If you ask Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres what sparked his dynamic, offensive weekend in the Bronx he might tell you it had to do with fans returning to Yankee Stadium or that he promised something great for his mom on Mother’s Day.
For whatever the reason, he’s been a force in the batter’s box at the right moments lately.
On Saturday, he became the first Yankee since Raúl Ibañez in the 2012 ALDS to tie a game in the ninth inning and hit an extra innings walk-off in that same game. Then the next day, he hit his first home run of 2021.
Infield Gley Rule pic.twitter.com/Fox7h9YgEd
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 8, 2021
Oh hey, Gley 👋 pic.twitter.com/ATXkpjSlGe
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 9, 2021
Admitting “the first couple of weeks it was a struggle,” Torres, who’s had 29 hits in 120 plate appearances, said he’s felt more comfortable batting since the Houston Astros returned to Yankee Stadium last week.
Since around that time, he’s had seven hits in seven games.
“The reality is, he’s been getting a lot of big hits for us and holding his own,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday evening, adding that his short stop is “confident even when he’s struggling” and can “exhale” now that he’s finally gone deep this season.
Teammate Giancarlo Stanton addressed that mentality going weeks into the season without hitting a home-run, saying “it’s still in your subconscious” and that’s something which only builds as time goes on.
“You know how bad he wanted it too, you could tell in his reaction,” Stanton told reporters Sunday.
As for Torres, he said, “I never worry about homers, I just try to get really good contact … I’ve just been feeling better and better so I know when I feel good a homer is coming.”
What made his first homer of the season even more special was that it also made good on a Mother’s Day promise.
Before leaving home Sunday, Torres told his mom “I’m going to do something great for you,” and explained that he has historically played well on Mother’s Day during his time in the minor leagues.
When it comes to keeping the bat hot, Boone believes Torres will continue hitting for power and Stanton agrees.
“It’s good he got that first out of the way and now they should flow,” Stanton said.