The Bronx were on the edge of their seat when Aaron Judge appeared to have hit the home run that would tie a longstanding franchise record in Thursday night’s game between the Yankees and the Red Sox, but ultimately fell just short of the wall.
But the Yankees might find some solace in the fact that New York won its playoff birth with a 5-4 win in an extra inning and walk-off against the Red Sox after Josh Donaldson’s 10th inning singles.
At the end of the ninth inning, Judge – who has 4 walk-off homers to his credit – stepped up to the plate to try to add another to his season tally.
A 2-2 pitch from Matt Barnes saw the judge swing the ball and hit it deep in midfield.
The 404-foot drive caught just in front of the midfield wall, fell and landed in the glove of Red Sox outfielder Kike Hernandez.
Aaron Judge appeared to have hit the home run that would set a longstanding franchise record
New York celebrated its playoff birth with a 5-4 win in an extra inning and walk-off against the Red Sox
At the end of the ninth inning, Judge came to the plate in search of the No. 61
The judge had run three times and struck once before coming to the plate with the score of 4 to all in the ninth.
The 43,123 crowd was on their feet at every pitch, and Judge drove a 2-2 fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of direct center.
Yankee Stadium thought it was witnessing history as the ball sailed toward the midfield wall, but instead it just missed.
“I just went a little under,” Judge said. “Quite a windy night so I was hoping it might blow out by the time I struck, but I just missed it.”
The slugger drove a 2-2 fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of direct center
The ball left the bat at 113 mph, and fans waited in anticipation as Judge jogged toward first base.
But they groaned in unison as Kiké Hernández made the catch a step short of the fence, not far from the 408-foot sign — and Judge was still one home run short of the American League record set by Yankees hitter Roger Maris in 1961 became.
“It’s a bit chilly tonight. Maybe it wasn’t meant for tonight. Maybe it’s another night,” Donaldson said. “I thought the ball was gone.”
At home, it seemed that the camera, trying to find the ball, was shot into orbit, but after realizing that it fell to the ground, all was in vain.
Josh Donaldson’s single in the 10th inning sealed the win for New York at Yankee Stadium
Reactions from fans on Twitter varied – from shock that he hadn’t hit the home run to anger at the cameraman.
On social media, the user posted: “Cameraman had that ball on Pluto”
Another tweeted: “This cameraman should be behind bars after this atrocity. heart is still racing. Aaron Judge is still good at baseball.
“Thoughts and prayers to all the mothers of children whose fathers woke them up at 10:38 p.m. tonight screaming over Aaron Judge’s fast miss home run,” one report joked.
Fans watching the game reacted when Aaron Judge was yards from a home run
Another claimed the cameraman pretended it was the record-breaking homer as they said: “The FOX cameraman panned into the sky like Aaron Judge had hit 62, only for him to pan to Kike Hernandez, who was making the catch .”
Meanwhile, another branded it an “all-timer,” writing, “That Aaron Judge non-home run was an all-timer. Anyone watching the TV was sure it was history. Unbelievable. How can you not be romantic in baseball?’
One user posted, “Slammed out of my seat #61 #AaronJudge,” along with a photo of chat show host Seth Myers saying, “So close…so close.”
One user claimed it was an “all time” as they claimed everyone was sure it was history
Early in the game, fans were in an uproar as Red Sox pitcher Michael Wacha led Judge 3 in his first three at-bats of the game.
‘[Red Sox manager] Alex Cora said they would pursue Judge. You’ve walked him three times out of four now,” tweeted baseball author Jon Heyman.
The judge also kicked out a runner at second base to fend off Boston in ninth, showing his defensive ability. Tommy Pham hit a one-hopper off the wall in right field against Clay Holmes (7-4). The judge caromed and threw a punch from the warning lane at Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the day. It was Judge’s sixth assist of the season.
Red Sox pitcher Michael Wacha led Judge Three in his first three at-bats of the game
The judge also kicked out a runner at second base to help fend off the Red Sox in the ninth
Then, in the 10th, with pinch-runner Marwin Gonzalez in second as an automatic runner, Kaleb Ort (0-2) intentionally footed Gleyber Torres before Donaldson landed a single just past shortstop Xander Bogaerts and into left field.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer for the Yankees, and Harrison Bader had a tied victim fly in eighth after Stanton’s leadoff infield single.
With this win, the Yankees won the playoffs for the sixth straight year. They currently lead the AL East by 7.5 games over the Toronto Blue Jays, with the magic number to win the division being seven.
“A great achievement. A lot of hard work over the season to get to that point,” said Judge.
“But I think you could ask everyone in this room: the work isn’t over yet. Our ultimate goal is to go out there and win our league and get ready for the postseason. And this is step #1, step #1 of many steps to come.’
Richter meets Rich Hill on the mound tomorrow night as his chase for the No. 61 home run continues.