As Gary Sanchez continues to fall deeper into his current slump, the Yankees are continuing to brush off any worry regarding their slugging catcher.
After his 0-for-4 performance to finish the three-game Subway Series on Sunday, Sanchez is now 4-for-his-last-53 (.079) and he has not put one out of the ballpark since his two-homer game in Kansas City on May 19. Overall, he is hitting /.190/.291/.430 this season.
Before the season began, many salivated at the prospect of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the same lineup. However, the Yankees made it a point to say Sanchez was their most complete hitter.
He hasn't backed up that statement based on the numbers, but manager Aaron Boone defended his catcher once again prior to the game.
"No, I know I have beaten this drum a lot with him but he is such a natural hitter," Boone told The Post's George A. King III. "I think he is one of those stretches that is a little fluky, that every great hitter has [gone through] at some point in the course of their career."
But this slump isn't like anything Sanchez has gone through in his career, and Boone admitted to understanding that as well.
"Watching the last couple of weeks he is probably a little bit anxious and hasn't necessarily struggled like this as a hitter in his career," Boone said. "Hitting is hard and sometimes you want to chase that hit. You want to get that hit so bad and that can work against you. Results will follow good at-bats. It's only a matter of time. He will settle in and the hits will fall in."
Sanchez saw three groundouts in his first three at-bats on Sunday, but came up with in the top of the ninth with one out and Greg Bird on first. This was a chance to change the game the Yankees were losing 2-0, and Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak gave him a 2-0 hitter's count to work with.
Waiting on a breaking ball, Sanchez connected and hit a screamer to third -- something he hadn't done during this horrid stretch. But bad luck usually shows its face during a slump, and Sanchez saw that face in Todd Frazier's glove after he speared the line drive and threw the ball to first to double up Bird, ending the game.
The solid contact was there, but the result just didn't follow. Boone says in moments like these Sanchez needs to be able to battle through mentally if he wants to see those results soon.
"Obviously, you are scufflying a bit and you do square one up and it's right at it, that's part of it," Boone said. "That's going to happen when you are scuffling and when you are going well. You have to be strong mentally and continue to work and push through and know eventually you will work your way out of it. But that can be a little frustrating when you are grinding away and you square one up right at someone."