Aaron Judge’s heroics confirm his status as AL East’s best hitter

Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a game-tying home run against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 20223.

Table of Contents

The American League East is poised to deliver an extraordinary 162-game spectacle. With a clear standout in the spotlight.  Aaron Judge, an unparalleled talent, continues to hold the title of the league’s premier hitter and quite possibly the most reliable in crucial moments as well.

Once again, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, Aaron Judge delivered a standout performance, igniting the team’s most significant victory of the season against the formidable Orioles. In doing so, he not only revitalized the Yankees, who had a slow start but also narrowed the gap in the fiercely competitive American League East division topper to a mere five games. With a single powerful swing, which undoubtedly qualifies as the season’s most pivotal moment thus far, Aaron Judge prevented the Yankees from succumbing to a demoralizing defeat. In addition, his heroics provided respite to a few of his teammates and potentially even manager Aaron Boone (more details to follow), sparing them from dwelling on any potential remorse.

Aaron Judge is on fire

By his extraordinary performance, Aaron Judge not only prevented his good friend and Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole from enduring his first defeat of the season in a notably challenging game but also spared manager Aaron Boone from delving too deeply into explaining the most baffling play of the season thus far. This play involved DJ LeMahieu executing an unexpected bunt that caught everyone off guard except for the Orioles, who were quick to react and easily tagged out baserunner Gleyber Torres at home, highlighting the flawed nature of the strategy. Thanks to Aaron Judge’s clutch performance, there was no need to dwell extensively on this puzzling moment and its consequences.

Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a game-tying home run against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 20223.

Aaron Judge once again demonstrated his ability to overcome numerous flaws and mistakes, as exemplified by his game-changing, ninth-inning home run that tied the score. It’s worth noting that he achieved this feat despite facing one of the most challenging pitchers of the current season, Orioles’ Felix Bautista, who has proven to be exceptionally difficult to hit. Furthermore, it is remarkable that Aaron Judge managed to deliver this crucial hit even though he found himself in a disadvantageous 0-2 count.

Boone later commented that the odds were not in favor of the situation. But it was Aaron Judge, who can turn every odd to even.

Anthony Volpe is a big fan of Aaron Judge

According to rookie Anthony Volpe, Aaron Judge is the best player in the world. The rookie shortstop made this comment during an on-field interview with YES reporter Meredith Marakovits following his vital role in securing the 6-5 victory for the Yankees.

In the previous inning, Aaron Judge hit a powerful home run off a split-fingered fastball that was thrown across the plate. His hit sailed far into the left-field stands, resulting in a tie game. The Yankees had a chance to tie the game earlier, but their attempt at a bunt was unsuccessful and somewhat unconventional. Needless to say, the Yankees are not known for their bunting skills.

In a crucial moment to level the score against the formidable Orioles, the Yankees made a questionable decision that displayed either a lapse in logical thinking or a lack of confidence. Two-time batting champion LeMahieu attempted to bunt, aiming to bring home the not-so-speedy Torres from third base with only one out. The bunt by LeMahieu was decent. But Torres started his run to home plate at a sluggish pace. And was easily thrown out by a significant margin, squandering the scoring opportunity.

Boone commented that LeMahieu likely believed he could successfully execute the bunt past the pitcher. Boone claimed that he didn’t have any problems or worries with LeMahieu’s choice.

Yankees' Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo pour ice on Anthony Volpe, who hit the winning run against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 20223.

Boone added confusion to the discussion by not revealing whether the idea for the unsuccessful bunt came from him or LeMahieu. If it was Boone’s idea, we can assume he didn’t see any issue with it. Considering that, LeMahieu had already attempted a bunt earlier in the at-bat and failed, it was a particularly unwise decision made either by Boone or LeMahieu. LeMahieu holds the important cleanup hitter position in the Yankees’ lineup for a reason.

The Yankees fans at the stadium recognized how silly the play was, and they expressed their disapproval with boos after the inning. It revealed a momentary lack of confidence in their ability to hit Cano, which goes against the Yankees’ usual approach. Not only are they the Yankees, but they had already managed to get two hits off Cano in that same inning, creating a promising opportunity.

The game and series are important for the Yankees, who are the defending division champions. The Orioles have unexpectedly become a strong team, going from being seen as an easy opponent to a formidable force.

Aaron Judge carries Yankees hope in tough AL East

The American League East is known for its competitiveness, but this season it’s even more intense. All five teams in the division have winning records, and the Yankees, currently in third place, are trailing the Rays and the surprisingly strong Orioles, who have the two best records in all of baseball.

The East Division is incredibly challenging this year, possibly more so than ever before. Anthony Rizzo emphasized the need to be prepared and resilient in the American League East. He mentioned the importance of staying focused and working hard every day, acknowledging that there are no easy games in the division.

Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a game-tying home run against Baltimore at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 20223.

The Yankees’ schedule was made more fair but still the divisions in baseball are currently more imbalanced than before. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays, who are currently in last place in the AL East, would likely be performing much better if they were in either of the Central Divisions.

The Tampa Bay Rays, with a payroll of $127 million, have been performing exceptionally well compared to the Baltimore Orioles, who have a payroll of $82.7 million. Despite this, the Orioles are only three games behind the Rays in the standings. They have achieved this through their young and well-rounded offense, remarkable team unity, and a strong bullpen anchored by the exceptional pitchers Cano and Bautista.

Boone expressed his belief that the Orioles are a legitimate and formidable team that should not be taken lightly. He recognized their strength and acknowledged that they are a force to be reckoned with in the league.

Thanks to Aaron Judge’s exceptional performance, the Yankees have the potential to become an even more powerful team.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!