Yankees locker buddies topple Sox with superb display of offense and defense in 7-2 win

Yankees' Jose Trevino and John Berti celebrate after the latter's home run against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 19, 2024.
Michael Bennington
Monday May 20, 2024

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After the White Sox plated a two-run lead, Jose Trevino led the Yankees’ fightback and knotted the score at 2-2 with a clutch two-run single slapped through the right side in the second inning. Then, his locker mate, Jon Berti, crushed his first home run in pinstripes – a three-run blast over the right field wall in the fourth giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead that ultimately transformed into the 7-2 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

The unlikely offensive heroics provided a glimpse of the Yankees’ potent lineup depth en route to the comeback win. But the locker buddies went beyond their offense to steal the victory and secure it. While Trevino’s timely hit and Berti’s big blast cemented the Yankees’ comeback against the White Sox, their coordinated defense too provided a big benefit to the team’s sweeping win.

Trevino playfully suggested that their budding connection might be attributed to their proximity in the clubhouse, quipping that they were beginning to develop a special bond as locker buddies.

“Maybe just getting those powers being locker buddies,” he joked. “We’re starting to connect like that.”

Yankees duo turn the table on White Sox

In a pivotal moment during the game, Trevino’s defensive brilliance stole the show and etched itself into memory. With Carlos Rodon in a tough spot, having already surrendered two runs in the second inning and attempting to strand Zach Remillard at third base with two outs, Trevino’s quick thinking and precise arm combined to execute a crucial pickoff play. As Martin Maldonado successfully checked his swing on a two-strike count, most assumed the play had concluded, but Trevino and third baseman Jon Berti had other plans.

While appealing to first-base umpire Tripp Gibson, Trevino caught Rodon’s pitch, drawing all eyes to that side of the field except for his own and Berti’s. Rodon later admitted that he was focused on the check-swing call and believed Remillard was also distracted by it.

Seizing the opportunity, Berti stealthily positioned himself behind Remillard, who had his back turned to Trevino and was unaware of the catcher’s gaze. Despite Trevino’s glove pointing toward first base, he swiftly stood up and threw across his body, catching Remillard off guard as he casually approached the base.

Trevino’s heads-up play and pinpoint accuracy culminated in an inning-ending pickoff, extinguishing the White Sox’s threat and showcasing the catcher’s exceptional defensive instincts and execution.

In a brilliant display of teamwork, Berti swiftly applied the tag and darted off the field, snatching an out—Trevino’s first successful back-pick of the season—and extricating Rodon from a perilous situation.

Jon-Berti-anthony-rizzo-new-york-yankees
AP

Trevino, Berti impresses Yankees

Manager Aaron Boone lauded the duo’s astute awareness and attention to detail, emphasizing the significance of such seemingly minor plays. Boone noted that these “little winning nuggets” have emerged in various situations throughout the year, contributing to the team’s success.

“Him and Berti being real heads-up there,” the Yankees manager. “Paying attention to the little things. A lot of those little things have happened in different situations this year — those little winning nuggets that help you along the way.”

While Trevino acknowledged Berti’s crucial role in executing the play, he remained tight-lipped when pressed about whether Berti had signaled for the pickoff, refusing to divulge any Yankees trade secrets with a stoic expression.

Berti, in turn, praised Trevino’s unwavering attentiveness and credited their mutual vigilance. He explained that they were closely monitoring the runner on third and, with two outs, decided to seize the opportunity.

“Trevy paying attention like he always is and myself paying attention,” he said. “Trying to read the runner on third and taking a chance there with two outs.”

Trevino, a seasoned seven-year veteran and one of baseball’s premier defensive catchers, revealed that this particular appeal-one-way, throw-another play was a first in his career.

The fact that he orchestrated it flawlessly with Berti—a late March acquisition from the Marlins who had lamented the lack of spring training to familiarize himself with his new Yankees teammates and ensure synchronicity on such plays—only heightened the impressiveness of their feat.

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