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Matt Carpenter Helps Yankees Crush Cubs


David Ross has won the World Series twice because the last time the Yankees got there, in 2009. Each his championship teams were big spenders in big markets — first the Boston Red Sox after which the Chicago Cubs. But he never thought either team would all the time contend.

“I’ve been around baseball long enough to know there’s never any ‘all the time,’” Ross, a former catcher who now manages the Cubs, said on Saturday. “I don’t think that’s a thing. Every 12 months is exclusive, and there may be quite a lot of adversity. It’s hard to sustain success.”

It is tough, but not not possible: Have a look at the Yankees, rolling along as an amplified version of the team they’ve been for 3 many years.

For now they’ve the most effective record within the majors, 44-16 after Sunday’s 18-4 thrashing of the Cubs at Yankee Stadium. Only 4 times has the franchise raced to a greater start through 60 games: with Babe Ruth in 1928, Joe DiMaggio in 1939, Mickey Mantle in 1953 and Derek Jeter in 1998.

All of those teams won the World Series, and matching that feat will likely be the one standard of success in 2022. That’s life in pinstripes.

“We’ve got quite a lot of guys in here, really, we haven’t done much of anything,” said outfielder Aaron Judge, after slugging two of the Yankees’ six homers on Saturday. “We’ve got Rizzo, Chappy, a few other guys with some World Series rings — but this team, collectively, we haven’t done much.”

Anthony Rizzo and Aroldis Chapman won their rings with the Cubs in 2016, when Ross — in his fifteenth and final season — rode off the sphere on his teammates’ shoulders after Game 7 in Cleveland. The Cubs were stocked in young talent and flush with money, with a savvy front office and their very own television network on the best way. Didn’t it feel like the beginning of an extended run of perpetual contention?

“I’d have said yes, after which hastily on the deadline last 12 months they removed all of the blokes that all of us feared, that all of us thought were an enormous a part of what they were doing,” said the Yankees’ Matt Carpenter, a longtime St. Louis Cardinal who homered twice and drove in seven runs on Sunday against his old National League Central rival.

“It’s a testament to how hard it’s to be consistently good. That’s why it’s really remarkable here — I do know they haven’t won it since ’09, but they’ve been really good for a very long time. Same thing in St. Louis: They haven’t won it since 2011, but they’ve been really good since then. There’s something to be said about teams that continuously give themselves a probability to be there.”

“Calm down, all right? Don’t attempt to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls, it’s more democratic.”

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The Cardinals, who lead the N.L. Central, are pursuing their fifteenth consecutive winning season. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a secure bet to push their streak to 12. The Yankees? This is able to be their thirtieth winning season in a row. And with the standards for a playoff spot getting ever lower — six teams per league will make it this season — a winning record could also be all it takes to achieve the October tournament.

“After I was over there in my first time around, we had a pair bad seasons but we weren’t a foul team,” said Cubs reliever David Robertson, who played nine seasons with the Yankees between 2008 and 2018. “Now with the expanded playoffs, this team, they’re going to be in it, I’d say, every 12 months.”

Robertson, a 37-year-old right-hander, is having one other casually dominant season, hard to hit with plenty of strikeouts. Last 12 months he pitched for an amateur men’s team before winding up within the playoffs with Tampa Bay; this past winter, home in Rhode Island through the lockout, he kept in shape by whipping unsuspecting locals in tennis before signing with the Cubs. He’ll make a pleasant trade piece soon.

The Cubs, at 23-36, are stuffed with such placeholders, a roster of mobile trailers maintaining day-to-day operations at a construction site. After a detailed loss on Friday, they were thoroughly overmatched: the Yankees bludgeoned their pitchers with homers, waited them out for walks, and punished them Sunday after a dropped infield pop up with runners on second and third.

This kept with tradition; the Cubs have still never won within the Bronx, dropping all 12 matchups, including 4 World Series games within the Nineteen Thirties. It also reflected the mantra of the present Yankees, who know the way good they’re and appear eager to prove it day by day, a rare mixture of ego and drive that defines the absolute best teams.

“I’d say we’re very complete with our wins, whereas a few of the teams previously, if we didn’t hit homers, sometimes we didn’t come out with wins,” the outfielder and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton said. “But we’re finding all several types of ways to beat teams. In the event you give us an additional out, we’re capitalizing on it and just being tough on the opponent, trying to brush everybody. You’re not going to get everybody, but that’s the mind-set.”

On Saturday, Stanton hammered a curveball off the facing of the low-hanging second deck in left; it bounded back over the lower seats and landed on the sphere. It was the hardest-hit homer within the majors this season, at 119.8 miles per hour off the bat, and the poor Cubs pitcher, a rookie right-hander named Matt Swarmer, ducked and turned — eyes wide, mouth agape — because it sizzled overhead. No one hits a ball quite like Stanton.

“You’re weird,” Manager Aaron Boone told him within the dugout. It was high praise.

The Yankees are thriving in every area; they’ve scored probably the most runs within the American League and allowed the fewest within the majors. Their payroll, around $247 million, ranks third overall behind the Mets and the Dodgers. They sustain a star-driven business strategy with imports like Stanton and the star starter Gerrit Cole, but develop from inside and hunt for bargains (Nestor Cortes, Clay Holmes, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jose Trevino) like everyone else.

The pieces fit especially well this season, perhaps well enough to deliver that elusive twenty eighth championship; the following couple of weeks, against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Houston, will likely be a greater barometer of the Yankees’ probabilities.

In any case, the remaining of the schedule is actually just an extended — but fun — warm-up for the postseason. Because the Cubs and others ride the waves of contending and rebuilding, the Yankees are doing what they all the time do. They are only doing it higher than they’ve in an extended time.

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