The second half of the season started with big aspirations for the MLBbros in both boroughs.
For the Bros from the Bronx, slugging outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, they faced an uphill climb in order to re-enter the playoff picture in the stacked American League East after stumbling through the first half.
While there was a feeling of impending doom in the Bronx, the forecast in Queens was a lot brighter. Sitting in first place with Lefty Dominic Smith heating up and melanated mound marauders Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman tossing gems, the Metropolitans looked to simply hold on and extend their lead in the NL East.
Both squads added pieces at the break they felt would help their playoff hopes immediately. The Mets added slugging infielder Javier Baez, and the Yankees did what the Yankees do, grabbing two of the biggest names on the trade market in Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
But unfortunately, the baseball gods have only been raining down blessings in the Bronx lately, usually in the form of a Giancarlo Stanton missile or another bomb off the bat of perennial MVP candidate Aaron Judge.
“We’re clicking on all cylinders,” said Stanton. “We’re grinding away at the opponent. We’ve discussed what it took to get here and how we’ve all fed off each other, the work that we’ve all put in. It’s cool to see it develop.”
We told you about his move back to the outfield, but over the last seven games, Stanton has been exhibiting throwback power. Giancarlo has hit .320, launched 4 homers and driven in 8 RBI in the Yankees last seven games.
He’s been underappreciated by Yankees fans all season.
Giancarlo Stanton @giancarlo818 has received his share of flack from Yankees fans, but the former NL MVP has a 10-game hit streak and is pounding the ball to all parts of the field. How do you like him now? Rob Parker @robparkerfs1 w/ a new Take That! on https://t.co/d5pfLsCroD pic.twitter.com/83OCBSiJq0
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 5, 2021
As for Aaron “All Rise” Judge, his 29 home runs and 72 RBI have been the constant thunder the Yankees needed to leapfrog the Boston Red Sox and claim sole possession of second place.
Thanks to this offensive explosion, the scorching hot Yanks have positioned themselves to put the pressure on the Rays down the stretch.
Questions in Queens
The Mets seemed poised to finish strong down the stretch, with Walker and Stroman cruising and superstar Francisco Lindor’s expected return to the lineup and provide even more pop. Unfortunately for the Queen’s faithful, it seems like the exact opposite has happened for the Mets.
After dominating out the gate, it’s been ugly lately for one half of the melanated mound marauders. Over his last six starts, Taijuan Walker is 0-6 with a 5.72 ERA, giving up 36 hits in 39.1 innings pitched.
As for Dominic Smith, after a brief resurgence at the beginning of the year, Smith’s production has fallen off the map. Over his last 30 games, Smith has hit .204 with zero homers and just 9 RBI.
The struggles of these MLBbros have added to the Mets tumble down the division, but there has still been a lone, Durag-wearing bright spot.
Despite his 9-12 record, Marcus Stroman has a sparkling 2.85 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, numbers reminiscent of the 2020 Cy Young Award winner. Marcus has stepped up in the absence of ace Jacob DeGrom, looking dominant over his last seven starts.
Unfortunately for Stro Show, the Mets offense has been anemic, often wasting his amazing performances. Once the division leader, the Mets season continues to slowly slip away, with no relief in sight.
After seeming poised to take the spotlight from big bro over in the Bronx, it’s beginning to look a lot like business as usual in New York.