By the time the Yankees completed their 8-4 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, Gary Sanchez no longer was trending on Twitter. On this front, the Yankees will take progress where they can find it.
The human trending topic endured another rough game amidst a rough season, most memorably striking out with the bases loaded for the second time in two nights, and he added a passed ball behind the plate. He did conclude his work shift with a pair of walks as the just-recalled Erik Kratz started Game 2.
In 12 games totaling 41 plate appearances, Sanchez owned an .086/.220/.200 slash line, with 20 strikeouts.
“I really do feel like he’s way more in the fight these last couple of days,” Aaron Boone. “He’s still obviously not where he needs to be but if you look at the last three days compared to a week ago, or four or five days ago, I think there’s a stark difference. So hopefully he’s getting close to really breaking through.”
He might break social media first. In Friday’s series opener, which the Yankees lost 1-0, Sanchez came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning. He struck out on three pitches against Rays reliever Nick Anderson. Then, in his first at-bat Saturday, he found the bases loaded in a scoreless contest once again, this time with only one out. Against Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow, he worked the count full, fouling off an additional offering, and then swung through a high fastball that certainly would have been ball four. Brett Gardner followed with a strikeout of his own.
When the Yankees knocked Glasnow out of the game the next inning, putting up a four spot (it could have been more had not Sanchez stranded Gio Urshela at second with a pop out to right field), some air came out of the Sanchez balloon, and he drew a pair of walks in his final two trips to the plate. Yet he has miles to go before he can look, statistically, closer to his peak self, away from this early 2020 horror show.
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