Judge's tear makes Yanks more dangerous

August 27th, 2019

SEATTLE -- Ask to explain his recent success at the plate and the Yankees slugger replies succinctly: "Balls are falling in and guys aren't catching them. That's about it."

Those words are accurate, of course, and it's especially true for the drives that are landing beyond the outfield wall. Yankees manager Aaron Boone loves seeing Judge's power and presence restored to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, noting, "You are not going to hold greatness down for too long."

"Guys look to him so much," Boone said. "He's such a powerful presence in our locker room. He’s one of the voices of our team, and certainly the face of our club. On top of it, he's one of the elite players in the game. When he’s going like he usually is, he’s a real problem for the other team."

Judge homered in all three games of the Yankees' showdown against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, continuing to string together quality at-bats as a three-week slump faded into the rear-view mirror.

The three straight games with homers ties for the longest streak of Judge's career, giving No. 99 a total of 99 big league homers.

Entering play on Monday, Judge had homered in four of his last six games, batting .320 (8-for-25) with five RBIs over that span. That has helped to power a lineup that has slugged 61 homers in August, a Major League record for homers in a calendar month.

"We're just having consistent, quality at-bats up and down the lineup," Judge said. "That's what makes this team so dangerous. When we all stick to our plan and our approach, we just go out there and execute."

Trainers' office

• One day after being hit in the back of the right shoulder by a Clayton Kershaw fastball, told the Yankees' medical staff that he was feeling better, but that he is still sore. Boone believes that Gregorius is dealing with a bone bruise, and he is considered day to day.

"I think it was affecting him throwing and swinging," Boone said. "I kind of knew walking down the line with him, because Didi, he shuns you away and says, 'I'm good.' He can play through a lot. Just seeing him briefly when he got in today, he definitely felt better, but it’s still pretty sore."

was out of the Yankees' lineup for the third consecutive game on Monday, and Boone said that the outfielder has been dealing with soreness in his left wrist.

"It's something that kind of comes and goes periodically for him throughout the year," Boone said. "I would expect him to be available [off the bench on Monday] and be back in there possibly [Tuesday]."

Comeback trail

(right lat strain) bounced back fine from his recent simulated game at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., and is scheduled to throw to hitters again on Wednesday. If that goes well, Betances could begin a Minor League rehab assignment.

(recovery from Tommy John surgery) bounced back well from his first Minor League rehab start for Class A Advanced Tampa, in which he threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Montgomery is expected to join Double-A Trenton next, and Boone said Montgomery could be ready to pitch in big league games at some point in September.

(right lat strain) is scheduled to throw a 35-pitch simulated game on Tuesday in Tampa. Assuming there are no issues, Severino could be cleared to begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Sunday.

(right PCL strain) performed agility drills on the field prior to Monday's game in Seattle, and could take on-field batting practice Tuesday for the first time since his June 25 injury. Boone said that Stanton could report to Tampa during the upcoming homestand to log at-bats.

This date in Yankees history

Aug. 26, 1960: Yogi Berra belted an 11th-inning home run, one of five Bombers blasts, as the Yankees defeated the Indians by a score of 7-6 at Yankee Stadium. It was Berra's second homer of the game; Elston Howard, Mickey Mantle and Moose Skowron also went deep.