DENVER — With Aaron Judge continuing to hit in the cage for the New York Yankees as the second half of the season opens here at Coors Field, there is optimism, at least from manager Aaron Boone, that brighter days are ahead in the Bronx.
Of course, that optimism is somewhat muted by the fact the the New York Yankees enter Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies with a 49-43 mark and are in the cellar of the American League East. Still, with Judge taking steps toward his return and Giancarlo Stanton “getting there” and trending in the right direction at the plate, according to Boone, there are reasons to not throw in the towel just yet.
Aaron Boone keeps optimism for New York Yankees turnaround
“Look, we know we’re better than this,” Boone said. “That said, we got a lot of key guys out for extended periods too, so we haven’t had the lineups that we necessarily expected, so that’s a contributing factor. And we’ve had some key guys who have had a longer period where they’ve struggled. Hopefully that puts us in a position where we’ll eventually they all get going and they all get going together, and that becomes a lot of fun.”
The Yankees need some fun right now, especially a day after scoring two runs in the first inning (on a two-run homer by Stanton) and then struggling the rest of the way at hitter-friendly Coors Field on the way to a 7-2 loss. It was New York’s fifth loss in their last six games and seventh in their last 11 games since July 1.
Part of the reason for New York’s struggles on Friday night? The top three in the New York order (Gleyber Torres, Stanton and Anthony Rizzo) went 6-for-12. However, the fourth through ninth batters in the lineups (including pinch-hitters) went just 2-for-22, with both of those hits coming from DJ LeMahieu.
Judge won’t help that cause this weekend in Denver, but if Josh Donaldson (who is “fine,” according to Boone, despite serving as the team’s designated hitter for the second straight night) and Stanton can turn things around before Judge returns, there is indeed reason for Boone’s optimism to be justified.