Home Sports Prepare for wild Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton roller coaster

Prepare for wild Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton roller coaster

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Ready for another ride on this pinstriped tilt-a-whirl?

It could provide you with life-changing thrills. It could detach from its bolts and wreak havoc on the entire Yankees universe.

It’s Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton together again, and what choice do you — and the Yankees — have but to give the two high-performance, injury-prone behemoths another shot with the playoffs just around the corner?

The Yankees celebrated Judge’s return to the lineup Wednesday night with a seven-homer, 13-2 thumping of the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, their seventh straight win that placed them a game and a half ahead of Toronto for second place in the American League East. That none of those homers came from Judge, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, or Stanton, who rested after returning Tuesday, underlines the depth and breadth of this explosive lineup. Backup catcher (and former Post guest columnist) Kyle Higashioka went deep three times, for crying out loud.

“We’re at full strength right now, and we’re going into the end of the season clobbering the baseball,” said Clint Frazier, who also homered.

Alas, for better or worse, it feels like a safer gambit betting on the Yankees to win the 2020 World Series than wagering on both Judge and Stanton to make it through the duration of this fakakta season without either picking up a new, sidelining ailment or aggravating an old one.

The Yankees and Judge (strained right calf) and Stanton (strained left hamstring) will do everything within their power to avoid deja vu. Just as Stanton played one game and then sat, Judge probably won’t start Thursday, as per Aaron Boone, who explained, “Then we’ll go back-to-back days the next time and then into three and four in a row, build it that way.” The team opted for this regimen, Boone said, rather than have the pair spend more time working at the alternate site in Scranton.

Stanton, meanwhile, said he had worked to change up his routines in an effort to avoid history repeating itself: “Pregame, in-game, all these adjustments, and I will have those. … We’ve got new warm-up, new mid-game routines if certain things happen in the game. If I’m DHing and not running the bases for two at-bats, that’s an hour and a half of no movement. You’ve got to do more in between at-bats and stuff like that.”

Since his impressively durable 2018 season, his maiden voyage with the Yankees in which he led the team with 158 games while grinding through a left hamstring (yup, the same one) problem, Stanton’s longest run of regular-season sturdiness has been 25 days, from Sept. 18 last year through Oct. 12, Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, when he strained his right quadriceps. From his activation Tuesday to the planned Game 7 of the World Series, Oct. 28, is 44 days. Judge did make it through the last four months of 2019 intact, though he picked up a new injury on the way (a stress fracture in his rib) that would’ve sidelined him for much of this season if not for the pandemic and has visited the injured list twice in this brief season.

Boone said he wasn’t curbing his enthusiasm about the return of his two big boys, proclaiming. “I believe they’re healthy.” And when a Debbie Downer-sounding reporter (OK, it was me) asked Stanton if he felt anxious or uncertain about his ability to stay on the field for the next month-plus, he politely responded, “No, you can’t look at it that way. Honestly I was just really happy to finally be back and help out. … We’ll leave all the other stuff out.”

Nice to be back, to be optimistic, right? Needless to say, Frazier, Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman, even as they see their playing time slashed, should stay on high alert, as should Miguel Andujar down in Scranton.

“A lot can change between now and next week, and 10 days from now, and three weeks from now,” Boone said, showing that he’s learned a few things these past couple of years. Here you go with Judge and Stanton, bracing for the potential tease while dreaming on the obvious payoff.

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