Aaron Judge Homer Walks It Off! NY 1 KC 0

Aaron Judge broke a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the 9th with a 430-foot BOMB to centerfield for a walk-off Yankee win over the Kansas City Royals, 1-0.

Judge hit a first-pitch, 95-MPH fastball from Royals reliever Scott Barlow to end what had been a night of no scoring and hardly any hits — Jameson Taillon and the Royals’ Brady Singer locked in a pitcher’s duel, and both bullpens backing them up with shutout ball.

Judge’s hit was only the 2nd Yankee hit on the night; the Royals got only 4 hits.

“I was sitting off speed; I got a heater; I thought I hit it too high,” said Judge afterwards. “I don’t want to be that guy standing on 1st admiring the shot especially in the 9th inning with the lineup we got. So I just put it in play and put my head down; started running.”

The win gave NY a 67-33 record, 11.5 ahead of Toronto in the AL East. KC is now 39-60, dead last in the Central.

It was Judge’s MLB-leading 39th homer of the year and his 3rd game-winning walk-off homer.

On a warm, beautiful summer Thursday night in the Bronx.

1. Taillon Terrific

Jameson Taillon was coming off a horrible start where Aaron Boone pulled him in the 3rd inning. He had been great in the start before that, and was throwing well in the 5 or 6 starts before that, with bad results due to mistakes.

But in this game he was back on his game — 6 shutout innings, only 4 hits allowed, 8 strikeouts, 2 walks.

2. Singer Scintillating

But Taillon left after 6 innings with a 0-0 tie. He was being matched — out-dueled even — by Singer, who pitched a 1-hit shutout through 7 innings: the only hit was a 2-out single to center by Gleyber Torres in the 4th.

Yankee fans on Twitter were demanding NY trade for Singer as he tore through the NY lineup with his sinker/slider mix.

“Really working the edges,” said Judge of Singer. “He’s got that great sinker/slider combo. So he really lived on the edges with us. He was pain. He didn’t give us much to work with. And when someone’s on like that, especially with that 95-97 type of velo he has, makes for a tough night.”

3. Marinaccio Cherry on Top

And so there was no real action to speak of — in terms of hitting and scoring. Pitching is another story — Ron Marinaccio relieved Taillon and pitched a shutout 7th and 8th — no hits allowed and striking out 3. He was in total command and made Yankee Twitter happy, especially as he looks like a replacement for Michael King who is now out for the year.

Marinaccio has now pitched 18 consecutive scoreless innings. His ERA is 1.96. In 23 innings he’s only allowed 9 hits, and struck out 28. Yowsa.

4. Holmes Walks 2 But Gets Thru 9th

Clay Holmes uncharacteristically walked 2 batters in the 9th — Ryan O’Hearn with 1 out, and Nick Pratto with 2 out to put the go-ahead run on 2nd. But he got Maikel Garcia to groundout to end the inning.

It could have been worse had Gleyber Torres not made a terrific play up the middle for the 1st out in the inning, with strong underhand throw to 1st running into the outfield.

5. Judge Walks It Off

And so it came to the bottom of the 9th — tied 0-0 and inherited-runner-on-2nd extra innings looming.

Andrew Benintendi (who went 0-4 in his Yankee debut) fouled out to left field, and Aaron Judge stepped up — Judge who had struck out twice in the game (with a walk) and who had struck out 3 times against the Mets the night before.

Aaron Judge hit a BOMB to center for the old ballgame — as Yankee Twitter exploded with MVP tweets.

Another view:


  • Aaron Judge joined Mickey Mantle as the only 2 Yankees to ever have 3 walk-off Homers in a season. Mantle did it in 1959.

The Boxscore




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