Last night, sizzling hot rookie Gary Sanchez homered in the first inning to give Masahiro Tanaka a quick lead, then helped guide the ace to seven scoreless innings, leading the Yankees to a 5-0 victory over the Mariners and another series win.
Talk about “Locked In” this guy is about as hot as anyone and making history. He finished the road trip 10-for-22 (.454) with four home runs, three doubles and five RBI in six games. Sanchez’s home run was his ninth of the year — he now has as many homers in his first 72 at-bats as Alex Rodriguez had in 225 at-bats this year – and his eighth in the past 10 games.
With his first-inning blast, Sanchez became the fifth player in MLB history — since 1913 — to hit nine home runs in the first 21 games of his career.
Going forward, Sanchez will not maintain his pace of homering every 8.1 at-bats. Still, his power is impressive. In fact his entire game is impressive. It wasn’t long ago when concerns about his defensive prowess, combined with attitude issues, had some labeling Sanchez the next Jesus Montero. Montero was a much-hyped prospect who has been unable to stick in a big-league lineup. Sanchez is conjuring up memories of former Yankees rookie phenoms Kevin Maas and Shane Spencer. When young players come on the scene, major league teams find cracks in their game and make adjustments. Maas and Spencer couldn’t counter with their own adjustments and went on to have short lived careers. Derek Jeter did and had a great career, and maybe I’m just hoping, but I believe Gary Sanchez will. And if that happens, he just might be making history.
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