just three homers and six pairs at 216 at-bats, that’s a huge drop from his 2020 performance when he hit .364/.421/.590 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs and in. Join Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to lead the majors in average hitting.
What had to happen for the Yankees to win the division: Simply put, the fault must be carried out according to its potential. Kluber’s injury shows the fragility of rotation. And the team will struggle to find success if Aaron Judge is the only player to consistently produce, the trio of LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres must step up to the plate.
The team’s frustration with this offense has become more intense in public.
“It would be nice to take the lead. But now it’s like that,” Taillon said after losing to Rays recently. “It’s my job to get out there and center it.”
Records heading to Sunday Night Baseball: 35-23 (.603) second place in AL East
So far how have they achieved this: In rotation with Nathan Eovaldi and Red Sox starters Eduardo Rodriguez sporting the team’s best ERA, the team’s best – *wipes glasses* – Perez (3.09), who entered the season as the team’s fifth starter.
The surprising turn of events sums up the current state of the team’s pitching rotation. Boston continues to rely on depth of rotation: Perez, Pivetta (3.77) and Richards (3.75) have better ERAs than Eovaldi (3.78) and Rodriguez (5.59).
“We felt our pitching was strong. We feel that the rotation will give us the opportunity throughout the season to stay in the ball game. There are a lot of question marks coming from outside of our world,” Cora said. “That’s right, I understand. Our turnover, you have Eduardo who is now struggling. He’s done it before. Nate is strong. Richards is upside down. Pivetta upside down and Martin strong big leagues. We feel like we’re entering the season. five or six innings We expect this from them.”
The team continues to gain a solid performance from character, with Garrett Whitlock’s Rule 5 pick seemingly one of the team’s best acquisitions during the offseason with a 1.63 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 27.2 innings over 15 points. Other brights include closer Matt Barnes, who has 2.49 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 25 games, Adam Ottavino with 2.78 ERA in 26 games, and Hirokazu Sawamura, who has 2.78 ERA in 21 games this season after coming from professional baseball Nippon.
So far they have not accomplished this:
While Boston has had one of baseball’s best offenses so far this season. Ranked fifth in the running behind the Dodgers, Astros, Rays and White Sox, Cora believes the team has not shown their full potential at the plate. Heading into the Yankees series, Boston dropped three of the four Astros, scoring just four runs in the first three games before dropping five points in the finale. Since May 21, the real commentator Martinez has scored in just two runs, indicating the team’s failure to score any time soon.
“We are expanding the scope of the attack too far,” Cora said, “that is a recipe for this level of disaster. [the Astros] We chased 38% of the number of offerings, which is not a good thing. We have to go back to sway in the strike and keep the lineup moving. That’s what we did at the start of the season. And we know we can do it.”
Despite the current RBI drought, Martinez’s bounce – at .321/.389, .569 with 12 homers after the 2020 season, in which he hit only .321/.389 – .569. .213/.291/.389 in 54 games is the main reason why Boston is such a formidable force. Bogaerts also remains one of the offensive forces at the shortstop, attacking .313/. .371/.534 with 10 homers and 16 doubles in 55 games, while Devers continues to impress. By leading the team in a homer with 15 while hitting .282/.351/.587.
Boone said despite Boston’s recent battles on the offensive line, the team’s attention to detail will make it a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
“I think [Cora has] It creates a team culture with close attention to detail,” Boone said. “He sees the game really well, he’s not afraid. I think he’s really good at what he does. I think his players definitely reflect that and play with confidence that he makes that sound for them every day.”
Players to watch closely: Rookie bassist Bobby Dalbec, who hit a home run on Saturday night, has been a total disappointment at the plate so far, hitting .199/.248 .384 with six homers in 46 games. Applied for Rookie of the Year after impressing in 23 games in charge of Boston in 2020 by scoring. .263/.359/.600 with eight homers
Dalbec began to waste time playing for servant Danny Santana and was unable to find his rhythm. With most chances, Triston Casas was also first baseman. Dalbec’s performance over the rest of the season could determine whether he has a role in the organization going forward.
What had to happen for the Red Sox to win the Division: Boston needs better performances from Eovaldi, the kind they got in Friday night’s opener of the series, and Rodriguez, two of their most famous starters. With Richards injury records and Pivetta and Perez outperforming their record. The success of Eovaldi and Rodriguez will help ease some of the pressure at the back of the turnover to lead the Red Sox to the playoffs.