Monday Night Difference Maker

The Yankees and Braves made history Monday night, even before they took the field. The game was the first since September 1901 when two teams met with each riding a nine game winning streak. So you knew something had to give.

The giving was by Atlanta starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa, who was tagged by Giancarlo Stanton for a 1st inning homer and a two-run double with two out in the 6th. Three big RBIs on a night that Stanton played right field. After spending the first half of the season exclusively as a DH, the former Marlin has been spending more time in the field the past month. Not only has his defense been fine, but his hitting has markedly improved. Sure, the addition of lefties Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo has helped balance the lineup.

A .264 hitter as a DH, Stanton's average is more than 60 points higher (.328) when plays the field. Is he "more into the game" when he's not sitting on the bench waiting for his spot in the lineup to come around. Or is there more to it? Does he feel more like he did in his Miami days, when he was one of the most feared hitters in the National League, where is there was no DH option?

We don't need a snap answer. The proof was on the field Monday night as the Yankees' winning streak reached 10.



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