BOSTON –These certainly weren’t the finest — or the luckiest — three days for the next new face of baseball.
A dreary 1-for-18 showing with six strikeouts by Aaron Judge during the Yankees’ four-game split against the first-place Red Sox this weekend at Fenway Park even fittingly concluded with Judge having nothing to show for finally squaring one up Sunday night like all of baseball has grown accustomed to seeing from him this season.
In his final plate appearance of the series, Judge rocketed a 411-foot blast to the center-field triangle against Boston lefty David Price, only to have Jackie Bradley Jr. make a terrific leaping grab at the bullpen wall of what appeared ticketed to be the rookie’s ML-leading 31st homer of the year, a two-run shot. Boston went on to win, 3-0, in Game 2 for a split of the day-night doubleheader.
“I thought it had a chance. Just hit it to the wrong part of the park and to the wrong center fielder. Jackie’s been making plays like that for a long time,” said Judge, who finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two hard-hit balls in Game 2. “That’s part of it. You’re gonna have your ups and downs.
“You’re gonna have times you do everything right and still get out. But I’m happy with my swing, I’ve been happy with a lot of the swings I took the last couple of days. I didn’t get any results with it, but that’s baseball. That’s the game we play.”
Indeed, Judge was bound to cool off at some point during his whirlwind breakout rookie campaign. And no one is suggesting a few games without any mammoth home runs — or any base hits out of the infield, for that matter — signify anything but a temporary lull in what has looked every bit like an MVP-caliber campaign for the behemoth All-Star right fielder.
But this slump wasn’t particularly the best timing, either, especially coming on the heels of Judge dominating the showcase event and winning the Home Run Derby last Monday in Miami.
Despite the squib infield single he legged out in Sunday’s opener representing Judge’s lone hit here over three days, it’s clearly…