Turns out, the early-season criticisms of Anthony Rizzo were valid. He was accomplishing nothing in high-leverage situations and absolutely raking when it didn't matter. Cool for the folks looking at the Baseball-Reference page, but unenjoyable for the fans tuning in every night for the games.
Then Rizzo woke up and was a force in the month of May, with much of his offensive success translating into Yankees wins. Their 19-10 stretch was powered by him, Judge and Harrison Bader. Awesome.
But then Fernando Tatis Jr. collided with Rizzo at first base on May 28. Rizzo missed the next few games with a neck injury despite manager Aaron Boone telling us he was doing fine. He didn't come to bat despite "being available" in the series finale against the Mariners when the Yankees badly needed a hit to plate a run in extras.
Rizzo returned to action for the series against the Dodgers and ... has gone 1-for-30 since. He hasn't recorded a hit since Judge's injury. He logged just one run scored and three walks over his last six games. And he didn't play against the Red Sox on Saturday in the team's lone win of the series. His OPS has dropped 92 points since the Tatis incident -- he's back to under .800.
Whether it's the neck or the fact Judge protecting him in the lineup is more paramount than we might realize, it's disastrous for the Yankees if one of their most consistent and feared hitters in this drastic of a slump. And it's of course lining up with everyone else forgetting how to play baseball.
Please make it stop.