From being questionable to start the season healthy to not only being active from day one, but also raking, Aaron Judge has given the New York Yankees plenty reasons to celebrate lately. He has been mashing, and last night marked the third straight game with a home run for the hulking outfielder.
As Judge and DJ LeMahieu were in the dugout, the former gestured towards the Yankee Stadium stands and imagined how crazy the fans would be after his home run against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night’s 5-1 victory.
The coronavirus pandemic has made those cheers that Judge and LeMahieu talked about artificial, but what’s real is the Yankees’ right fielder bat.
“I was sitting on the bench talking with DJ, just saying how rocking this place would have been,” Judge said to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “We knew this place would have been packed, so it was a little different. We were upset about that, but the game still goes on — life goes on. We just prepared the same way, went out there and got a ‘W.'”
The Yankees are alone at the top
The Yankees got their fourth consecutive win against the Sox and now lead the American League East division with a shiny 5-1 record.
“Being back at home and in this rivalry, you can’t help but notice usually how intense it is at times,” manager Aaron Boone said. “That was missing a little bit, so it was definitely a little bit different. At the same time, it was still pretty easy to lock in on what we needed to do.”
Judge is trying to remain consistent at the plate, and the hard work he out over the extended break to get over his broken rib and punctured lung is paying off.
“I’m just trying to lock in for big at-bats when we’ve got guys on base, trying to drive in some runs,” Judge said. “It’s been helping me a lot having DJ in front of me, getting three hits a night and always on base, always causing a little havoc. I’m just trying to feed off that. Like they say, hitting is contagious.”
He’s right, it is contagious: after he homered to give the New York Yankees the lead, Gio Urshela and even the cold Brett Gardner left the yard, too.
“We enjoyed it,” Judge said. “We were locked in, ready to go from the very first pitch. It was good to see Monty back out there after all the rehabbing and the work he’s put in to get back out on the mound. It was fun to see him go out there, toe the slab and do his thing.”