Coming into Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Aaron Judge was batting .133/.188/.200 with only two hits and an RBI. After Saturday’s game, he doubled his hit total and tripled his RBI total—which is not hard to do when you’re only a week into the season—but, perhaps most importantly, Judge finally hit his first home run of the season and it occurred in a big spot.
With the Yankees down a run in the eighth inning, trying to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Orioles, Judge hit a ball into the left field seats and tied the game.
Judge faced reliever Mychal Givens, who threw Judge a mix of four-seam fastballs and sliders. On the sixth pitch of the at-bat, an 87.1 mph slider that didn’t slide and got way too much of the plate, Judge launched one into the left-field seats.
After he got that out of the way, Judge hit an RBI groundout to put the Yankees up by two in the ninth and he also made a diving catch to end the game and secure the Yankees’ win.
After the game, he told reporters, “I was just glad to make some contact and get on base. The first (homer) is always the toughest.”
The Yankees could have ended their first road trip of the year 1-5, but instead thanks in part to Judge, they salvaged the last game of the road trip and will start their first homestand of the season with a 2-4 record. And now that Judge has his first home run out of the way, maybe the hits will begin to fall a little more easily.
Photo: Brad Mills/USATSI