MINNEAPOLIS – The Yankees are desperately looking for a beating hero to carry down the route.
It got so bad that they searched desperately for a lousy blow in the finish field on Wednesday evening.
Right-handed Jake Odorizzi did not give up until he scored in the eighth inning in a 3-1 victory for the Twins against the Yankees. That was when Greg Bird with a run-scoring double in the middle left to meet Luke Voit who had left.
Odorizzi came into the night after losing three straight and an average of five innings to a start over his first 29 games.
Consider this the ultimate wake-up call for the Yankees, who saw their lead as hosts of the Wild Card game with A's 10-0 win over the Orioles. A 3000-mile trip to the West Coast to start the postseason would have dire consequences.
"I thought he found the fastball up in the zone," Bird said of Odorizzi, who had recently talked to Jack Morris, a Twins broadcaster, about the art of pitching.
"If we want to get where we want to go, you have to recover from these things."
A hot streak of Giancarlo Stanton would work wonders.
He has had zero home runs and four goals in 38 ABs, two RBIs and a .370 OPS with 19 strikeouts in the last 10 games against Stanton. Over the same 10 games last year with Miami – Games No. 134 to 143 – Stanton produced two homers and two RBIs in 37 atbats with 0.662 OPS and 10 Ks.
Stanton went for a walk on Wednesday's 0-3, and after a fourth inning strikeout he furiously threw his bat down. Miguel Andujar picked up the Yankees' second goal, a single in ninth off-reliever Trevor Hildenberger. Stanton then lined a rocket right on the right fielder Max Kepler for second place.
It was such a night.
The big man has already gone this way before this season. Nobody took care of it last year. This year, as Yankee, all eyes are on Stanton, especially with Aaron Judge still out there.
Last year, from Game 144 through the end of the season, a period of 18 games, Stanton beat .282 with a .366 on-base percentage and .535 slugging percentage, a .901 OPS with five homeruns, three doubles and 19 RBIs.
He got hot. The Yankees could use this kind of production now.
As for his break-in, Stanton told the post before the game, "Get rid of it now, I'd rather it be now than in two weeks, I'm close, it's just a matter of timing."
After the loss, he said about the team: "I felt we had good punches, what can you do, we hit the ball hard, we know what's at stake, we know what we need to do."
The Yankees went 4-5 on this trip and return home Friday to play the Blue Jays.
"Come on Friday and do that," Stanton said.
Scouts note that pitchers have pushed Stanton inside, especially early in a series, and then work him away with breaking stuff.
"The timing is a bit off the mark," Aaron Boone said of his sinking bat. "You know, he's always close to him, he and [hitting coaches] Marcus [Thames] and PJ [Pilittere] I have identified some things that they really want to work on, small little adjustments that will hopefully allow him to come to this good place where he really spent a few months carrying in many ways what we did . offensive & # 39; & # 39;
Stanton owns 33 homers and 31 doubles, the first Yankee to reach these numbers since Robinson Cano in 2012.
"Giancarlo has been through his entire career when he's hot, he's the best player in the league," Boone said. "Hopefully we'll put him in a good spot and in October for the past two weeks."
If the A is running, there is no margin for error. The Yankees need a beating hero.
As Stanton said, go to Friday and finish it.