DETROIT — No big-league manager, no player, likes doubleheaders.
The twin bills can have a deleterious impact physically, not to mention the potential damage it can do to a team’s bullpen.
But, the schedule, as the experts say, is what it is.
And as Aaron Boone said late Monday morning: “We plan on going out and getting after it right from the get-go.”
With Luis Severino again pitching like an ace and Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird and Austin Romine hitting homers, the Yankees looked more than ready from the get-go in a 7-4 victory over the Tigers in the first game.
But bats slumbered badly in the second game, with Aaron Judge striking out in all five at-bats, helping send the Yankees to a 4-2 loss.
“Not just a rough day, a terrible day,” Judge said of his day that included three strikeouts in the first game, which gave him an MLB record eight strikeouts in a doubleheader. “They made their pitches and I had a terrible day at the plate. That’s the beauty of this game, you get to start fresh tomorrow.”
That may not be the case for Judge, whom Boone said he’s considering giving a day off to Tuesday when the Yankees (38-18), whose five-game winning streak came to an end, start a two-game series in Toronto.
Boone said regardless of Monday, he planned to rest Judge, whom he called “absolutely unflappable” in dealing with rough nights like this one, in one of the two Toronto games.
“We’ll see,” Boone said.
The nightcap was memorable mostly because of Judge’s continued struggles as well as two showdowns between Tigers righthander Mike Fiers and Giancarlo Stanton.
It was Fiers in September 2014, then with the Brewers, who hit Stanton, then with the Marlins, flush in the face with an 88-mph fastball. It’s the reason Stanton still wears a faceguard at the plate.
Monday night in the third inning Fiers hit Stanton on the left forearm and the designated hitter jawed at him as he walked to first. About halfway there, Stanton took a step toward the mound and the benches started to empty but it ended there.
Stanton got his revenge in the sixth when he led off the inning by blasting his 13th homer on a hanging 0-and-2 curveball, which traveled an estimated 456 feet to left, cutting the Yankees deficit to 3-2. Stanton punctuated the homer with a Bautista-esque bat flip, sun-dial trot around the bases and pointing back at Fiers with his left arm after crossing the plate.
“Yeah, if he’s going to come up and in like that, yeah, it does [spark memories from the beaning),” said Stanton, who stressed several times he didn’t think it was intentional. “He wasn’t trying to hit me in that situation, but still, with the history of what happened, don’t hit me.”
Which essentially, Stanton said, is what he yelled at Fiers walking to first.
Stanton was stranded that inning, one of 10 left on base for the Yankees, who went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The poor second game overshadowed somewhat, but didn’t diminish, the brilliance of Severino in the afternoon.
The 24-year-old righthander (9-1, 2.20 ERA) allowed two runs (one earned), four hits and no walks in eight innings. He struck out 10, giving him nine career starts with 10 or more strikeouts and his fourth such outing this season.
“That’s impressive, to just go out there and do that, what he did today, working three pitches, kind of whenever he wants,” Bird said of Severino. “That’s ace stuff. That’s top line starter stuff. It’s fun to play behind.”
Most starts of one earned run or fewer since the start of the 2017 season:
Luis Severino 24
Max Scherzer 23
Justin Verlander 22
Jacob deGrom 22