The Yankees got slugger Edwin Encarnación back from injury just in time for the postseason, but that move did not pay dividends in the ALCS.
Against the now World Series-bound Astros, Encarnación hit at a .056 average (1-for-18), which included 11 strikeouts.
Encarnación said his poor performance is going to bother him for a while.
"I never expected to have a series like that. To lose the way we lost, and me underperforming the way I did, it's going to hurt me a lot for a long time," Encarnación told ESPN.
Encarnación previously said one of the reasons he was excited for his trade to the Yankees from the Mariners earlier this summer was for an opportunity to play in the postseason. An opportunity he could have squandered as the Yankees have to decide whether or not it will pick up the team option on his contract for 2020, which will cost $20 million.
Despite his uncertain future, in what went down as the final game of the series, Encarnación surprisingly got the start for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton had been put into the lineup in his place for Game 5 as Encarnación was benched. Manager Aaron Boone then put Encarnación back in the starting lineup for Game 6.
Prior to that final game, Boone expressed his confidence in Encarnación.
"It was one of those that I toiled over kind of last night and into this morning," Boone said. "I feel good about both guys. Not quite ready to put G out in the field, so it's now the DH conversation. Even though Edwin's had some really tough games, still feel like he's got a chance to really impact things and felt like I wanted to get him in there."
On not seeing the start in Game 5, Encarnación said he was disappointed, but respectful and did not hold a grudge over Boone's decision.
"Yeah, I completely understand the strategy," Encarnación said. "We are a team. When I'm not playing, I'm sitting on the bench and cheering my team and looking for that win."
Upon joining the Yankees via trade, Encarnación hit .249/.325/.531 with his new team. But like many playing baseball in the Bronx this season, he was hampered by injury as he fractured his wrist in August and then strained his left oblique in September, missing the final 15 games of the regular season. He was held to only 44 games for the Yanks.