Baseball, like really most other sports, usually requires a collective effort in order to execute and triumph. For the Yankees, they have mostly relied on the shoulders of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez to kick-start their offense, leading the team along with others to a 91 win season. As for the postseason though, these two haven’t done much to help this offense score runs and win, which could doom their chances to go to the World Series.
I think one word that sort of defines what the Yankees have been for most of this postseason is opportunistic. Whether it’s their 3-run first inning in the Wild Card game after the Twins scored three off Severino to start it or getting to Kluber early in both of his starts in the ALDS by being very patient, they’ve pounced on opportunities put in front of them.
What most haven’t seen in those times though are Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, who seemed to have taken a backseat to most of the action. Yes, Judge had a single and a homer in the Wild Card game and a double to continue a big inning in Game 4 of the ALDS, and Sanchez had a monster homer off Kluber in Game 2 of the ALDS, but they haven’t really come up in the big moment. The debate with Judge might have ended with his single with 2 outs in Game 1 of the ALCS when offense was scarce but with Greg Bird being gunned down at home plate, it was just put under the rug.
In terms of numbers, Judge has a .129 avg., 1 homer, and 19 K’s in the postseason. Sanchez has a .176, 2 homers, and 15 K’s in the postseason. Just awful for a couple of the teams’ major contributors in their offense. They seem extremely lost at the plate for the most part, fazed by breaking-balls and completely guessing what each pitch will be. The offense seems to really feed off any time they contribute, providing a combined 5-2 record in the postseason when they have at least a hit, with the 2 losses both ending in 1-run games.
So what does their fate look like if they keep this up? It certainly doesn’t look good for the team, with their two best offensive weapons not getting into any of the action. Is it the lack of baseball maturity that is preventing them from making the necessary adjustments at the plate or are they possibly realizing all the pressure they have on their shoulders causing them to over-think things? We may never know. The Yanks survived the ALDS without either of them doing much, but there is different implications at stake and they’re playing a different team so they may not be too lucky for it to happen again. As much as it pains me to say it as a Yankees fans, the teams’ World Series hopes may continue to shrink if Judge and Sanchez aren’t here to step it up for them. If something can click in time for Game 3 in the Bronx, their run may not be over just yet.