Aaron Judge on Yankees' struggles against division rivals: 'It's time for us to step up and do our jobs'

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Judge K at Fenway
Judge K at Fenway

Everything was looking up for the Yankees about a week ago – they had won seven of nine games over the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, and Kansas Citi Royals.

But their struggles have returned in their last two games against the Boston Red Sox, who they are now 0-5 against this year.

Once again, the Yankees have their backs against the wall, and time is ticking away.

“It’s time for us to step up and do our job – that’s what it comes down to,” said Aaron Judge. “Just guys doing their job on a daily basis. Just continue to push each other, feed off each other, that’s what it’s gonna take. It’s gonna take a team effort. It’s not gonna take one guy.”

“These games are big, and we’re fighting our butts off right now,” manager Aaron Boone added. “Things didn’t go our way tonight, but we gotta continue to fight to make things happen, and we gotta find a way to push through against these clubs, especially clubs in our division.”

Judge said he can’t pinpoint what’s contributed to the Yankees’ season-long struggles at the plate.

“Guys trying to do too much, hitting the ball right at people, double plays, we get guys on and then just hit it hard right at somebody. I don’t have a for sure answer for you what the issue is, but we haven’t fixed it,” he said.

Something that’s been holding the Yankees back, Judge noted, is falling into early deficits. On Saturday, they fell to an early 3-0 hole.

“We gotta score first. That’s the big thing,” said Judge. “These guys put the pressure on us early in the game, they’ll put three up, and then we’re fighting back the whole game – which is no problem for us - we’re a team that can come back no matter what the score is, but I think that’s one of the keys is them jumping out early and kind of keeping pressure on us. We gotta flip the switch and score first, put a little pressure on them and have the chips in our hand.”

It’s been a prolonged battle at the plate for the Yankees, who still rank near the bottom of most offensive categories.

But that’s baseball, says Judge.

“This game’s hard. You got guys in this clubhouse that are fighting every day and trying to do a job, sometimes you come up short. It’s part of the game.”

The Yankees will look to avoid a sweep on Sunday at 1:!0 p.m. with Gerrit Cole on the mound, as they face lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.