The New York Yankees are tied in the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Guardians. This is largely due to little help from the American League MVP favorite, MLBbro Aaron Judge. Judge has struggled mightily in this series striking out seven times in 9 at-bats with one walk. Regardless of how the first two games have gone, the Yankees will need more from Aaron Judge, who has put just one ball in play so far this series.
Aaron Judge today:
It's his first 4-strikeout game of the season 😬pic.twitter.com/QCvOWggXuN
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 14, 2022
The MLBbro knows despite his miraculous regular season, he must deliver in October.
Judge’s name has been more in the news for his upcoming free agency than his playoff performance. Reports have been claiming that he is destined to leave in the Winter. This speculation seems to be a distraction to the slugger and his teammates. Even if the Yankees are able to get by the Guardians, unless Judge is able to get back on track (.125 OBP in the series) it is hard to see the Bronx Bombers achieving their ultimate goal. Overcoming past playoff struggles is one of the things that Judge needs to boost his all-time resume.
Tale Of Two Playoff Performers
At the beginning of his playoff career Judge was considered a dynamic hitter, batting .267 with seven homers and 15 RBIs in this first 16 playoff games. Since then, he has gone 15 for his last 83, including this year’s dismal playoff performance. Things will not get any easier as Judge has struggled on the road against the Guardians this season, batting .143 in road games against Cleveland this year.
But what’s wrong with Judge? How does he go from a guy no one wants to pitch against to an easy out in the playoffs?
“I’m not too concerned about it, he’s going to figure it out,” said former Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, who spent one seasons in the Twin Cities before opting out last week. What made him great during the season is he was not chasing (pitches). When he was getting good pitches to hit in the middle, he was hitting it.”
Correa went on to mention that Judge is facing nothing but ace pitchers now in the playoffs and Shane Bieber was like Picasso painting the corners and forcing Judge into uncomfortable hitting situations.
“It’s a little unlikely to see that number of strikeouts, but you have to tip your hat. Bieber was amazing,” said former MLBbro player and TBS analyst Curtis Granderson.
What’s Next For Judge?
Judge can right the ship in an instant. He has the talent and when he gets hot, he’s unstoppable as evidenced by the AL -record 62 homers he slugged this season. If he can become not only a contributor, but regain his regular season from, the narrative will change completely.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone knows that the team’s chances to win are much higher when Judge is performing at a high level. Although the offseason is sure to be a momentous one for Aaron Judge the MLBbro does not need to look ahead and overlook a prime opportunity to improve upon his already historic season. The contract will be there for him in the offseason regardless, his playoff legacy will not.