The Gary Sanchez experience continues to be an absolute roller coaster. To be more specific, the Gary Sanchez experience is like an indoor, pitch black roller coaster. You don't know where the drops are. You don't know where the turns are. You don't know when you go upside down. You're just strapped in for dear life and hoping for the best.
Well currently, Gary is on one of those hot streaks where he just hits a home run every night. Those are the best Gary streaks. In his last 16 games, he's hitting .346 (18-52) with 5 home runs and a 1.115 OPS. Not too shabby. He's hit two key home runs in both games against Toronto this series, and is making it really hard to not give him back the full-time starting catching role.
But as always, there's drama with Gary. Last night, people made a stink about how Gerrit Cole didn't react and stayed stone faced when Gary hit the go-ahead home run. They tried to make it some big storyline about how this is proof that Cole hates Sanchez and wants to keep Kyle Higashioka as his personal catcher.
That is obviously a ridiculous theory, and Gerrit Cole clarified after the game, while also being extremely complimentary of Sanchez's performance.
It reminded me of Eli Manning reacting to Peyton Manning and the Broncos scoring a touchdown at the end of Super Bowl 50. He was stone faced but was just doing some math in his head. Gerrit Cole obviously is not rooting against his own team, but it is very Gary to have something like that happen. (Although Cole is probably realizing that he might not be able to have Higashioka as his personal catcher much longer if Gary keeps this up).
There was also the 9th inning mishap where it was pretty clear Gary Sanchez just missed the baseball and it should've been a passed ball. But he quickly pretended that it was a foul ball and checked on the umpire after he was clipped with the ball. The man played for 3 innings and was involved in storyline after storyline. It just never ends.
Now I am aware that I've been one of the bigger Gary Sanchez critics on the planet. There's plenty of tweets from me out there criticizing him and saying I want Kyle Higashioka to be the starting catcher. And guess what? I stand by everything I've said about Gary Sanchez.
In 2016, he had one of the best stretches of baseball I've ever seen, hitting 20 home runs in 53 games. In 2017, he was a monster as well. But from 2018 through 2020, he hit .200 flat in 875 at bats. He hit below the Mendoza line in two of those three seasons. Sure, there was some power and I know people think batting average is some archaic stat (hits are always good idiots), but a .200 average over that long of a period is just never acceptable. So when Gary Sanchez is hitting .170, it's perfectly fair for myself and other Yankee fans to get on his case.
But at the end of the day, this is what Gary Sanchez is. He's an extremely streaky player. When he's on, he looks like the greatest offensive catcher of all time. When he's cold, he looks like he should be in Double A. Sometimes he looks like a really good defensive catcher, framing pitches and gunning out base runners. Sometimes he's struggling with passed ball after passed ball. There's really no in between.
When he's bad Gary, he deserves all the heat and boos he gets. When he's good Gary, like right now, he can carry this team. And they need some carrying right now so let's hope it lasts.
We talked about Gary and more on the latest Short Porch which you can listen to here.