By Lenn Robbins
The Yankees arrived in England with their bats, gloves, helmets and, ‘ Streak.’
It stands at a mind-boggling 29; 29 straight games in which the Bronx-to-London Bombers have hit at least one homer. You’ve got to pack an extra steamer trunk to haul that MLB all-time record overseas.
Remember, this is a team that has been without several of its biggest bats for long stretches. Giancarlo Stanton, who recently came off the injured list after having played just nine games, is heading back with what has been diagnosed a strained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his right knee.
Stanton had only been back for five games but it was enough time for him to become a part of The Streak by hitting his first homer of the season. Stanton, who has 306 career homers, went 6-for-22 (.273).
“Frustrated for him knowing how much he’s worked to get back and the couple of setbacks he’s had along the way,’’ Yankees manager told reporters after Wednesday night’s 8-7 win over the Blue Jays. “Felt like he was starting to get in a groove with us a little bit. We got to deal with it and hope to get him right at some point.”
Boone said that point wouldn’t be until August. The home run bashing will have to continue without Stanton and across the pond. It shouldn’t be a problem.
Wembley Stadium has been transformed into a minor league stadium for the first MLB game to be played in Europe. The centerfield wall is a mere 385 feet from home plate, which is 20 feet shorter than at Yankee Stadium.
“I don’t mind that all,” Judge quipped. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Judge could have been speaking for the entire team. It hasn’t been one, two or three sluggers carrying the Yankees during The Streak.
Thirteen different bombers have gone yard. There have been 15-multiple home run games. Sanchez has led the team with eight home runs in that stretch.
He has 23 of the Yankee’s 134 homers on the season, one less than newly-acquired Edwin Encarnacion. Twenty different Yankees have homered on the season.
“It’s kind of what we do, we hit home runs here,” Aaron Hicks recently told reporters. “That’s kind of how we score runs. We’re in a great spot right now. We’re scoring runs. We’re doing it as a team, which is huge. Top to bottom is doing damage and that’s what we need.”
Much will be made of this historic trip on which the Yankees will play the rival Red Sox twice. If a lot of long balls are hit some might say they should come with an asterisk because of the small dimensions of the stadium. And if a player, heaven forbid, suffers a significant injury, this entire baseball-in-Europe thing will take a hit.
Right now, this is a great prelude to Wimbledon and a terrific chance for the Yankees to expand their brand. Even beginner baseball fans dig the long ball.
“I know the boys are excited and we can’t wait to get over there,” Judge said. “We get the chance to spread the game of baseball and meet some new fans.”
And keep ‘The Streak’ alive.