Aaron Judge hit his 19th home run of the season in the New York Yankees’ 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it was his running catch at the fence that had people talking. Judge made the catch in the eighth inning, just before running into the bullpen door, which came partly open when he hit it. Although he stayed upright and hung on to the ball, Judge technically left the field of play, allowing Max Muncy to advance to second. Judge said he wasn’t injured by the catch and Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised his fearless play.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees put on a show in their 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The reigning American League MVP hit his 19th home run of the season, but it was his incredible running catch at the fence that had everyone talking.
In the sixth inning, Judge hit a line drive into the short left-field porch off Dodgers reliever Shelby Miller. The ball traveled only 360 feet, but Judge’s 113.7 mph line drive got into the low stands before left fielder David Peralta could attempt to make a play on it.
Then in the eighth inning, Judge made a spectacular play in the right-field corner to potentially save a run for the Yankees. With Max Muncy on first base and nobody out, Judge sprinted to make a catch on J.D. Martinez’s liner just before running into the bullpen door, which came partly open when he hit it.
Judge hung on to the ball and stayed upright while putting one foot in the bullpen, but Muncy was allowed to advance to second apparently because Judge technically left the field of play. However, Judge said he wasn’t injured by his fearless fielding feat.
“I’m feeling good,” Judge said. “The fence got most of it. Thankfully, it was that part of the wall where it had some give, so I think that saved me quite a bit. If it was a solid wall, it might be a different story, but [I] made the play.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone also praised Judge’s play, saying it’s the only way he knows how to play. The Yankees were fairly sure the bullpen door had been latched closed, but it wasn’t strong enough to contain Judge.
“Honestly, I feel like it probably softened the blow a little bit,” said Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who improved to 7-0. “For him to just blow through it, I think it took a little bit of the kinetic energy out of just slamming up against the wall, but it’s still very concerning when such a great player has to go so hard into the wall. He’s got a lot of guts.”
Judge’s heroics helped the Yankees rebound from an 8-4 loss in the opener of the high-profile interleague series. With his 19th home run of the season, Judge is tied for second in the American League behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees will look to take the series against the Dodgers on Sunday, and Judge will undoubtedly be a key player once again. His fearless play in the field and powerful hitting make him one of the most exciting players to watch in baseball today.