Surprising JP Sears gives exhausted Yankees a boost

Surprising JP Sears gives exhausted Yankees a boost

Just when things started to turn south for the best team in baseball, the Yankees turned to a young southerner, JP Sears, previously virtually unknown, a new face from South Carolina with a ball. fast to 95 mph that plays better than its gun readings. , a wicked breaking ball and a penchant for strikes.

As it turns out, the little southpaw was just the one-day surprise star the Yankees needed to change history and punctuate their unfortunate, difficult week with a series of scoreless frames and a much-needed win.

It’s too early to tell if a star was born in the Bronx, or if the little Sears (he’s listed at 5ft 11in) can lead his sparkling first major league start to a big career, but he gave some positive thing about the Yankees. which he limited the Orioles to three hits and two walks in five shutout innings in a 2-0 Yankees win.

Sears was sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game. Nonetheless, he helped turn the page after several days of injuries, illness and, of course, a memorably silly episode involving Josh Donaldson, who was left home with symptoms of COVID-19 four days after being teased. of beloved White Sox star Tim Anderson, crossing the line and drawing a well-deserved MLB one-game ban.

A lot of bad things suddenly happened to the future Yankees juggernaut, but Sears wrote a happy chapter with a virtually smooth start, walking two, striking out five and confusing the Orioles through his 83 pitches. Although the newcomer is 26 and doesn’t have the kind of build to match the real thing (he’s less famous than the wild-haired YouTube comedian of the same name), there’s reason to believe that could be more than a -hit wonder.

J.P. Sears
J.P. Sears
Jason Szenes

For one, as he lasted through the 11th round of the 2017 draft, he was a Golden Spikes runner-up as one of the best college players in the country, the Citadel, and led the nation in strikeouts despite possessing a fastball that fails to light up the radar. guns.

On the other hand, he’s been dominating at Triple-A recently, carrying an .83 ERA, 30 strikeouts on just two walks in six games before his last call-up.

Sears picked it up straight from there, winning the match and salvaging a week that went wrong, a period dominated by troublesome injuries, annoying illness and that absurd episode of Donaldson, in which he taunted Anderson in the calling out “Jackie”, which naturally angered her. from Anderson and everyone on the south side of Chicago (and many other places). The Yankees had also lost four of six for the first time on their stunning start, but it’s the pain and suffering — and the absences to come — that are perhaps most concerning.

“It’s been a tough few days for us, just with people going down and everything,” manager Aaron Boone said.

“[Sears] was huge for us.

It was huge for them after what happened.

The casualty list, which had been almost universally avoided, is rapidly filling up worryingly. Dearest Aroldis Chapman, who ironically has an Achilles tendon injury in addition to being the Yankees’ Achilles heel, started the trend, and sadly, injuries and illnesses have increased rapidly. .

J.P. Sears
J.P. Sears
robert sabo

Joining Chapman on the shelf are star slugger Giancarlo Stanton (right ankle inflammation) and key reliever Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder), and if key table setter DJ LeMahieu (left wrist) is to join them all, exactly the half of the new “big four” (different from the Core Four) of their prodigious range would be released. Donaldson is among a handful of Yankees suffering from COVID-19 symptoms lately, although Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka returned to the lineup on Wednesday.

“Adversity comes for you. You have to be able to weather the storm…the season doesn’t stop for anyone,” Boone said before the game.

Let’s face it, a year like 1998 only happens once every 100 years, and while there was early hope, knowing that the calendar has turned to the 21st century, the reality is that a list of 162 games is strewn with pitfalls. Alas, real problems are beginning to appear.

What Yankees fans are more interested in is how unsightly the team’s play has been lately, at least by the standards of the champions we crowned in mid-May. Obvious cracks begin to appear.

“Every team faces issues and injuries,” Aaron Judge said. “It boils down to, when you get a punch, can you get back up.”

Sears said he was a little anxious, especially after the first two Orioles reached base. He had 50 pitches in two innings, but catcher Higashioka ruled it out, advising him to “attack the zone.” Afterwards, it was impossible to erase the smile from his face. “Awesome,” Sears called the day.

This may be the Yankees’ first real test on the 162-game slate. That they still hold the best record in baseball at 31-13 is incredible. It may seem at the moment that they have 99 problems. But as long as No. 99 isn’t one of them — and Judge stays healthy and on his 63 homer pace — ultimately, they should be OK.

And as long as calls from kids like Sears – who Judge touted before the game as a real talent – ​​make the moments count and deliver like that, they’ll have a lot less to worry about.

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