Aaron Judge takes the heat for the Yankees’ offensive struggles

Andrew Allen
New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
USA Today

The New York Yankees fell short to the Blue Jays in their season opener by a score of 3-2. It was the first time since 2017 that the Yankees had started the season with a loss. It was also the first Opening Day game since 2019 that the Yankees had fans in attendance. 

Although there were only about 11,000 fans for the season opener, they made their presence known. In total, the Yankees left 10 men on base and were 0-9 with runners in scoring position. This was mostly due to the struggles from the top of the order. The only hit that came from the first four batters was an Aaron Judge single in the bottom half of the sixth. That means that in total, those four batters hit 1/18 (.055). The other half of the lineup hit 5/17 (.294). Not exactly what you want from your top guys. 

Despite the top of the orders’ struggles, the Yankees did find themselves with bases loaded and only one man out. At this point, the game was tied at two, and it was the only sign of life since the beginning of the game. Aaron Judge was up with an opportunity to give New York the lead. Unfortunately, the worst possible outcome became a reality. Judge hit a sharp ground ball to third as Toronto tossed a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. 

That wasn’t the only chance Aaron Judge had, however. In the bottom half of the ninth, Judge found himself in a similar spot. He had two men on with two outs and a chance to end the season opener in walk-off fashion. Gardner (pinch-running for Frazier) was the lead runner at second, and a single from Judge would’ve most likely ended the game. However, a five-pitch at-bat ended with a swinging strikeout from Judge, sending the game into extras. The Blue Jays followed with an RBI double by Grichuk with no response from the Yankees’ offense. 

After the game, Judge described those situations as “missed opportunities on his part,” saying that he didn’t “come through” when it mattered most. He even went as far as saying that he should’ve “caught” the RBI double that gave Toronto the lead. 

The performance as a whole was awful from the top, but Judge did, in fact, take responsibility for it. However, there is still plenty of time for Judge to redeem himself. After all, it was only the first game of the season. The Yanks will be back in action against the Jays tomorrow at 1:05 pm EST.