Aaron Judge has smashed a number of bullpens for the New York Yankees in his career, but he did it literally Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the Yankees holding a 5-3 lead over the Dodgers in the eighth inning, Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez hit what looked like at least a double with a man on first. Martinez reaching second would've put the tying run in scoring position for the Dodgers with zero outs. In fact, his hit would've been a home run in 17 of 30 MLB parks, per Baseball Savant.
Instead, Judge raced back, leaped for the ball and slammed his 282-pound body through the gate of the Dodger Stadium road bullpen for a catch of the year candidate.
Trainers briefly checked on Judge to make sure he was OK (running into bullpen gates is famously hard on the shoulder), but he remained in the game to finish a 5-3 Yankees win.
Noted Yankee fan and frequent Los Angeles visitor Spike Lee seemed pretty amped after the play:
The catch left the Dodgers with Max Muncy on second and one out. Reliever Michael King proceeded to get Chris Taylor and Miguel Vargas out to end the inning with the Yankees' lead intact.
Two innings earlier, Judge connected on his 19th home run of the season to extend his American League lead. Only Pete Alonso of the New York Mets has more long balls this season.
All of that figures to boost Judge's campaign for a second straight AL MVP award.
In 213 plate appearances this season, the gargantuan outfielder is hitting .291/.404/.674, not far off last year's record-breaking marks. He was particularly scorching last month, winning AL Player of the Month honors by hitting .342/.474/.882 with 12 home runs and 25 RBI in 21 games.
In case you're wondering, Judge's current tally of 19 home runs in 49 games played puts him on pace for 58.5 if he played all of the Yankees' 102 remaining games. If that hot streak continues into June, we could be looking at another home run chase, despite Judge spending part of May on the injured list.
June 05, 2023
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