DETROIT — Aaron Boone has a favorite word for Aaron Judge: “Unflappable.”
It is a signature part of Judge’s baseball DNA, and that will be a good thing going forward starting Tuesday in Toronto. Against the Tigers Monday, Judge went 0-for-9, and he struck out eight times.
That is a major league record for the live-ball era, according to both Baseball Almanac and Stats by STATS. That is also, by any definition, a long day at the office.
“That’s not just a rough day, that’s a terrible day,” Judge said, after the Yankees split a day-night makeup doubleheader with the Tigers. “But that’s the beauty of baseball, you get to start fresh [Tuesday] in Toronto. There’s nothing else you can do.”
Judge struck out swinging three times in the opener (he also walked and grounded out), then fanned twice looking and three times swinging in the second game.
“That’s just the nature of his at-bats,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He gets so deep in counts and he takes so many close pitches that he’ll have the occasional day like this. But he could just as easily have put a big swing on one. I don’t think he’s fazed by that at all.”
Boone did say he may sit Judge on Tuesday in Toronto. But not because of any residue from the long day, but “because I was considering it on some day of the trip.”
Giancarlo Stanton, who knows a thing or two about strikeout binges, said he’s not worried at all about his teammate.
“He’ll bounce back,” Stanton said. “I’ve gone through it. He’s gone through it. He’ll bounce back for sure. Throw it in the trash and he’ll help us in Toronto.”
That’s how Judge was playing it, also.
“Those guys were hitting spots on corners,” Judge said. “When guys execute pitches in certain counts, it had the making of a a terrible day at the plate. But no matter what you do in the past, it won’t help you tomorrow. You just have to learn from it and move on.”
Six previous players had done that seven times — Pat Seerey of the White Sox (1948), Dave Nicholson of the White Sox (1953), Frank Howard of the Senators (1965), Bill Melton of the White Sox (1970), Mike Vail of the Mets (1975) and Shea Hillenbrand of the Blue Jays (2005).
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