HomeTrending MLB NewsYankees’ Struggles Are Loud, But Success Is Quiet

Yankees’ Struggles Are Loud, But Success Is Quiet

On June 5, the New York Yankees record going into tonight’s Minnesota Twins game is 43-19. On the same day in 1998, the team’s record was 42-13. Maybe the silence is due to the decrease in baseball’s popularity. Perhaps it’s because the team doesn’t have certified superstars (and not just baseball stars) like Derek Jeter. But, like the golden days of the late 1990s, the Yankees are here to pick up the pieces left via failed playoff runs by the Rangers and the Knicks. That’s where the similarities end.

The ‘98 Yankees got off to a slow start (if you can call going into the home opener 4-4 a slow start) and the late George Steinbrenner got into panic mode. He was proven wrong. The 2024 campaign started great with a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros and the winning continued (with a quiet George Steinbrenner Jr.). The struggles were individual. Aaron Judge, more than a month after being booed at Yankee Stadium, on Aaron Judge bobblehead day, after achieving the golden sombrero remembered who he was and got to work. His current slash line of .293/.422/.662 is quite a departure from the .183/.330/.380 start in the first 19 games of the season. In May, Judge hit 14 home runs and posted a .928 slugging percentage.

The team, like Judge, is clicking in every way. As of last Friday, the Yankees had a 36-7 record when scoring three or more runs with a collective .769 OPS. The team’s hit 84 home runs this season. Both stats are league leaders.

But it’s not enough for the Yankees to have the best offense. They have the best pitching as well. The team leads the league with a 2.75 ERA and is the only team with an ERA under three.

But pitcher Marcus Stroman isn’t celebrating anything yet. Neither is the rest of the team.

“We obviously have had a good run,” Stroman told reporters last weekend. “But we’re not reveling in it. We’re not like soaking it all in. We’re onto the next game. We’re process-oriented, not results-based.

Every year, fans and media mention how baseball seasons are like a marathon and then treat the season like a 40-yard dash. Eventually, things settled into a groove. The Yankees have been grooving for a while, but a few players needed to catch up.

Stephon Johnson
Stephon Johnson
Stephon Johnson is a journalist, reporter, and writer who's covered sports, politics, education, and labor issues. He’s written for The Athletic, The Sports Fan Journal, The Hardball Times, The Classical, The Cauldron/Sports Illustrated, Baeble Music, Polygon, City & State New York, the New York Amsterdam News, and THE CITY.


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