MINNEAPOLIS — Late Sunday morning, Joe Girardi said he expected struggling catcher Brian McCann to start hitting sooner rather than later.
“He’ll get out of it,” Girardi said. “He’s too good. He’s too good a hitter not to pull out of it.”
That process might have started in Sunday afternoon’s 7-4 loss to the Twins as McCann went 3-for-4, including two home runs that gave him 10 this season.
“I’m getting through the baseball instead of those weak ground balls to the second baseman,” McCann said. “I was getting through the baseball and I was able to drive it.”
The 32-year-old came into the game with a .091/.219/.218 slash line in his previous 20 games, with two homers and nine RBIs.
Could Sunday be what propels him to a sustained stretch of success at the plate?
“I hope so,” said McCann, now slashing .219/.322/.415, with 10 homers and 29 RBI. “I’ve been grinding for a long time now and haven’t been getting any results. So it was nice to put the barrel on some balls today.”
While having a good day at the plate, McCann was behind it for a rough play from the Yankees’ standpoint.
With one out in the sixth, the Yankees leading 2-1 and the Twins with runners at the corners, Eduardo Escobar sent a Nathan Eovaldi fastball down the rightfield line. Brian Dozier scored easily from third, and third base coach Gene Glynn waved Trevor Plouffe, who was on first, around third. Carlos Beltran’s threw to McCann who, receiving the throw on the first base side of the plate, appeared to get the sliding Plouffe with a sweep tag. But the Twins challenged plate umpire Paul Emmel’s out call and replays showed Plouffe somehow avoided the tag, the run giving the Twins a 3-2 lead.
“Those are tough,” McCann said. “I didn’t know if I got his jersey or not. Those are tough because you don’t know. You’re just diving so you just hope for the best. He made a good slide and slid over my glove.”
Big picture, McCann hopes he can be part of an offensive resurgence. Coming into Sunday the Yankees had a .291/.338/.436 slash line in the month of June, the Majors’ second-highest June batting average behind the Tigers’ .303.
“We have a really deep lineup,” McCann said. “I was the only one really in the lineup not hitting. So I need to pick it up. If I’m going to hit in the middle of the order, I have to hit.”