Over the Yankees last two games, moments earlier or later in the contests have clouded two bad DJ LeMahieu plate appearances in key spots.
On Tuesday night, LeMahieu curiously tried a safety squeeze on consecutive pitches with runners at the corners and one out, but was later bailed out by Aaron Judge’s game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth. Twenty four hours later, he struck out in a non-competitive at-bat with the bases loaded and one out after the Orioles had hung up eight runs in the top of the seventh.
Jerry says it’s a problem for the Yankees, as the 34-year-old LeMahieu just may be showing his age.
“DJ LeMahieu comes up with the bases loaded and one out…and gave you a horrendous at-bat and strikes out, and doesn’t even push another run across,” Jerry said. “He had two at-bats that kind of got lost in big situations the last two days…you had the non-competitive at-bat, and the day before with the whole safety squeeze situation.
“You didn’t sign DJ LeMahieu to come here and bat .250. You brought him here to do the things you didn’t do, and that was advance runners, push runs across, put the ball in play, bat .310. He’s not doing that. You wonder at this stage of his career if he’ll ever be that again.”
LeMahieu is batting just .184 over his last 13 games, coming off a second straight season in which he was a non-factor in the playoffs due to injury. Gio says if this continues from LeMahieu, his injured toe at the end of last season can no longer be an excuse for his steep decline in production, while Jerry says it might signal the beginning of the end.
“He was supposed to be your answer to home run or bust,” Jerry said. “For a little while, he was, but he doesn’t seem like that player anymore.”
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