Yankees’ next-man-up mantra will be tested after Judge’s injury

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The Yankees had a three-run Gleyber Torres homer taken off the board in the third inning that led to an Aaron Boone ejection Saturday. Yet at the two-thirds mark of this matinee, this actually was setting up as one of the best days of their 2019 season.

Before the game, Boone had mentioned Gary Sanchez could be back from the injured list Wednesday, beginning a trickle that moved the Yankee manager to say, “You start to look forward to get the cavalry back a little bit.” The Yankees were clobbering the Royals, ebbing closer to .500 and a sense that they were weathering this early storm of injuries.

And then, with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Aaron Judge lined a single to right and reached instinctively toward pain in his left ribcage. He gingerly ran to first base. In this rinse/repeat cycle that is the 2019 Yankees season, it was one step forward, one step toward the injured list.

Judge had a left oblique injury and was sent for an MRI exam, and Boone conceded after a 9-2 Yankees rout that the slugger will almost certainly go to the injured list. That would be the 14th placement already this season, and Judge would become the 13th man on the IL. And let’s face it, he is not just another man. He is The Man.

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