Yankee Stadium still erupts every time Aaron Judge steps to the plate, fans cheering the slugger like no player since Derek Jeter retired.
No one is made to feel more at home in The Bronx than Judge even if he looks like he doesnt belong in the major leagues right now.
The frontrunner for the AL MVP award just one month ago, Judges second-half nosedive sunk to new depths Saturday afternoon, as the rookie went 0-for-4, and struck out (twice) for a Yankees-record 29th straight game, in a 10-5 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Judge, who is batting .161 (15-for-93) with 43 strikeouts since the All-Star break, is only three games shy of tying Adam Dunns all-time record for the most consecutive games with a strikeout by a position player.
Were trying to get him back on track, manager Joe Girardi said. Its been a struggle. Theres no doubt about it, the second half.
Heading into the All-Star break where Judge seemingly cemented his superstar status with his incredible Home Run Derby performance the towering outfielder was batting .329 with 30 home runs and a 1.139 OPS. Since then, the 25-year-old has six extra-base hits, while recording one multi-hit game and 14 multi-strikeout games, and posting a .670 OPS.
No longer even a lock to win the AL Rookie of the Year award anymore, Judge looks just as lost as he did during his initial 27-game stint last season, when he batted .179 (15-for-84) with four home runs and 42 strikeouts.
During a less pronounced portion of Judges slump, Girardi gave the 25-year-old a day off on Aug. 3 and Judge responded by recording a hit in three straight games. Since then, Judge has gone 1-for-16 (.063), which included hitting into a double play Saturday, and Girardi said he may give the outfielder another mental rest soon, if the slugger cant find his swing.
Its definitely something Ill think about, sure, Girardi said.
What Judge already has accomplished cannot be taken away. The season will still end with him holding many of the franchises all-time rookie records, setting marks Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig and Yogi Berra couldnt touch.
But if Judges struggles continue, and the Yankees postseason chances shrink alongside his batting average, the cheers in and around The Judges Chambers, eventually will subside.
Just one month ago, Judge looked like baseballs best player. More importantly, for Judge and the Yankees: What will he look like one month from now?