Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees lineup for the first time in 54 days Tuesday, and fans could not be more excited. Judge’s first at-bat was accompanied by an ovation that filled the stadium as many fans have been waiting for this moment for nearly eight weeks. The race for the wild card spot is not over yet and many are hoping that Judge is what the team needs to secure the position.
With four consecutive starts since his return, Judge is slowly getting back on track. In his first three starts he went 1-for-12 with a walk and three strikeouts but, in Friday’s game, there was an improvement collecting two hits, an RBI double and a walk. Judge is a player that ties the team together and unfortunately, he will not be provided with additional time. If the Yankees want to make a showing in October, then Judge needs to catch fire.
Before the start of the 2018 season, Judge was delighted to hear that NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton would be joining the Yankees outfield. Since the acquisition of Stanton, the two sluggers have struck over 60 home runs and driven in over 150 runs, with Judge leading in both categories. The importance of Judge lies deeper than the surface, as he is a presence within the locker room, as well as the stadium. Judge’s return to pinstripes will cause a strong New York fan base to unify just in time for a postseason surge.
There is no certainty that the Yankees will make the playoffs this year, which is surprising considering that the team is a whopping 35 games over .500 with a record of 94-59. The current wild-card picture for the American League is a tight race between the Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees will visit Fenway Park to face off against the league’s best team, the Boston Red Sox, in a season finale. Although Boston has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, their team will go to extreme lengths to ensure that the Yankees are kept out of the postseason.
The Yankees have only nine games left in the regular season, which they will look to secure as many of them as they can into the victory column. If the team is unable to find their groove in a quick manner, then a highly talented New York team will be watching the postseason from home. Be sure to monitor the Yankees progress over the next six games before facing off with the Red Sox.