'Unicorns' Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton leading Yankees' recent surge

·2 min read
Aaron Judge Giancarlo Stanton cropped 5/10/22
Aaron Judge Giancarlo Stanton cropped 5/10/22

The Yankees are on a five-game winning streak, with recent offensive outbursts by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton being a big reason why.

New York's dynamic duo has combined for seven home runs in the past four games, including a long ball each during Friday's 10-4 win at the Chicago White Sox.

"Just the guys around me," Judge said of what he attributes his hot start to, slashing .305/.376/.661 with an MLB-leading 12 homers and 27 RBI -- fourth behind Mets 1B/DH Pete Alonso (28), Stanton (30) and Cleveland Guardians 3B Jose Ramirez (32) -- over 31 games.

"That's where it starts for me is having great guys hitting in front of me, always getting on base, guys behind me that are giving me good pitches to hit -- because they don't want to have (Anthony) Rizzo up there with guys on base and all they'll have (Josh) Donaldson up there with guys on base, Big G (Stanton) especially.

"So, for me, it's just the team -- team I'm surrounded around."

Stanton follows Judge and Houston Astros LF Yordan Alvarez (11) in MLB's home-run leaders, tied with Minnesota Twins CF Byron Buxton for third with 10.

"They're patient and they're waiting for pitches to do damage on," Donaldson told YES Network of Judge and Stanton, who has slashed .284/.323/.552 through 30 games. "And right now, when they're getting their pitch, they're not missing it. And they're big boys, so when they touch it, it gets loud."

The Yankees are an MLB-best 24-8 entering Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game against the White Sox (15-16), seeking an eighth-straight series win.

As New York ace righthander Gerrit Cole -- a former Astro (2017-19) and Pittsburgh Pirate (2013-17) -- can attest, the Judge-Stanton heater makes life hell for opposing pitchers.

"Yeah, I mean, it's brutal," Cole, who improved to 3-0 (2.95 ERA) after the 6 1/3-IP start that featured nine strikeouts and three runs on six hits, said with a laugh. "There's, obviously, a lot of power. And I think they're different types of hitters.

"I think Judge and Stanton are, obviously, kind of unicorns. But we're running out different looks and some guys -- every guy, rather really works the count and doesn't take a pitch off.

"And so, we keep that focus and then just let our talents and our individual strengths shine. It's really diverse, and really tough to get through."