Last night, the New York Yankees defeated the New York Mets 4-2 in a game that felt like their biggest win of the season. At the end of the day, it’s just a regular season game against the Mets. However, the win secured their second straight win and they did it against Max Scherzer.
Prior to last night, the Yankees hadn’t won two straight games since their series against the Royals that closed out the month of July. In addition to the bombers getting that big win, Aaron Judge looked like himself at the plate again.
Judge had a horrific night against Max Scherzer when the Yankees played the Mets in July. He went 0-4 with three strikeouts. He did strike out in the first at-bat, however, after that, he was locked in. In the bottom of the third, Judge came up and Scherzer started throwing him fastballs.
Scherzer tried to get a little too cute and Judge blasted one into the Judge’s Chambers in right field. He came up again in the fifth inning and blasted another ball to right field that just missed going into the seats. He faced Scherzer one more time in the seventh inning.
This time, Scherzer went back to the sliders. Judge had a great at-bat and stayed back on the final slider. He stayed with the pitch and pulled it into left for a base hit. Last night was the best Judge has looked at the plate in weeks and it happened at the perfect time.
Yankees reinforcements to boost Judge
The Yankees have gone through a recent rough stretch the likes of which they haven’t seen since 1985. While Judge was still playing well when the stretch started, he really started struggling lately. You could tell that he was pressing and trying to do too much at the plate.
Entering last night, Judge was 4 for 30 in his last 34 at-bats. All players struggle, but it was the approach from the Yankees slugger that caught my attention. After staying in his comfort zone all year, he really started to get a little pull happy and started chasing pitches he was spitting on earlier this year.
It just looked like he was getting impatient and he was trying to do too much. Combine that with the fact that he has only seen 42% of the pitches thrown to him in the strike zone since Giancarlo Stanton has been out and you have a recipe for a rough patch.
Since Stanton’s been out, Judge has seen 44% breaking balls and 58% of pitches were out of the zone. Teams were not giving him anything to hit. He was trying to create something out of nothing and it really hurt him.
However, Judge is going to get some reinforcements soon. Giancarlo Stanton is expected back in the lineup this week. With Stanton returning, Judge should get more pitches to hit than he had been getting. Thus it’s the perfect time for him to lock in and tighten up that approach. We could be gearing up for another Aaron Judge home run breakout.