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Yankees’ Aaron Judge on recent slump: ‘It’ll turn around’

Apr 29, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees pinch hitter Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

“A little dinker” that Aaron Judge hit late into Saturday’s walk-off win against the Washington Nationals could catalyze the snap of his recent slump, the slugging right fielder said Sunday.

Putting it bluntly, Judge acknowledged lately “it’s been terrible” as he’s struck out for 15 of his last 29 at bats while yielding only five hits in that same split, a snag which he attributes from trying to “just kind of do too much at the plate.”

Judge also alluded that his recent over-aggressiveness involved the Houston Astros long awaited return to Yankee Stadium being saddled back-to-back with a competitive series against Washington.

Judge addressed a recent tendency to “make things happen when they weren’t there,” saying that he should have been drawing more walks in his recent at bats – that along with executing better on pitches.

“The mistakes I’m getting, not really putting them in play I’m either fouling them off or missing them and then just expanding out of the zone,” Judge said.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone also spoke on Judge expanding out of the strike zone lately, especially on two-strike counts.

“I feel like he’s been pitched really tough this home stand … when you do get a pitch, you’ve gotta stick it,” Boone said, noting that Judge has lately spoiled too many of those chances foul. 

Boone, who sat Judge on Sunday called on the right fielder to pinch hit in the ninth inning with the game tied at two apiece – he drew a walk which put the game winning run into scoring position.

The Yankees skipper also said the right fielder continues to battle with “lower leg stuff.”

“He’s okay,” Boone said, explaining his logic of “just trying to be proactive” and taking advantage of Monday’s off day before the team travels to Tampa for an on-turf series with the Rays. 

Judge has actually been “better and better all week physically,” according to Boone.

As far as the recent slump, Boone said it’s “not something I’m worried about with him.”

Meanwhile for number 99 himself, Judge says he’ll continue to make adjustments while jumping back into the batting cage, watching video, and talking with hitting coach Marcus Thames.

Referencing that ninth inning “dinker,” Judge is hopeful it will bring him back on the right track as “that’s usually how you start a hitting streak.”

“It”ll turn around,” he said.

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