Aaron Judge noted that the Yankees keep winning despite his lack of production at the plate.
Aaron Boone called it “a tough couple of weeks.”
For now, the Yankees can get away with shrugging off Judge’s uncharacteristic struggles, but at some point, it figures to become an issue — especially now that the Triple-A Orioles are gone and have taken their 16-game losing streak against the Yankees with them.
Judge had another ugly day at the plate in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over Baltimore, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
“It’s just baseball,’’ Judge said. “Sometimes hits fall and sometimes they don’t and you hit it hard right at people.”
But Judge didn’t do much of that on Wednesday. After grounding into a forceout in the first, he whiffed looking twice against Dylan Bundy and then struck out swinging with Shawn Armstrong on the mound in the seventh.
Judge is in a 12-for-76 funk with four doubles and just one home run and four RBIs in 20 games. He also has struck out 27 times in that span, along with walking 12 times.
“It stinks,’’ Judge said of his slump. “You want to help out your team any time you can. Whenever you go out there and don’t produce, it’s tough. I keep doing my job and play good defense and try to get something going at the plate. The most important thing is winning. If I go 0-for-3 and we keep winning, I think we’ll be fine.”
Against teams like the dregs of the wildly imbalanced American League, that’s true. It likely won’t be the case when they’re facing the varsity, which starts Thursday, when the Indians arrive to begin a four-game series in The Bronx.
“I’m making sure I’m swinging at the right pitches and I’ve felt I’ve been doing that,’’ Judge said. “I’m being pitched on the corners a lot, just trying to control the zone.’’
It’s not going well, but Judge has been helped by the continued production from lesser names, such as Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman.
“I’ve just got to get on base for guys behind me, Gio and Didi [Gregorius],’’ Judge said. “Just continue to get on base.”
The Yankees, though, have more significant expectations from the right fielder than to be a table-setter.
Boone bristled when asked if Judge was “having one of those years,” when he wouldn’t find his consistency at the plate.
“It’s not one of those years,” Boone said. “It’s a tough couple of weeks. This game is hard. He’s not a good [player], he’s a great player. One of the game’s best and it’s just a couple of weeks he hasn’t been locked in.”
But during a season in which Judge has missed 54 games with a left oblique strain, his current funk seems more than just a bump in the road.
“I still contend it’s a matter of time before he gets it going,’’ Boone said. “On balance, his year has been very good. He’s grinding through it and he’ll get through.”