Aaron Judge on Yankees’ offensive woes: ‘I take a lot of responsibility for that’

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The New York Yankees’ offensive struggles continued Thursday as they fell 8-4 to the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium, extending a concerning trend that has plagued the team since mid-June. This marks their 14th loss in 19 games, highlighting their struggles against a Reds team that started the series six games under .500.

Since June 13, the Yankees have posted a meager .221/.315/.383 slash line over 19 games, ranking 26th in Major League Baseball during that span. The situation worsens in their 14 losses, where the team’s offensive output drops to .186/.282/.328. Their losses since June 13 lead the Major Leagues, surpassing the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs by one.

Yankees captain Aaron Judge took personal responsibility for the team’s offensive woes despite leading the MLB race for MVP and a potential candidate to win the Triple Crown. He emphasized the need to score early and alleviate pressure on the pitching staff. He stated that the offense needs to be more aggressive, suggesting strategies such as putting pressure on opposing pitchers, getting runners on base, and potentially incorporating more base stealing. Aaron Judge stressed the importance of scoring early to gain leverage throughout the game.

“Offensively, we have to score first,” the Yankees captain said. “It’s been a lot of weight on our pitchers’ shoulders right now to be perfect. Offensively, we’ve got to put some pressure on [the opposing pitchers], get some guys on base. Maybe run a little bit. Drive some guys in when they are on base. Try to get the score in our favor early on. That way, we would have leverage throughout the game.”

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge reacts after hitting his 32nd home run of the season against the Reds at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2024.
X-Yankees Tree

The Yankees slugger specifically highlighted his own role as a top-line hitter, acknowledging the need to either get on base or drive in runs from the first inning. Aaron Judge expressed a willingness to shoulder much of the responsibility for the team’s offensive struggles, particularly in the crucial opening frame.

“Look at me. I’m hitting in the first inning. I have to do something to either get on base, drive a guy in,” Aaron Judge told. “I take a lot of responsibility for that. I have to step it up there first.”

Aaron Judge knows he has to step up to rescue Yankees

The Yankees captain, despite an atypical 0-for-4 performance, addressed the team’s struggles candidly. Aaron Judge acknowledged the stark difference between their current form and their strong start to the season but emphasized that the length of the season inevitably included challenging periods. He pointed out that past World Series champions had faced similar difficulties, underscoring that the team’s response to adversity would be pivotal.

“We’re not really clicking the way we were to start the season,” the Yankees superstar explained. “It’s a long season, we’re going to have a tough spell here and there. If you look back at past World Series champions they have all had a tough skid at some point. I think that’s what defines a team: How do we respond out of this? How are we going to take the next step to get things going back in our direction? We’ve got everybody in this room who knows how to do that, it’s going to take all of us coming together to get through it.”

Aaron Judge stressed the collective ability to overcome these challenges, expressing confidence in their potential to unite and turn their fortunes around. Although the Yankees star and Juan Soto have maintained consistent performances, the rest of the offense and starting pitching have struggled, often putting the team at an early disadvantage.

Aaron Judge and his Yankees teammates are training at Citi Field on June 25, 2024.
Bryan Hoch

The Yankees face a tough road ahead as they prepare to take on the Boston Red Sox, who are riding a four-game winning streak and previously won a series against the Yankees at Fenway Park last month.

“You have to go through things like this,” Aaron Judge acknowledged. “We’re going to come out better for it going through these troubles. You gotta get beat down a little bit to kinda see what you’re made of and we’re going to find out real soon.”

Aaron Judge reiterated the importance of enduring tough times, suggesting that overcoming these obstacles would ultimately make the team stronger. He expressed optimism that the Yankees would soon demonstrate their resilience and bounce back from these setbacks.

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