Aaron Judge has been a dynamo for the Yankees offense this season, always in the game, always swinging for the flat screen displays, always diving for the ball. Judge appeared in 96 of the first 99 games for the Yankees, then went to the All-Star event where he put on a show in the Home Run Derby, and then started the All-Star game the next day. So Yankees’ fans understood when Judge was rested on Wednesday, but expect, and I do mean expect, him back in the line up today.
Prior to the All Star break, Judge put up a .329/.448/.961 slash line, which, along with his league leading 30 HR’s, propelled him into the national spotlight. Judge participated in and won the Home Run Derby with what appeared to be with ease. However, out of the break he struggled in the Boston series. Fans wondered if he were burned out participating in the All-Star festivities. In Boston, Judge went 1-18 with 0 homers, 0 RBI and 3 BB. He picked it up a bit in Minnesota, where he went 2-9 with 0 homers, 1 RBI, 4 BB (2 of them intentional). Entering the Seattle series, the Yankees as an offensive unit as well as Judge, were struggling and had dipped from 5.6 runs to 4.3 runs per game. Then came Judge’s prodigious 31st home run blast which seemed to break the Mariner’s Statcast for a time, which measured his homer at a paltry and incorrect 430 feet. With that home run, Judge seemed to trumpet his arrival back, not only to lead the league in home runs, but also to lead the Yankees offensive resurgence.
The Yankees need Aaron Judge, their offensive centerpiece, to continue mashing in order to stay in the playoff race. Sandwiched 1 game behind Boston and 1.5 games ahead of Tampa Bay, the Yankees also need Judge to stay on pace with his league leading 1.065 OPS, which lifts the entire offense into another realm.