Aaron Judge’s offensive woes continue at worst time for Yankees
Aaron Judge picked a bad time to stop hitting.
The right fielder has just three hits in the postseason after Wednesday’s 8-4 loss to the Rays in Game 3 of the ALDS, with the Yankees now on the brink of elimination.
For the second straight night, Judge made the final out of the game, grounding out to third against Diego Castillo.
His first two hits of the playoffs were both important home runs, but Judge has been mostly silent otherwise.
He had a chance to give the Yankees the lead in the bottom of the third in Game 3, when he came up with the bases loaded and one out against Charlie Morton.
Judge managed to deliver a sacrifice fly to right field, but the Yankees didn’t score again that inning and fell behind for good in the fourth.
He also grounded out and struck out against Morton before a two-out single in the eighth.
Judge’s main contribution on Wednesday was with his glove.
After Randy Arozarena’s two-out single off Mashiro Tanaka in the top of the first, Ji-Man Choi sent a fly ball to deep right. Judge, battling the sun, raced back and caught it at the tip of the webbing of his glove and held on when he hit the fence to keep the game scoreless.
It’s been a mostly disappointing season for Judge, who missed a chunk of the abbreviated regular season with a strained calf that sidelined him for two weeks before he returned too soon and aggravated the injury, which cost him two more weeks.
But while Giancarlo Stanton has overcome an injury-ridden regular season to deliver five homers so far in the playoffs, Judge will head into Thursday’s potentially season-ending game 3-for-23 with nine strikeouts in the postseason. He was also just 6-for-25 against the Astros last year in the ALCS.
After that series, Judge stood in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park in Houston and called the Yankees’ season “a failure.”
They’re just one loss away from a similar outcome — one round earlier.
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