Yankees finally have something to feel good about

How did it start? Let’s allow Kyle Higashioka to tell you how it started. “The crap kind of hit the fan in the first inning,” Higashioka said. Yes. It did. It was 3-0 before you knew it,

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How did it start?

Let’s allow Kyle Higashioka to tell you how it started.

“The crap kind of hit the fan in the first inning,” Higashioka said.

Yes. It did. It was 3-0 before you knew it, and the Yankees aren’t in a place where they can afford to fall behind 3-0 most nights. For one thing, it was a terrible way to start an eight-game road trip after a less-than satisfying 1-4 homestand.

For another, three runs can feel like a week’s worth to this team right now. So yes: the collision with the fan was duly noted and it was worrisome.

“Bad luck,” Higashioka said. “A little sloppy.”

Of course, by the time the Yankees’ backup catcher was making these observations he had a smile on his face because the rest of the night was precisely what the baseball doctor would’ve ordered. Actually, the light-hitting, detail-challenged Indians were exactly what the Yankees needed this night. Three-zip wasn’t going to become 5-0, or 8-0.

And soon enough, Cleveland started slipping on banana peels.

Soon enough the Yankees were able to take a fairly comfortable 6-3 win, which halts (for a day, anyway) the negative vibes that had been strangling the club for a week. Maybe it’s the start of something good. Maybe it’ll turn out to be a momentary respite. For the time being, it allowed the Yankees to exhale. It felt good.

Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu celebrate the Yankees’ win over Cleveland on Thursday.
Getty Images

“What started out really rough turned into a pretty good night,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

It was good, and on a number of levels. There was Domingo German, back from the alternate site after a tough two starts to begin his season, recovering from that 0-3 hole and stacking up five scoreless innings thereafter. There was Rougned Odor, who snapped a 3-3 tie and jostled himself from a strangling slump with a two-run single in the seventh.

There was Higashioka, who always seems to make a positive difference when he’s in the lineup, who is going to make Boone’s daily lineup choices a little more complicated if he keeps hitting .353 with a 2.100 OPS, who had a double and a booming home run. There were nine walks, and more traffic on the basepaths than we’ve grown used to watching the Yankees the couple weeks.

And perhaps most significant were three hits off the bat of Gleyber Torres, a night after he was summoned to a meeting with his manager when he failed to run out a ground ball. His bloop gapper in the third helped tie the game at 3-3. He was what he always is when he is at his very best: a difference-maker and a game-changer. In this case, quite literally.

“He played the game with some joy,” Boone said. “When he’s doing that, he’s a different guy.”

Boone certainly wasn’t going to claim credit for creating some magic elixir when he invited Torres into his office at Yankee Stadium Wednesday before the team headed to the airport. But he could sense Torres was more frustrated than petulant. Torres agreed.

“It’s difficult to be patient when you aren’t doing good things for your team,” Torres said. “Tonight I tried to hit really good balls, tried to find a pitch and do damage and finally do something for my team.”

He did. They all did. It is one game, on a frosty night in Cleveland, against a team dealing with just as many issues as they are right now. So it isn’t everything. But it was something. It was a positive step, at a moment of the season when the Yankees can use all the positivity they can muster.

“Sometimes you’ve got to go through some junk to punch through,” Boone said, maybe half an hour after his team had dusted off some residue of that junk and hopped on a new narrative. You can’t win 10 in a row until you’ve won one, after all.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Mike Vaccaro

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