CLEVELAND — All yr lengthy, Aaron Decide has stated his excessive variety of strikeouts doesn’t hassle him — and even via the primary 4 video games of the ALDS, he insisted he wasn’t involved by the large quantity of strikeouts he had amassed.
However with 4 extra whiffs Wednesday night time in a 5-2 win over the Indians in Recreation 5 of the ALDS at Progressive Subject, it’s clear there’s a problem with the best fielder, who went 1-for-20 with sixteen strikeouts within the collection.
His lone hit was a key, two-run double of their Recreation four victory, however after putting out 4 occasions in a recreation simply as soon as within the common season, he did it 3 times towards the Indians.
For probably the most half, the document-setting rookie, who hit fifty two homers within the common season, has been invisible.
The Yankees got here again towards the Indians because of beginning pitching and a few huge hits by Greg Hen and Gary Sanchez — and on Wednesday, Didi Gregorius.
Decide continued to wrestle within the win Wednesday, putting out swinging on a three-2 pitch within the first and once more within the third, each towards Corey Kluber. He went down swinging once more within the fifth versus Andrew Miller.
Dealing with Bryan Shaw within the sixth, with one out and Brett Gardner on first, Decide stared at a referred to as strike three, whereas Gardner was caught stealing second to finish the inning.
It’s been a shocking regression for Decide, who adopted a dominant first half by falling into an epic droop in July and August — solely to return out of it with an excellent September, when he hit thirteen homers.
The slugger was impacted for lengthy stretches by an injured left shoulder that he regularly had wrapped in ice at numerous occasions in the course of the second half.
He wasn’t seen utilizing it for a lot of September earlier than it reappeared lately. And whereas Decide has steadfastly declined to make use of that as a purpose for his problem on the plate, his swing definitely isn’t the identical because it was even two weeks in the past.
Decide has solely hit one ball exhausting this collection — the double — however at this level, he’s not the fearsome drive a lot of the Yankees’ success this season was constructed on.