Game 53: NYY vs. TOR — Strong start, stronger late-inning bombs

A lovely 64° and sunny in Toronto (not a sign of “The Big Smoke” in sight), with the roof open at Rogers Centre and a great view of the landmark CN Tower for the sellout crowd today. In other words, it was a beautiful day for some baseball.

Jordan Montgomery got the start today. The rookie throwing what had to be his strongest start of the season so far. He threw 103 pitches through the 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks, and striking out 5 Toronto batters, setting himself up for the win. But the important part of the whole outing was that there were no runs scored by the Blue Jays, thanks in part to the outstanding performance by the great Yankees defense.

That continued through the latter third of the game, as Warren, Clippard, and Betances each took an inning to shut the Blue Jays down and keep putting up those zeroes on the scoreboard.

Of course, this would all mean nothing unless the Yankees had some offense to counter it. And actually, the Blue Jays starter had a pretty good outing himself for the first 7 innings. The Yankees weren’t even able to score until the 3rd inning. Refsnyder made it safely to 1st on a fielding error, stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Aaron Hicks’ double. Hicks then scored on Aaron Judge’s double to put the Yankees in the lead on a few unearned runs. And in the 7th, Castro led off with a double and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ double. Gregorius would later get caught in a rundown.

The Blue Jays starter had a pretty good day if the Yankees’ pitchers didn’t have a better one. Or if the Jays’ bullpen didn’t have a really off 8th inning. Brett Gardner led-off with a solo shot to right field. And 2 outs later, the Yankees decided to back-to-back-to-back — Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, and Didi Gregorius.

It would be just the 4th time in Yankees history they hit 4 homers in a single inning — 1977 (in Toronto, the 8th), 2005 (against the Rays, the 8th), 2012 (against the Red Sox, the 2nd), and then today (in Toronto in the 8th). Though oddly none of them were 4 consecutive homers.

Final score: 7-0 Yankees.

Injury news: Jacoby Ellsbury has been shut down due to the return of his concussion symptoms. He had been taking swings in the batting cages and running a bit in the outfield for practice and to work his way back to the team. But with the recurrence of his symptoms, he’s officially shut down from all baseball activities.

Also… Greg Bird continues his rehab with the Tampa Yankees. And Aroldis Chapman threw a light session today and is feeling good. So he’s nursing that shoulder and easing his way back into baseball shape.

And despite taking a bad foul ball off his knee, Austin Romine stayed in the game. He clearly was in pain through the game, even as he jogged to 1st a couple of times. He should have a nasty bruise to nurse for the next few days, but Sanchez is scheduled to start with Severino’s start tomorrow.

Go Yankees!

Game 51: NYY vs. TOR — #CCStrong dominates the Northern Birds

Tonight begins a 4-game weekend series in Toronto as the Yankees continue to secure and protect their status as the AL East leaders. And honestly, tonight, the Blue Jays proved why they’re trailing in the division.

Plus, CC Sabathia was just amazing on the mound tonight. He’s continuing his strong season, earning his 6th win (in 10 starts). He threw 102 pitches into the 7 innings, giving up just 5 hits, no walks, and 1 run, and striking out 7 Toronto batters. In fact, Sabathia shut out the Blue Jays until that 7th inning, when he gave up a lead-off solo home run. After his 7th strikeout, Sabathia’s night was done, but it was a start he can certainly be proud of.

Chad Green took over for Sabathia and finished the 7th inning quickly. Despite a lead-off home run in the 8th, Green continued his own strong outing through the rest of the game, closing out the 9th for the Yankees’ victory.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays had a terrible start, their starter not even making it out of the 4th inning. Gardner led-off the game with a double, moved to 3rd on an out, and then scored on Aaron Judge’s single. After Holliday’s single and Castro’s walk loaded the bases, Aaron Hicks hit a bases-clearing 2-out double to solidify the Yankees early lead.

In the 2nd, with 2 outs, Gary Sanchez hit a solid solo home run to join in on the offensive fun. And with 1 out and Gardner on base in the 4th, Sanchez hit his 2nd home run of the game, a 2-run shot to left field. Then with 2 outs, Holliday singled, and the Jays had seen enough. They went to their bullpen to close out the 4th inning.

And it helped for a bit. The Yankees still hit, they just didn’t hit much. In the 7th, with 2 outs, Gregorius reached on a sloppy fielding error and then raced home on Hicks’ double. Gregorius’ hand slid under the tag, but it was close enough for the Blue Jays to call for a replay challenge. It wasn’t close enough, and the call was upheld. Gregorius was safe at home.

Chase Headley then singled and scored Hicks to continue the 7th inning domination. (Remember, at this point, no Blue Jays had scored a run.) So, Toronto went to their bullpen again. And that once again worked for a bit.

In the 9th, Holliday led-off with a single, and Gregorius joined him on base with his own single. Both runners then scored on Hicks’ 3rd RBI double of the night. Another new reliever promptly gave up an RBI single to Headley to score Hicks, before getting his 2 outs to close out the inning.

It was just all Yankees, all game. Every single starting batter got on base, many with multiple hits. It was everyone to contribute, with standouts like Aaron Hicks going 4-for-5, with 6 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Hicks is having quite the hot streak.

Final score: 12-2 Yankees.

Maybe it’s a good thing Hicks is doing so well as Jacoby Ellsbury is still troubled with concussion effects. I’ve said it before, but concussions aren’t formulaic to treat. They take time and individualized treatment, and each person responds differently and heals at a different pace. They are still hoping he will see play time this weekend in Toronto, but as he’s still not feeling himself, they’re on a wait-and-see plan.

Milestone alert: CC Sabathia became the 21st all-time and 4th in just left-handeders strikeout leader. After tonight’s game, he stands at 2,779 career strikeouts with his 7 strikeouts. He is now 53 below the next lefty and just 24 behind the all-time pitcher (who happens to be the legendary Cy Young). And once he’s in the top 20, they’re almost all Hall-of-Famers, so pretty good company up there.

And Brett Gardner hit his 1000th hit in MLB tonight, a single in the 4th inning. He would then score as part of Sanchez’s 2-run homer to continue the offensive surge early in the game.

Go Yankees!

Game 49: NYY vs. BAL — Strong start leads to victory

Okay, after yesterday’s loss, my time line was filled with stats that mirrored the fact that the Yankees have a terrible losing streak in Camden Yards, something I’ve found rather frustrating in the last five years of this blog. There was a blog I read years ago that talked about the “voodoo magic” of the evil “blackbirds” (referencing the Orioles mascot) due to their losing stats in Baltimore. And honestly, every time the Yankees play there, that does echo through my mind.

And the funny thing was that leading into tonight’s game, I read several statistics in my newsfeed that talked about how the Yankees are the only AL team with a winning record on the road, joining 7 NL teams with such a distinction. Maybe it was a sign, but I trust omens (even supposedly voodoo birds), especially in baseball. But as hindsight is 20/20, I can see how someone could think it was such a superstitious harbinger.

But I put my belief in tonight’s success on the outstanding performances by the players in this middle game against the Orioles. Like tonight’s starter Luis Severino, who threw 100 pitches into the 7th inning and didn’t allow a run until the 6th. Overall, he gave up 7 hits, a walk, and a run, and struck out an impressive 8 batters. You just knew it was going to be a good night for the pitcher after his 9-pitch 1st inning.

In the 6th, Severino gave up a lead-off single who moved to 2nd on a 1-out walk and then to 3rd on a 2-out single. With the bases loaded and 2 outs, Severino needed to get out of the jam to remain scoreless, but a slow grounder to short became a single with a late throw to 1st and all the runners advancing, including the Orioles’ first run of the night to break Severino’s scoreless outing. Severino pulled it together in the end to get out of the jam with a great strikeout.

So, after 1 out in the 7th and 100 pitches, Severino’s night was done. Layne and Warren each took an out to complete the inning and keep the strong start continuing into the last bit of the game. But Bryan Mitchell’s 8th inning had issues from the start. A throwing error allowed the lead runner to end up all the way at 2nd, something that seemed to rattle the normally unflappable Mitchell. Two outs and a walk later, Mitchell gave up 2 singles that scored both runners.

As Mitchell wasn’t going to get it done tonight, the Yankees turned to the ever-reliable Tyler Clippard to close out the game, looking for a 4-out (non-save) close. Clippard needed just 2 pitches to end the 8th and just 7 to breeze his way through the 9th to shut out the Orioles, helping add to the Yankees strikeout total of 11 tonight.

But the starting pitching wasn’t the only thing that was strong tonight. The Yankees offense certainly showed off for the first half of the game, withe Orioles starter and first reliever getting really roughed up. In the 1st, Brett Gardner led-off the game with a big home run, and one out later, Matt Holliday copied with his own solo home run. (Both batters hitting their 10th homer of the season in just that inning.)

In the 2nd, Gregorius led-off with a double and then scored on Aaron Hicks’ single. Holliday led-off the 3rd inning with another solo home run, his 2nd of the night and 11th of the season. Then Judge hit a 1-out single and Hicks worked a 2-out walk. Judge scored on Chase Headley’s single, which spelled the end of the Orioles’ starter’s night.

The first reliever got out of the jam that inning, but got into his own trouble in the next. Gardner led-off with another home run, his 3rd game this season with multiple homers. (Comparatively, the rest of the team combined only have 4 games with multiple homers.) Sanchez and Castro singled to get on base and then scored on Aaron Judge’s just-shy-of-a-home-run doubledouble to cap off the Yankees offensive dominance tonight in just the 4th inning.

It was more than enough tonight.

Final score: 8-3 Yankees

Injury updates: Greg Bird is scheduled to join the Tampa Yankees on Thursday at Steinbrenner Field against the Charlotte Stone Crabs (the Rays Single-A team, and yes, you read that right — “stone crabs”). As far as a timeline, there’s nothing set yet. They’ll want to see how he (and his ankle) handle the game again.

Bird will be joining fellow 1st baseman Tyler Austin in Tampa. Girardi mentioned in a recent interview that due to Austin’s missed Spring, he is looking at about 50 at-bats (roughly 7-8 full games) before he could be cleared to join the team and make his 2017 debut, if there’s room for him. There is a bit of chatter that they’ll start Austin this season in AAA Scranton to ease him into the big leagues, but with Bird still out and an unsure timeline, that may just be “chatter”.

And in better news, Jacoby Ellsbury is feeling much better, saying today was the first day he woke up without a headache. Concussions aren’t something you just bounce back from, nor are they something you take lightly. However, he is clearly recovering, and at this pace, he is aiming to be back by weekend series in Toronto.

There was a brief moment when the Yankees were concerned after Didi Gregorius was hit by a pitch on the hand in the 9th inning, but the x-rays were negative. Looks like he’ll be nursing a bit of a bruise for a few days, but fortunately nothing more serious.

Despite all these injured players, the Yankees aren’t limping along. No, they’re excelling. Because that’s who they are this season. Some years, it’s a fall-back to blame “all the injuries”, but clearly, it’s just an excuse. These Yankees are in it to win it, and nothing’s going to trip them up. Not even some superstitious avian supposition.

But there’s always tomorrow in Baltimore…

Go Yankees!

Lots of rain means tonight’s game postponed, but that doesn’t dampen the fun in the Bronx

Early this morning, the powers-that-be checked the weather radar (or simply opened their curtains) and figured out that it’s going to rain all day, with a possible minor break around game time before thunderstorms roll back in again. Basically, not exactly ideal weather for the Yankees and Royals to play their final game of this week’s series.

So, they called it postponed and rescheduled the finale for Monday, September 25 to squeeze in a game on a mutual off-day. The Yankees will be coming in from a short series in Toronto before their final homestand, and the Royals will make a brief trip eastward after a weekend series in Chicago before heading home for their final homestand.

Game information, start time, and rainout policy details are found here.

Last night, the first pitch of the game had Jacoby Ellsbury ran hard tracking down a long fly ball, slamming into the back wall with his head and right arm. He made the out, of course, probably saving a double or even a triple from the speedy Royals lead-off runner. But it also landed him on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion and sprained neck. There is no timetable for his projected recovery.

Aaron Hicks, who came on at the top of the 2nd inning to replace Ellsbury, will likely see more time on the playing field. So to fill his spot as the utility outfielder, the Yankees recalled Rob Refsnyder from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Day 4 of HOPE Week continued on as planned. Today, the Yankees recognized A Moment of Magic Foundation, a non-profit organization that began as “The Princess Project” in which college-age students dress up as popular fairy tale princess to visit children’s hospitals and schools. Now nationwide, A Moment of Magic sends out “The Fairytale Force” (the princesses) or “Mission Super Hero” (popular comic book superheroes), college students from around the US, dressed as princesses and heroes to visit children at local hospitals and schools.

In a fun twist, A Magic Moment’s local Fairytale Force paired with certain Yankees dressed as superheroes to surprise participants from another great organization called Friends of Jaclyn, an organization the Yankees honored in 2014. Friends of Jaclyn is a foundation in honor of Jaclyn Murphy, who, after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, was paired with a local college lacrosse team. Her lasting legacy is now to pair sick children with local high school and college athletic teams “to show them love, support, and friendship”.

It would be the starting rotation that showed up to surprise lucky Friends of Jaclyn at a party held at Yankee Stadium — Superman (CC Sabathia), Supergirl (CC’s wife, Amber Sabathia), Iron Man (Luis Severino), Wolverine (Michael Pineda), the coolest ninja turtle Michelangelo (Masahiro Tanaka), Captain America (Jordan Montgomery) and Spider-man (GM Brian Cashman).

What a great way to put a smile on children’s faces, giving them the amazing gift of joy and wonder! Genuine love, support, compassion, and encouragement can go a long way in recovery and healing for both the kids and their parents. It’s good to see foundations like A Moment of Magic and Friends of Jaclyn continue this legacy of compassion and joy.

One more day of HOPE Week tomorrow before the Yankees take on the Athletics as they begin their weekend series. With hopefully, a bit less precipitation.

Go Yankees!

 

Game 43: KC vs. NYY — Consistency & perseverance, and also some home runs

Consistency is really the key to any major accomplishment or achievement. Anyone can be good at something for a moment or two, but it takes commitment and training and excellence to be consistently good at something. And when you’re consistent, you will games and championships. Of course, being human means that you’re going to have an off-night every now and then. (To the other extreme, it also means that there are things you will be consistently terrible at — like me with fishing or geometry proofs back in school or having patience with tourists who walk slowly 4-across on narrow city sidewalks and don’t understand why you’d possibly want to pass them at a quicker pace.)

But I digress… once again, it was like home run city at Yankee Stadium. Though with a different outcome. Jordan Montgomery got a chance to show off his young pitching arm through the most of his outing tonight against the visiting Royals. He only gave up 1 hit in his first 19 outs (6.1 innings). His 2nd hit was a solo home run in the 7th to get the Royals on the board. Another out later, Montgomery called it a night after 98 pitches, overall a good outing, with 6 total strikeouts and no walks allowed.

But the usually sharp bullpen, well, wasn’t so much tonight. Adam Warren came on to finish the 7th inning, but promptly gave up a single and then a 2-run home run before getting the 3rd out. Jonathan Holder is normally a sure thing and came out in the 8th only to give up a solo home run, a strikeout, and a hit-by-pitch. It was on to Chasen Shreve, and even he wasn’t helping with a 2-run home run to the first batter before getting the 2 outs to finally get out of the 8th inning.

Bryan Mitchell finally got things back on track with an 11-pitch, flawless 9th inning, but it was really too late to do much to dampen the Royals’ solid lead over the Yankees at that point. Especially as the Royals’ pitching staff kept things stifled for the Yankee hitters, allowing base runners at times but with minimal scoring, which held their offense jump ahead and stay ahead.

The Yankees had 12 base runners tonight, but only 2 runs scored — a 1-out solo home run by Aaron Hicks in the 4th and a 2-out solo home run in the 5th by Chris Carter. But they had opportunities, like the bases loaded in the 5th, but they never seemed to capitalize on any “small-ball” chances (scoring made on hits, walks, and sacrifice flies, usually).

Final score: 6-2 Royals.

Before the game tonight, the Yankees held a moment of silence for victims and families of last night’s tragic explosion in Manchester. The stadium then played “God Save the Queen” in their honor. Many Yankee fans abroad, especially those in the UK and its territories applauded the Yankees’ tribute and were touched by the gesture of global solidarity.

HOPE Week continues. For Day 2, the Yankees chose to recognize Amy Palmiero-Winters and her foundation, “Amy’s One Step Ahead Foundation”. Despite losing much of her left leg in a motorcycle accident years ago, Palmiero-Winters became a world-class distance runner, winning a national award for being the top amateur athlete. She also turned her experience into an inspirational message and foundation to help others with disabilities, giving them opportunities to show off their athleticism in unique ways.

Today, Joe Girardi, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Gary Sanchez, Ronald Torreyes, and Adam Warren showed up at the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame at the Armory in Washington Heights to meet some of the kids that benefit from Palmiero-Winter’s foundation. They even ran racing drills together and showed the Yankee volunteers a thing or two about true athleticism, you know, one athlete to another.

Palmiero-Winter and her daughter also threw out the ceremonial 1st pitches. Palmiero-Winter also received a 10,000 donation from the Yankees to the foundation to continue their great work in the community, specifically to help one of the kids in her foundation get a new prosthetic leg tomorrow (literally!). Amy’s perseverance is now helping others excel and is living proof of the message of HOPE Week.

Go Yankees!

Game 39: NYY vs. TB — Soggy on the outside, just missed it on the inside

It’s been a scary hot week in the Tampa Bay area, setting record high temperatures and coupled with the famous Florida humidity. It may be the only reason why I’m okay with the Rays’s domed stadium in St. Petersburg. Okay, and the fact that about an hour before first pitch, there was a deluge that flooded many streets around the area because it was pretty rainy through the night, still sprinkling a bit at the final out actually. So rain and extreme heat = me okay with a domed stadium.

I still don’t like the artificial turf, but that’s a whole different issue for a whole different blog post. (Which will probably comes up later this weekend, if I’m being honest.)

Anyway, the Yankees started their weekend series against the Rays by sending Luis Severino to the mound to start the game. And Severino actually had a strong outing, throwing 89 pitches in his 5 innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 walks, but only 1 run, and striking out 7 Rays’ batters. Severino gave up lead-off single in the 1st inning, but then he was out on a fielder’s choice at 2nd (failed double play #1). Then that guy was out on another fielder’s choice out at 2nd (failed double play #2). But a double scored the baserunner to get the Rays on the board.

Severino and his defense spent the rest of his tenure keeping the Rays to that lone run. Jonathan Holder came on in the 6th and continued his strong outings, keeping Severino’s momentum going in his 13 pitches.

But Adam Warren struggled his way through the first part of the 7th inning, loading up the bases with 3 consecutive singles before a sacrifice fly scored a run and moved the rest of the runners to scoring position. After a strikeout, it was on to Chasen Shreve. But his first batter, a pinch-hitter doubled and scored the 2 runners before Shreve got the final out of the 7th inning to halt their rally.

However, the unfortunate turn fell to Tyler Clippard in the 8th, who got all 3 of his outs as strikeouts. It’s what happened in between that was problematic. Strikeout #1, a walk, strikeout #2, a walk, a single (to the guy who racked up 4 hits of Yankee pitchers tonight) scored the all-important run), and then came strikeout #3 (a batter too late).

Now, the Yankees were actually the first ones on the board. In the 1st, Ellsbury hit a 1-out single and ended up at 3rd on Holliday’s double before scoring on Starlin Castro’s ground out. With the game tied in the 3rd, Gardner led-off with a single, ending up at 2nd on a throwing error, and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s double. Like I said before, the Yankees spent most of the game defending their slim lead after Severino’s pretty stellar start.

So when the Rays jumped ahead at the bottom of the 7th, the Yankees came right back in the top of the 8th to rally. The Rays played a bit of bullpen bingo sending in a 3 new relievers in this inning alone. Under pitcher #1 of the inning, Gardner led-off with a walk, and 1 out later, it was on to pitcher #2. Matt Holliday tied things up in one swing with a nice 2-run home run into the 2nd row of the right field seats. After Castro singled, it was time for pitcher #3 who got Judge to hit into a double play to end the rally.

But then after the Rays came back in the bottom of the 8th to break the tie, the Yankees couldn’t find another rally against the Rays’ closer, who now has 11 saves so far this season, which says a lot about him as the Rays are 22 wins-22 losses. This means he’s saved half of the winning games for the Rays. A completely inconsequential statistic for a Yankees fan. But as they play them a lot, it’s good to know your opponent for their strengths and weaknesses.

Like the Rays should know that they worked up 13 strikeouts off Yankee pitchers tonight. (Remember, 7 of those were Severino’s.) So, yeah, I’d call that a strength.

Final score: 5-4 Rays

Noticeably absent in the visitor’s dugout tonight was Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who missed tonight’s game to be back in New York to see his oldest daughter graduate high school today. (Congratulations, Serena!) In his stead, bench coach Rob Thomson took on the substitute managerial role. Thomson has filled in a few times when Girardi was sick or was briefly suspended, but his record (after tonight’s game) is 1 win-3 losses.

And in roster rehab news: 1st baseman Tyler Austin was scheduled to begin his rehab games with the Tampa Yankees tonight. But like I said at the beginning, it was a bit soggy, and as Steinbrenner Field is an open-air stadium, the game was postponed until tomorrow to be the first game of doubleheader. Austin, you may remember, took a foul ball off his foot during live batting practice the day before position players reported to camp for Spring Training. He’s been healing and working his way back into pinstripes, anxious to find his place on the team again.

Now, with Bird still struggling with his own injury (a bruised bone that is just not healing right), Carter’s been filling quite well, but he was never meant to be the everyday 1st baseman for the Yankees. So Austin could be the key player to find that consistency as Bird works his way though his own healing and rehab stints. But let’s be honest, I think we’d rather see them all healthy and whole again, competing for that roster spot, than banged up and bruised.

Go Yankees!

Game 36: NYY vs. KC — Almost a royal shutout

Following a rather disappointing weekend in the Bronx, the Yankees came bouncing back with quite a big show as they opened this mid-week series in Kansas City. The Yankees are on the road this week, starting in the City of Fountains before making another detour through the Tampa Bay area this weekend. The Yankees are looking to stack up on the wins to make up for losing last weekend’s series against the Astros.

CC Sabathia pitches really well at Kauffman Stadium. Coming into tonight’s game, he had 5 starters, 4 wins and no losses, maintains a 1.42 ERA, with 23 strikeouts and just 4 walks. Sabathia continued this streak with tonight’s outing — 85 pitches into the 7th inning, just 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts, and no runs scored. He’s now 5-0 in Kansas City, easily one of the best away parks for Sabathia, something he needed to revive him from his struggles.

Tyler Clippard continued this momentum to close out the 7th inning and through the 8th inning, keeping the Royals scoreless. Jonathan Holder came on to close out the 9th, the Yankees looking for the complete shutout. But Holder had a bit of an off-night and still pulled through. With just 1 out, Holder loaded the bases, but then a fielder’s choice scored the Royals’ lone run before a pop-up closed the game and the Royals’ attempted rally.

Meanwhile, the Yankees flexed their offensive muscles tonight at the K. In the 3rd inning, Carter singled and Gardner walked to put runners on base, and Gary Sanchez hit them in with a big 428 foot 3-run home run to get the Yankees on the board. And then in the 4th, with 2 outs and Gregorius on 1st with a single, Chris Carter hit a 2-run home run to add 2 more to the scoreboard.

Even with a nice lead, the Yankees still added some deep insurance runs. (Because you never know, you know?) In the 7th, with 2 outs, Castro singled, moved to 2nd on Judge’s single, and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single. Gregorius singled to lead-off the 8th inning, and Carter singled. After an out (and overturned challenge), Sanchez’s walk loaded the bases for the Yankees. Matt Holliday hit into a fielder’s choice out at 2nd, which still scored Gregorius, as the fielders couldn’t make the double play.

Final score: 7-1 Yankees

Aaron Judge made a brief cameo on The Tonight Show last night. Host Jimmy Fallon is a big Yankees fan (you can often see him right behind home plate), and with Judge making his debut on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the rookie outfielder appeared in a fun sketch. Despite being nervous, Judge did a great job meeting with everyday Yankee fans in New York in a pseudo sports broadcasting set in Bryant Park, asking fans what they thought of, well, Aaron Judge. People were very positive and hopeful about him, so when he revealed himself, they were very excited to meet the young star in person.

Go Yankees!