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MLB playoffs: Joe Girardi says Aaron Judge isn't getting the calls 'because he's so tall'

Judge and newly acquired Giancarlo Stanton will likely split time at DH and a corner outfield spot once the season begins.

If the Yankees are going to mount another comeback trailing 0-2 in the postseason, they will need Aaron Judge to snap out of his slump. The 6-7 slugger is just 2 for 27 with 19 strikeouts since the wild-card game, leading some to call for his benching.

Despite the struggles at the plate, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Game 3 of ALCS that several of Judge's strikeouts are coming on mistaken calls on low pitches.

"It's part of what's going to happen to him because he's so tall. And he works on hitting a low pitch," Girardi told reporters Monday. "And he'll continue to get better as time goes on.

"I think there are some pitches that were called on him during the series that haven't necessarily been strikes. There's a big difference between 1 and 1 and 2 and 0, 2 and 1; there's a big difference in the way it changes an at-bat. Hopefully he'll start getting some that go his way, and they start making some mistakes up."


Over the past seven games Judge is striking out just under 60 percent of the time. Meanwhile, at the other end of the height spectrum, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (5-6) has reached base in 17 of 27 plate appearances against the Red Sox and Yankees, and reached home plate seven times. Yes, Altuve is hot and Judge is cold at the plate but Girardi says umpires also adjust the strike zone based on the frame of the batter at the plate.

"I think they adjust. But I look at it this way, I think left-handers always have more strikes called on them than right-handers for different reasons," Girardi said. "But if you're an umpire that sees 500 pitches a week or whatever it is, because they — week after week, year after year, in your mind you're going to have an idea of what's a strike and not a strike.

"And the bodies change. And the rare bodies are the Altuves and the Judges. So a lot of times they might get more or less strikes called on them because it's different. If I was to guess a guy like an Altuve or a [Ronald] Torreyes (5-8), they might get more high strikes called on them than other hitters, because in their mind an umpire sees a pitch, and it's a quick reaction. Think about how little time they have to make up their mind.

"I think there are some pitches that were called on him during the series that haven't necessarily been strikes. There's a big difference between 1 and 1 and 2 and 0, 2 and 1; there's a big difference in the way it changes an at-bat. Hopefully he'll start getting some that go his way, and they start making some mistakes up."


"I'm not faulting them, but I imagine I would be the same way if I was an umpire. In your mind it's a strike, and the body type might be a little different, and it really isn't."