Aaron Judge joked late Saturday night in Los Angeles that the bullpen door he crashed through while making a catch earlier in the day bore the “brunt” of collision.
That turned out not to be entirely the case as the rickety fence ended up extracting a pound of flesh after all.
Aaron Boone announced after Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox at the Stadium that Judge, who underwent testing on Monday, was headed for the injured list with a contusion and sprain of his right big toe.
“Can’t replace that guy,” said Josh Donaldson, who homered in the ninth off Liam Hendriks for the Yankees’ third and final hit of the night.
The Yankees (36-26) went 4-6 when Judge missed 10 games earlier this season on the IL, that time a result of a right hip strain.
Though Boone said there was no timetable as of yet for the reigning American League MVP’s return, this IL stint figures to be significantly longer.
“We just have to do it,” Boone said of surviving without Judge, who received a PRP injection in the toe during Tuesday’s game. “We were without Judgie for a 10-day stretch earlier. Obviously, we’ve been down some key guys and we’ve seen a lot of guys step up and it’s another opportunity for someone to step up.”
Judge wasn’t the only news on the injury front. Nestor Cortes is IL-bound with a left shoulder strain and won’t throw again for at least two weeks, Boone said. Additionally, righty reliever Ryan Weber, already placed on the IL over the weekend, suffered a UCL tear and will soon have to decide between season-ending Tommy John surgery or prolonged rest in the hope he can pitch again later in the year.
But the headline news, naturally, was Judge, who suffered the injury when his right foot connected hard with the cement-based bottom of the bullpen fence he crashed through Saturday at Dodger Stadium in the Yankees’ 6-3 victory.
Judge said he was “good” after the game but woke up feeling differently on Sunday.
“I think it definitely could have been worse,” Boone said of the test results. “Feel like he’s going to be all right, just needs some time now . . . Any time you lose Aaron Judge for any amount of time, hopefully it’s a short one.”
The Yankees’ lineup without Judge went through predictable struggles Tuesday night. They were no-hit for six innings before a late rally fell short.
Donaldson started the ninth with his third homer since returning from the IL on Friday, to cut the Yankees’ deficit to one. But Hendriks, who began the season on the IL while being treated for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, retired Anthony Volpe, Willie Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa for his first save.
White Sox righty Lucas Giolito (5-4, 3.75 ERA) threw six no-hit innings — he walked three and struck out seven. After throwing 100 pitches, he was relieved by veteran righthander Joe Kelly in the seventh.
“His command was really good today,” Donaldson said of Giolito. “Made some big pitches in big counts.”
Kelly struck out Donaldson and Volpe to start the seventh but walked Calhoun. Kiner-Falefa then lifted one to the gap in left-center where leftfielder Andrew Benintendi and centerfielder Luis Robert let the ball fall between them. Calhoun scored on what was the Yankees’ first hit to make it 3-1. Jose Trevino followed with a sharp single to right, putting runners at the corners. Jake Bauers bounced to short to end the threat.
Yankees righthander Clarke Schmidt (2-6) pitched well but couldn’t control No. 9 hitter Seby Zavala. The catcher, who came in hitting .153 with two homers, doubled that total with a solo shot in the third and a two-run blast in the fifth.
Schmidt allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He did not walk a batter.