Fans’ rage forces Orioles to clarify over pitching to Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge during the game against the Orioles.

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Both of the Orioles’ pitchers and their manager came out to clarify that their plan for facing Aaron Judge was to throw their pitches as precisely as possible. None of them agreed to pitch around the Yankees slugger, who stayed at 61 home runs while trying to break Rogers Maris’ American League and Yankees record.

There were boos and angry online reactions against the Orioles after they forced Aaron Judge to walk back without a home run, his 62nd and record-making homer, in three games at Yankee Stadium.

Watching the game, which the Yankees won 8-0 at the stadium on Saturday, it was clear that neither Baltimore starter Austin Voth nor reliever Spenser Watkins wanted to be the one to throw at Aaron Judge a pitch that he could hit out of the park for his record-breaking 62nd home run.

Voth and Watkins didn’t throw any pitches onto the subway platforms behind the stadium on Saturday. Judge didn’t get many pitches in the strike zone, as he went 0-for-2, walked twice, was hit by a pitch, and struck out twice.

The Sunday home game that the Yankees lost to Baltimore 3-1 was no different. Such an attempt only enraged the sell-out crowd that was there only for Aaron Judge.

Commenting on the fan anger, Voth said that he was worried about being on the wrong side of history when Aaron Judge tried to break a record. Voth didn’t want to be a footnote in the history of Judge.

He told:

“Whenever you face a lineup with that kind of batter, there’s one you don’t want to beat you. So, you attack him when no one is on base, and you’re a little more careful when someone is there. He’s having an awesome season, man, but at the end of the day I’ve got to be the guy that gets him out somehow. I’ve got to find a way — any way possible. Our game plan was mostly to pitch away, which is what you saw today. We thought that if we pitched him away for the most part, we could limit the damage he could do. That’s kind of how it went down.”

In the sixth inning, Watkins took over for Voth. He walked Judge once and struck him out once.

There was a time when Aaron Judge received his second walk of the game, the crowd began chanting the word “a–hole” at Orioles pitcher Watkins.

Later, Watkins said:

“Sure, we all had an idea going into the series what it was going to be like. Our plan of attack was just to hit certain locations. There wasn’t any sense of trying to be reserved and not go after him. I was just trying to locate in certain spots. He hits hard and is dangerous. If you leave anything on the plate, he will hurt you. In both ABs, I just tried to hit certain spots. I wasn’t able to do as much with the first one, but I was able to with the second one once I fell behind.”

About fans calling the pitcher an “a–hole,” Watkins said, “Of course I heard the boos.” However, he didn’t blame the fans and instead said that he didn’t want to “be the guy who gives up No. 62.”

The Orioles manager, Brandon Hyde clarified that the team was just trying to get Aaron Judge out. When asked if he appreciates what Judge is doing, Hyde answered, “Very much so. It’s cool to see everyone standing up, and the energy in the stadium was great.”

Hyde said about the boos, “I get it. They are looking for something unique. It’s a cool thing to see. But the pitcher is also trying to do his job. We aren’t going to try to walk him. We’re trying to give him a good pitch.”

Do you think the Orioles are right and trying to defend themselves?

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