Yankees miss Aaron Judge’s bat on rare rest day
CLEVELAND — Thinking about the big picture, Aaron Boone left Aaron Judge out of his starting lineup on Sunday, even with a team day off on Monday.
It could pay dividends in the long run — and possibly as early as Tuesday, given how Judge has reacted to rest days this season — but the Yankees missed out on their MVP candidate on Sunday, picking up just one hit in a 2-0 loss to the Guardians. in the progressive field.
The judge made a ninth-inning pinch for Jose Trevino, two out and two runners, but faced a heavy dose of Guardians sliders closer to Emmanuel Clase and settled for a walk to charge the bases before Aaron Hicks was put down to end the game. .
In the top of the eighth inning, with the Yankees leading 1-0 to Guardians reliever Eli Morgan, Boone hit DJ LeMahieu for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Matt Carpenter for Marwin Gonzalez. But he resisted a full line change, allowing struggling Joey Gallo to strike for himself and strike, falling to 1 for 32 with 18 strikeouts in his last 13 games.
« I was going to wait [to use Judge] », Boone said. « I really wanted to stay away from Judge coming into the game today unless there were runners there. And I knew that potential situation was coming back for us there in the ninth. I remained disciplined to that.
After Judge played both games of Saturday’s doubleheader — the penultimate day of a 20-game-in-20-day streak — Boone brought the outfielder into his office and told him he was off Sunday. The judge fought it « a little, » Boone said.
« But we have very good communication about it, » the manager said. « I think he understands. He usually still wants in there. But I’ve been condemned enough for it [Saturday] night. »
Judge has appeared in 78 of the Yankees’ 80 games, Sunday marking just his fifth day out of the starting lineup this season. Three times after his first four days off, he returned to hit two homers apiece in his next game.
Boone also waited to pinch the judge until the ninth inning on Sunday because he wanted to avoid having him play the field. That meant an appearance in right field for Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth — his first field appearance since 2014 — after the veteran batted and retired top of the inning.
Carpenter didn’t have a ball on him, but was alert supporting a play at first base.
« I said, ‘Let’s take the bandage off today,' » Boone said. « Obviously I had Aaron there, but I just didn’t want to put him on the pitch if I didn’t have to today. So I was like, ‘Let’s go with Carp.’ He had a really good batting against Morgan. Morgan ended up outliving him. But it was good to get him out.