Yankees’ duo catch attention with slow jogs to first

Josh Donaldson extended his hitting streak to 10 games Monday, but it was one of his outs that caught the most attention in the Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Rangers

In the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Donaldson hit a grounder to shortstop, where Corey Seager bobbled the ball. But Donaldson had immediately put his head down as he left the batter’s box in a light jog, giving Seager plenty of time to corral the ball and throw to first for the out. 

DJ LeMahieu later jogged to first on his own groundout to lead off the eight inning before the Yankees staged the game-winning rally. 

Aaron Boone said shortly after the win that he had not spoken to Donaldson or LeMahieu about the plays. 

“I think anytime you get caught slowing down, you know right away,” Boone said. “There’s times you have to say something. DJ’s wasn’t an issue because it was inconsequential. … But Donaldson probably took his eye off it for a second. With some of our guys, the gait is important and making sure we’re running with the right gait. But I think any time you make a mistake, usually you know it. Now and then you gotta say something. I have not said something yet.” 

DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson
Robert Sabo, USA TODAY Sports

With a single in the fourth inning, Donaldson recorded the Yankees’ first hit of the game. The 36-year-old now has exactly one hit in each of his last 10 games to go with six walks and eight strikeouts. He is batting .278 with three doubles during that stretch. 

“What I love about it is he’s grinding right now and getting on base a ton,” Boone said before the game. “Getting some big hits here and there. I think a sign of a great hitter, when you’re kind of grinding through it and you’re having this level of getting on base and mixing in your hits, when it clicks, he’s one of those guys who can carry you for stretches at a time.” 

Domingo German (right shoulder impingement) has started throwing off the mound again, with “a couple bullpens” under his belt, according to Boone. German went on the 60-day injured list during spring training with a recurrence of the injury he had during the second half of last season. 

“Threw all of his pitches in his bullpen last time,” Boone said. “Everything’s going well, according to plan. Not sure when his first live action is. I’m sure it’s coming up soon.” 

A day after describing Yankee Stadium as a “little league ballpark,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward continued to walk back his comments. 

Woodward’s initial dig came after Gleyber Torres hit a walk-off home run to the short porch in right field in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader, saying it was “an easy out in 99 percent of ballparks.” 

While Statcast disagreed, Woodward claimed later Sunday that he was joking before saying on Monday he regretted his remarks. 

“Probably bad words on my part,” Woodward told reporters. “I gave it a layup for a lot of people. But listen, I meant no disrespect, obviously, to this place. And it’s obviously a world-class organization, ballpark. I talk about it as always being like one of my favorite places to come play, but I understand why Yankee fans will get upset about it. That’s why I love them.”

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