While the New York Yankees enjoyed their latest power display, the scuffling Chicago Cubs lamented the pitches they failed to locate against the team with the best record in the majors.
After another powerful performance, the Yankees are going for a sweep of the Cubs on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium in the finale of a three-game interleague series.
The Yankees are 10-1 in their past 11 games, and their 43-16 record is their best through 59 games since the 114-win 1998 season. It is the fifth time New York has won at least 43 of their first 59 games, and in each of the previous instances (1928, 1939, 1953 and 1998), the Yankees won the World Series.
New York heads into Sunday leading the majors with 94 homers. On Saturday, the Yankees clinched the series by hitting a season-high six homers in an 8-0 rout.
“The Yankees have some powerful swings, some big strong guys,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “They have the potential to put up some numbers with one swing.”
Aaron Judge homered twice, extending his major league lead to 24, and Giancarlo Stanton added a 436-foot homer.
“You hit the ball on the barrel, I feel like when anyone squares the balls up, it’s a cool little euphoric feeling,” Stanton said.
Judge batted leadoff as the Yankees opted to give DJ LeMahieu a day off, but Judge will likely return to his regular slot as the second-place hitter.
“It’s fun. I don’t mind leading off,” Judge said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m leading off or hitting second.”
The Cubs, meanwhile, are hoping to end a five-game losing streak. During the skid, Chicago is getting outscored 31-11 and has batted .092 (6-for-65) with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-25 against the Yankees.
Chicago’s only run against the Yankees was Jason Heyward’s homer in the fifth inning on Friday. On Saturday, rookie Christopher Morel went 0-for-3, ending a streak where he had reached base in his first 22 career games.
“We are not hitting,” Ross said. “We are not getting hits.”
The Yankees will likely have their full arsenal of high-leverage relievers after Jordan Montgomery pitched seven innings, and they are hoping for similar length from Jameson Taillon (6-1, 2.73 ERA).
Taillon is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA in six home starts this season and is pitching in New York for the first time since retiring the first 21 hitters in a no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels on June 2. He followed up his perfect game bid by allowing season highs of four runs and nine hits in four innings in a no-decision Tuesday at Minnesota.
Taillon is 4-4 with a 3.72 ERA in nine career starts against the Cubs.
After Cubs rookie right-hander Matt Swarmer allowed all six of those homers to the Yankees, Keegan Thompson (6-1, 3.17) will start for Chicago on Sunday and hopes to rebound from his worst showing of the season.
Thompson took his first loss Tuesday in Baltimore when he allowed a career-worst seven runs to go with five hits, including three homers, in three innings of a 9-3 loss.
–Field Level Media