Yankees-Guardians: Aaron Judge’s worst recession of 2022 comes at the wrong time

New York No player in baseball has had a better regular season than Aaron Judge, and in two games, no Major League player has experienced worse postseason than Judge. The 62-man Homer went 0-for-5 in New York’s Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians, a zero-for-8 with seven strokes in the series. The judge even heard boos after his fourth strike.

“It’s the Bronx, man,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the boos after Game Two.

The judge missed eight of his 13 swings in Game 2, an astronomical average, and Game 2 was his first four-stroke since last June. It was the fourth game in his postseason four-stroke career, and all four came against Cleveland – Judge had four strokes in Games 1, 4 and 5 of ALDS 2017. Postseason career numbers:

opposite Cleveland

44

.054 / .205 / .161

1

61.4%

against all others

120

.287/ .383/ .614

10

22.5%

“I think a lot of the day they were executed,” Boone said. “He made a mistake in a couple of pitches he got. I think a lot of the day was a product of execution by them and just being a challenging day to pick up rotations and things like that.”

It’s worth noting that Judge’s two ALDS approximations are actually a few rough weeks back into the regular season. He’s gone 8 for 37 (.216) with 15 hits in his last 13 regular season games chasing 61st and 62nd runs. The teams didn’t give the judge much to hit late in the season, but the Guardians are chasing after him, and it wasn’t to throw off the competitive flop It’s easy.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but if we have (we have a plan to shut down the judge), I’m not sure I really want to share it. It just doesn’t make sense,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said after the second game: “I think sometimes – the hitters can’t. Pushing a button. And as much as guys do, sometimes guys take 0-fors. Until you hit a chain successfully, I don’t think anyone is going to stand up here and hit our chest. It’s very dangerous. We know that.”

In addition to closing the judge, the Guardians also deserve credit for closing the hitters to him. Judge did not fight with a single runner on the basis of this series. He’s in the center of the scoring when in the hitting zone, but keeping runners away from the base in front of him makes it easier to chase, and gives shooters more margin for error. Cleveland has succeeded in doing so. They put themselves in a position to succeed against the judge.

The Yankees won their first game without the judge contributing much (he made a walking trip and stole a base in front of Homer’s insurance run by Anthony Rizzo) and they might even be able to win the ALDS without contributing much (see: 2017 ALDS), but there is little chance of winning the title without having be a major factor. The New York squad is pretty weak after the best 4-5 hitters to win consistently while getting nothing from Judge.

Two games don’t make post-season, and the Yankees are in the series and not late, but they’re at their best when the Judge is a game-changing threat with every swing of every pat. Right now, just getting the racket on the ball was a challenge. The sooner the judge gets back into a groove in the plate, the better New York’s changes will move forward. For now, he looks as lost as he ever did in 2022.

“It’s baseball,” Boone said. “You face the best. Tough hitting conditions. Great hitters go to zero on a given day. Great hitters fail more often than they succeed even when you’re rolling.” “They neutralized him here the first couple of days, and made him really tough, but he’ll be back on the horse and he’ll be as dangerous as they come tomorrow night.”


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