The Yankees knew what they were signing up for when they brought together Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the heart of their order. There would be stretches of pure pyrotechnic dong-mashing spectacle and there would also be days marked by multiple sullen trips back to the dugout, during which guys like Gleyber Torres would have to carry the load instead. They’re still the Yankees, so they had to know they’d probably win no matter what, and so far it is working pretty well. On Monday, for Aaron Judge, it didn’t work very well.
While most teams had the day off, the Yankees and Tigers squared off in a doubleheader. Judge managed to set a record for strikeouts in a doubleheader with eight on the day. In game one, facing the Tigers’ Drew VerHagen and an array of relievers, Judge went down three times. The Yankees won 7-4, on the back of eight strong innings from Luis Severino, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Then there was the nightcap, which featured a number of even worse outcomes against Mike Fiers. Judge struck out in all five of his plate appearances, joining Stanton in the 2018 platinum sombrero club. When you watch those strikeouts in a row, as in the video below, there are some obvious observations to make about Judge not seeing the ball, taking pitches that shouldn’t have been taken, being out of the zone and all that. But there were some supremely unlucky moments—a smart take that didn’t get called correctly by the umpire, in one case, and some harsh check swing calls on pitches way outside:
And of course, there were plenty of historical comparisons to contextualize just how badly things had gone for Judge:
All very interesting, but also all very okay. He’s still Aaron fucking Judge! Judge is doing fine enough, in fact, that he was able to deliver some blithe athletespeak when his long day was over (via ESPN):
“That’s not a rough day, that’s a terrible day,” Judge said. “But the beauty of baseball is that I get to wake up to fresh, new at-bats tomorrow.”
Even after the rough, terrible day, Judge still has a .276/.402/.582 slash line, with 16 dongs through 57 games. I think he’ll be alright.