New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge recently set a record, but not in a good way, striking out in 36 straight games. He added a 37th game to his record on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.
His struggles started after the All-Star break and show no signs of stopping as his average has fallen to .285 after it was above .300 for most of the first half of the season.
Many have questioned why Judge continues to hit third in the Yankees' lineup as his strikeouts (166 and counting) continue to pile up.
According to the New York Post, though, Yankees manager Joe Girardi isn't concerned about his star outfielder's strikeout issues. He said Judge will continue to hit third in the Yankees' lineup because he's still doing plenty of damage with his bat:
“He’s going to stay there,” Girardi said. “I’m not going to move him. He’s still dangerous. He’s still getting on at a pretty high click. He’s on in front of some other guys who are swinging the bat well.”
To be fair to Judge, he's still continued to provide plenty of power, as he has 37 home runs and 80 RBI on the season.
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Plus, according to Yankees.com, Girardi said he thinks Judge is primed to break out of his slump after making some adjustments to his swing in recent days:
"I believe it's mechanical. He's off," Girardi said. "There's some adjustments that he's made that we've seen improvement [in], but at times there's still some mechanics that are off that were not off in the first half."
The Yankees need Judge in the lineup providing power if they're going to hold on to their American League wildcard spot. Currently, the Yankees are 66-56 and trail the Red Sox by four games in the AL East. They do hold a 3.5-game lead in the wildcard race.
Girardi gave credit to Judge for leading the Yankees to the playoff spot they currently hold, adding that it was always foolish for people to believe that the rookie was going to continue dominating the league like he did in the first half of the season:
"The numbers he put up in the first half are Hall of Fame numbers, but I think he's much closer to that than he is the numbers he's put up in the second half," Girardi said. "… We're kind of going on what he's done this year. We're letting him fight his way out of it."
At 37 games and counting, Judge's strikeout streak is one for the record books. However, because he's still having one of the best rookie seasons ever, the Yankees are going to let him work his way out of his recent slump.
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