Fans boo Aaron Judge as Guardians beat Yankees 4-2 in ALDS Game 2

Aaron Judge at ALDS Game 2
Inna Zeyger
Saturday October 15, 2022

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NEW YORK – Fans boo Aaron Judge as his big swing failed to come to the Yankees’ rescue in ALDS Game. The Cleveland Guardians evened the best-of-five AL Division Series with a 4-2, 10-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.

Fans are upset over Aaron Judge’s slump and made the day tough not just for the Yankees’ power hitter but for almost the whole lineup.

“It’s the Bronx, dude,” remarked manager Aaron Boone after the game while Aaron Judge said, “This is nothing new for us, and get ready for (Saturday) at Progressive Field.”

Games 3 and 4 of the series move to Cleveland this weekend and the momentum suddenly shifted toward Lake Erie.

Aaron Judge: A dismal ALDS show

A 62-homer regular season does not really command fan allegiance unless Aaron Judge performs in October. Many in the 47,535 supporters, who witnessed the AL’s best closer, Emmanuel Clase, locking down the last seven outs, felt very disappointed and some even boo the power hitter.

Shane Bieber, the starter, struck out Aaron Judge three times, and Trevor Stephan struck him out four times in four at-bats.

When the fans stood up again in the ninth, Clase got Aaron Judge to hit a harmless groundout.

Just a little late turns things down

The Yankees have only played two games in the last nine days. Thursday’s rainout made the wait even longer. But even before Friday’s game, Boone didn’t see any reason why his team should start slowly. Aaron Judge wasn’t going there either, but he did say that he was “just a little late.”

“You miss some pitches that you can do damage on, you’re swinging at stuff you usually don’t,’’ Judge said. “I think it’s just mechanics.’’

In the first two games of the ALDS, Aaron Judge is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts and one walk. This is scary for such a short series, but Judge said:

“I’ve had more than two bad games in my career. It’s my fault, the timing is off, and I have to fix it. That’s it, there’s no other way to look at it,”

Aaron Judge is not alone

Runs would be hard to come by, but that was expected from a Cleveland Guardians lineup that didn’t do much to light up scoreboards this year. Also, the Yankees right now aren’t exactly the big hitters.

After Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the first inning with a fly ball that went over the right field wall, the Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

Do they miss having DJ LeMahieu at the top of the order and the balance he brings when he’s healthy?

Because Andrew Benintendi is in Florida recovering from a broken hamate, they have to put Aaron Judge at the top of the order and start rookie Oswaldo Cabrera, who went 0-for-4, on the left.

Josh Donaldson, who isn’t hitting well this year, is batting fifth, and Matt Carpenter, who is coming back from a broken foot, can only be used as a pinch-hitter.

Carpenter’s first turn at bat since August 8 ended with him striking out with runners on first and second.

Bullpen problems hunt the Yankees

This series has no more days off, and managing the bullpen could be a problem going forward.

In Game 2, the Yankees had to use six relievers, but none of them threw more than 18 pitches. This could give Boone a full team for Game 3 if he needs it. Domingo German might have to throw more than one inning after Luis Severino in Game 3.

And if there is a Game 5 in the Bronx, Jameson Taillon might start for the Yankees in that winner-takes-all game. Or, he might be put back in a high-stakes relief spot, which is a new role and didn’t go well on Friday.

In the 10th inning on Friday, Taillon gave up two singles and watched Donaldson make an error with his throw before Josh Naylor’s RBI double-scored the second run of the inning.

Clase showed why he’s the best pitcher in the AL with his dirty, hard stuff. He got the Guardians out of a jam with bases loaded at the end of the eighth, and from then on, he was in charge.

Nestor Cortes is not at his best

In the first 12 innings of this ALDS, the Guardians only scored one run, and they did so twice against Cortes, who was not at his best on Friday.

In the fourth, Andres Gimenez hit a soft single with two outs that scored a run. In the fifth, Amed Rosario hit a long home run to center that tied the game. Cortes didn’t throw any strange pitches.

His best throw was a one-hop to first base that ended the fourth inning with the bases full.

Don’t you think Aaron Judge should contribute more to the Yankees’ playoffs?

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