Rewind the tape to the beginning of this season.
The Yankees entered the year with a starting outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge, from left to right.
Brett Gardner, in his age 36 season, was thought of as a role player, someone who could start in the outfield every now and then, and maybe enter the game as a pinch runner or a defense replacement.
Fast forward to the present day, where Gardner has set a career high with 25 home runs and a .483 slugging percentage in 129 games played of the Yankees' 150.
Saturday's 13-3 win over the Blue Jays was just the latest example of Gardner's sustain brilliance for the Yankees this season. The left-hander clubbed a pair of home runs, driving in five runs on three hits overall, and also made a great catch against the wall in the fifth inning, derailing a potential Jays' rally before it could begin.
"Just continuing to get my work in and be consistent," Gardner said postgame when asked about why he's been able to have to much success this season.
This wasn't the way many expected Gardner's season to go, but his manager is more than happy with the production he's gotten from his veteran outfielder.
"He continues to have just a great year," Aaron Boone said after Saturday's win. "Obviously the home runs are huge, but at the time of the game, the play he makes up against the fence can kind of tilt the game a different way. He just continues to play on both sides of the ball so well."
The Yankees now have 98 wins on the season, and if things go their way, they can clinch the AL East as soon as Tuesday. And in a season that the team has endured so many injuries, Gardner has been perhaps the most-welcomed surprise as the Bombers make their way towards the playoffs.
"Obviously he takes great care of himself and he's just really athletic," said Boone. "Even at age 36 he still runs so well. He's durable, he's really competitive, and he hasn't stopped being a good player. We wouldn't be this well off without him, that's for sure."