The Yankees leaned on the long ball to beat the Rangers 7-3, hitting five home runs behind J.A. Happ. >> Box score
1) The Yankees teed off on whoever the Rangers sent to the mound, crushing five home runs, including two from Neil Walker and one each from Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar.
2) Speaking of Stanton's home run: his shot was the hardest hit homer in the MLB since 2015, measured at 121.7 MPH exit velocity.
3) Happ's return from the DL was a successful one. He threw six innings, giving up three runs on four hits with nine strikeouts. He picked up his second quality start in as many tries with the Yankees, and his second win.
4) Aroldis Chapman made his first appearance since his disasterous outing agianst the Red Sox on Sunday and was again unimpressive, walking his first two batters. He then begun leaning more on his slider, getting a fielder's choice and two strikeouts. The lack of fastball controll will be concerning for the Yankees, despite the southpaw not giving up any runs.
The Yankees returned to New York and the Bronx Bombers lived up to the namesake, hitting five home runs tonight, some of which had special meaning.
Hicks' two-run homer in the first inning gave him 20 for the season, giving the Yankees four players with 20 or more home runs on the season. Walker's two homers marked the first time he has accomplished the feat with one from each side of the plate. As a club, the Yankees have 20 multi-homer games this season, which is four short of tying the MLB record. Finally, Stanton's dinger was an absolute missile that marked the hardest hit home run in the Statcast Era (121.7 mph).
The Yankees' offensive onslaught backed another solid effort from a rotation member. Happ, making his second start as a Yankee and first off the disabled list, struck out nine batters and walked just one. Happ attacks the strike zone, which can lead to a mistake here and there, but it is easy to see that he has plenty of confidence in his ability. So far, Happ's addition to the rotation has provided exactly what the Yankees hoped, and from what I've seen, there is little reason to believe he cannot keep it up.
Highlights from Thursday's game
The Yankees continue their series with the Rangers on Friday at 7:05 p.m.