Rob Parker called Aaron Judge out in an episode of “Foul or Fair” this week on MLBbro.com.
Parker said that Judge was being outshined by teammate Giancarlo Stanton and needed to elevate his game, assume leadership of the team, and produce, like the 52-homer rookie we all thought would ascend to the face of baseball.
Judge must have been listening, because with teammate Aaron Hicks out and Stanton benched with quad issues, Judge found himself alone, without his fellow MLB bros to support him offensively.
The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year smashed two homers in his first two at-bats to power the Yankees past Baltimore 5-4 on Friday night.
Judge answered the call and carried a compromised Yankees lineup to victory over a pesky AL East division rival. It seems as if all of the Yankees-Orioles games this season have been dogfights. Judge’s two jacks put the Yankees ahead 2-1 to set the tone.
Black Knight Cedric Mullins AKA CM Storm, got two more hits to raise his season total to 45, good for fourth in all of MLB.
Those hits weren’t enough, however, to overcome the Judgian blasts that rained down on Baltimore like a helicopter without gas, hurling to the ground.
Meanwhile, the Yankees were finding a groove with Stanton and Judge finally both healthy in the lineup.
Hicks seemed to be coming around as well in recent games. However, as most people predicted, the Yankees’ two big boppers can’t stay healthy at the same time.
There’s a lack of continuity there that will probably come to sadly define this latest Yankees era, if these guys don’t ever get it together.
So the game of seesaw between Judge and Stanton continues. When Stanton is healthy Judge is out, when Judge is out Stanton is rolling. It’s a weird dynamic that the Yankees have had to deal with.
At least Judge seems to be locked in and willing to put the Bronx Bombers on his back for a stretch until reinforcements arrive and the pinstripes (2 games out of first place) can make a serious move on the AL East crown.
Finally, the Chicago White Sox saw Tim Anderson in the lineup and not just on the cover of his video game. The White Sox resident batting champ and web gem manufacturer returned from a 10-day bit on the injured list in time to strap up for Jackie Robinson Day with #42 on his back Thursday afternoon.
Anderson is one of the MLB bros who have been sidelined with injuries after returning from the warmth of spring training in the sunbelt to the arctic refrigerators of the north. For years players – like Anderson — appear to be ready to hit the season in high gear only to be physically throttled down by strains and pulls that accompany opening games on the frozen tundra.
Nothing says to the Boys of Summer, “let’s get back to work” like night games on Lake Michigan in early April.
In his return from the pale hose M*A*S*H unit Anderson was 2-for-5 and scored once as the White Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians 4-3. Perhaps it was the time spent with the joystick that jump-started the big stick at the plate. Before the injury, he was hitting .200. Friday’s game against Boston was rained out so let’s see how the charismatic face of MLB for Nike does next time out.
Another early-season casualty is Minnesota’s Byron Buxton who was not in Rocco Baldelli’s lineup for a third straight day as the Twins handled their business against the Boston Red Sox and beat them in a Jackie Robinson Day matinee’ 4-3. Buxton is dealing with what is being called hamstring tightness and the move appears cautionary.
Still, another body trying to adapt to the colder weather after a short regular season followed by what may be considered a rushed offseason, Buxton’s setback is another that could be attributed to the weather.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, $150M, free agent acquisition George Springer is still sidelined. After starting the season on the injured list because of a Grade 2 oblique strain, Springer is currently dealing with a quad injury he incurred last week while running. That’s bad news because it seemed as if Springer was close to game action before the quad issue popped up. He’s missed the first 13 games and Toronto (6-7) sits three games behind 9-4 Boston.
Seattle swept a doubleheader on Jackie Robinson Day and are sitting atop the AL West at 8-5 entering Friday night’s game. Surprisingly, they’ve done all of this without their 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.
Lewis was expected to have an MVP-type season in centerfield for Seattle, but a deep bone bruise has him sidelined since the beginning of the season.
The Seattle Mariners have gotten very little offensive production from their center fielders in Lewis’ absence. Mariners centerfielders have hit .139 with 21 strikeouts in 36 at-bats this season, entering Thursday. Backup, Taylor Trammel has shown flashes of brilliance but has also been largely overwhelmed by MLB pitching.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday that the team is “very optimistic” centerfielder Lewis will play during Seattle’s two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which begins Monday.
Let’s hope so because we can’t have our elite Black Knights on the sidelines. There are already too few of them in the game.