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

NEW YORK – No baseball player has had a better regular season than Aaron Judge, and in two games, no American League player has had a worse postseason than Judge. The 62 homer went 0 for 5 in New York’s Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians, and is 0 for 8 with seven strikeouts in the series. The judge even heard boos after his fourth strikeout.

“It’s the Bronx, man,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the boos after Game 2.

Judge missed eight of his 13 swings in Game 2, an astronomical rate, and Game 2 was his first four-out game since last June. It was his fourth career game of four strikeouts in the playoffs and all four came against Cleveland — Judge had four strikeouts in Games 1, 4 and 5 of the 2017 ALDS. His playoff numbers playoffs:

against Cleveland

44

.054/.205/.161

1

61.4%

against all the others

120

.287/.383/.614

ten

22.5%

“I think a lot of the day they were run on him,” Boone said. “A few of the pitches he touched, he was fouled. I think a lot of the day today was down to their execution and was just a tough day picking up effects and things like that.”

It should be noted that the ALDS judge’s two tough games are actually a few tough weeks dating back to the regular season. He went 8 for 37 (.216) with 15 strikeouts in his last 13 regular season games as he chased homers 61 and 62. Teams didn’t give Judge much to the end of the season, but the Guardians pursue him. , and getting off the competitive swings hasn’t been easy.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but if we had (a plan to stop Judge), I’m not sure I would really want to share it. It doesn’t make much sense,” he added. Guardians manager Terry Francona said after Game 2. “I think sometimes – hitters can’t press a button. As good as guys are, sometimes guys take 0-fors. They’re gonna get up here and pound our chest. He’s too dangerous. We know that.

In addition to stopping Judge, the Guardians also deserve credit for stopping the batters in front of him. The judge did not strike with a single runner based on this series. He’s in scoring position when he’s in the batter’s box, but keeping runners off base in front of him makes his pursuit a little easier and gives pitchers more room for error. Cleveland managed to do it. They put themselves in position to succeed against Judge.

The Yankees won Game 1 without Judge contributing much (he tied and stole a base past Anthony Rizzo’s two-run insurance homer) and they might even be able to win the ALDS without him contributing much (see: ALDS 2017), but there is little chance that they can win a title without him being a major factor. New York’s roster is too thin after the top 4-5 hitters to consistently win without getting anything from Judge.

Two games doesn’t make a postseason, and the Yankees are even in the series rather than hanging around, but they’re at their best when Judge threatens to change the game with every swing at every bat. Right now, just getting the bat on the ball has been a challenge. The sooner the judge gets back into a groove at the plate, the better New York’s changes to moving on. Right now he looks as lost as he has at any time in 2022.

“It’s baseball. You face the best. Harsh hitting conditions. “They neutralized him here for the first two days, threw him really hard, but he’ll get back on his horse and be as dangerous as them tomorrow night.”

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