Jasson Dominguez was just the second Yankee (along with Shelley Duncan) to hammer three home runs in his first five career games.
He was the fourth Yankee ever to record at least four extra-base hits through his first five career games.
The onslaught was going to stop at some point — as it did, at least temporarily, in Thursday’s 10-3 loss to the Tigers in The Bronx — and the focus eventually will turn to the quieter parts of the 20-year-old’s game.
How does Dominguez, who has lived up to impossible hype thus far, follow up a wondrous beginning to his career? His manager hopes by excelling in more subtle ways and continuing to adjust to major league pitching.
Asked what he wants to see from Dominguez for the final three and a half weeks of the season, Aaron Boone first listed smaller aspects of the game.
“Just being really situationally aware — how does he react on the bases?” Boone said before Dominguez went 0-for-3 with a walk and was held hitless for the first time. “Not necessarily in a base-stealing way, but awareness of where the defense is, the reads, outs, when to tag. Those little nuanced things.
“Obviously playing center field here: What’s his communication like with Aaron [Judge] or Everson [Pereira] on his right and left?”
Boone will watch for subtleties in Dominguez’s game because the less-subtle talents have been obvious. “The Martian” batted third again Thursday and has smacked three homers and a double in his first six games, his sixth his only defeat.
Nearly as impressive as the stat line has been the fashion in which Dominguez has starred.
Many call-ups can hit major league fastballs then struggle when fed a heavy diet of breaking and off-speed pitches.
Dominguez homered Sunday in Houston off a slider from Cristian Javier and entered play 3-for-10 in at-bats that ended with a breaking ball or off-speed pitch.
The early returns have been promising, but the Yankees expect pitchers to continue to look for weaknesses in Dominguez’s game.
“Inevitably people are going to continue to create a book and try to attack you in certain ways,” Boone said. “It’s on hitters to constantly be able to process that and make their own adjustments.
“But the biggest thing is just getting the experience of playing every day and hopefully learning a lot from playing alongside some really great veteran players that are invested in him.”
Two days after Anthony Rizzo was declared out for the season, the Yankees first baseman was ejected from the dugout for arguing with home-plate umpire Alan Porter.
Dominguez was called out on strikes on a borderline pitch for the third out of the third inning.
Dominguez remained in the batter’s box for several seconds, appearing in disbelief that he did not draw a walk on a full-count changeup.
He got his glove and the Yankees’ defense warmed up, but the chatter continued from the home dugout. As the top of the fourth inning began, Porter pointed at Rizzo and kicked him out.
Rizzo has not played since Aug. 1 and will not play again this season, the team announced Tuesday, while recovering from post-concussion syndrome.
Pete Stendel, a YES Network cameraman who suffered an orbital fracture when hit by an errant throw earlier this summer, returned to work for the first time.
Stendel was back at the Stadium and recovered after the frightening July 5 incident.
“That’s great news,” Boone said. “Seeing it in real time, really scary. … That is awesome news. Try to get a chance to see him [Friday].”
Kyle Higashioka went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first game in a week.
The veteran catcher caught Carlos Rodon and batted seventh against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
Higashioka had not played since Austin Wells was called up, with the rookie getting the bulk of the playing time and Ben Rortvedt continuing to catch Gerrit Cole.
Boone said Wells’ forearm was “a little sore” after his body blocked a few pitches Wednesday, but Higashioka was back in the lineup because he is the only righty swinger in the catching group.
The longtime Yankee had hit lefties well, entering play with a .793 OPS against southpaws.
Thursday represented the last game Miguel Cabrera played in The Bronx.
Boone saluted the retiring legend, whom he played alongside with the Marlins in 2007, before Cabrera went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
The crowd booed when Cabrera was punched out attempting to check his swing in his final at-bat.
Those boos turned to cheers as he approached his dugout.
“He’s had some great moments here,” said Boone, who referenced the 2013 home run Cabrera slugged off Mariano Rivera to tie a game in the ninth inning. “I was fortunate to play with a lot of great players and great hitters and, to me, the smartest hitter I’ve ever played with.
“He’s obviously great, but just on another level I feel like as far as knowing what pitchers are going to do to him beforehand. And just such a great, great player, but I hope people realize how smart of a player he is.”
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