Matt Carpenter hit his 6th home run in his 24th at-bat for the Yankees on Sunday — solidifying his shot as a power-hitter adding a strong bat to the Bronx Bombers’ lineup.
“I feel great,” Carpenter said. “It was good to get out there and play.”
His 2 homers on Sunday came in a lopsided 18–4 Yankee victory over the Cubs in the Bronx, as he sent a Daniel Norris fastball over the right field fence in the 2nd inning, before launching an Alec Mills fastball over the same wall in the bottom of the 6th.
Making his performance more impressive, Carpenter was not scheduled to play in the contest, but was activated after a late scratch of third baseman Gleyber Torres. Carpenter found out “about an hour” before that game that he would be in the lineup.
He finished the game with 3 hits on 4 at bats with 7 RBIs. A stunning 6 of his 8 hits this season have been dingers.
Carpenter joined the Pinstripes in May as a free agent signing, and has had limited playtime thus far in the Bronx, but he’s capitalized on every opportunity he’s gotten.
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After 30 plate appearances, Carpenter boasts a .333/.467/1.125 stat line, which far outpaces the career averages he recorded during 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I put him in the garage for a week and pulled him out for a spin,” said manager Aaron Boone. “[It’s] impressive, what he’s done since he’s gotten here. Six homers now, and I think he’s hit probably 3 balls to the wall for outs. It’s just been a lot of really good at bats.”
His recent success has come as a surprise to Yankee fans, who have widely lauded Carpenter’s success, but also to the third baseman himself.
“I don’t really have words for it,” he said. “I obviously feel good at the plate, and I’ve got my swing where I want it.”
As for his limited playtime this season, Carpenter said he prepares for every game as though he’ll be in the batter’s box.
“It’s more of a mindset. Coming to the ballpark everyday and expecting to be in the lineup, he said. “[So] days like today, where you have a late scratch, you’re not overwhelmed.”
The win on Sunday took the Yankees to a league-best 44–16 record, and gave them an 8.5-game lead in the Al East. The team’s next game will come against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx in a series beginning on Tuesday night.