Aaron Judge did something that New York Yankees fans aren’t accustomed to seeing during Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Judge, who belted the second of two home runs to give the Yankees a 7-6 lead after they were trailing 6-0, stopped to admire his two-run, go-ahead blast in the sixth inning as it sailed towards the left-field stands.
Yankees fans were delighted to see this from the humble Judge, who swaggered down the first-base line before jogging around the bases.
Judge handles home runs like he handles every press conference with Yankees reporters: he takes the humble approach.
Judge almost always drops his head down and immediately begins his journey around the bases.
We love an Aaron Judge pimp job 😤
— 4 Train Savages (@FourSavages) May 13, 2023
But even the Yankees captain couldn’t help but break tradition considering the gravity of the moment.
New York, which finds itself eight games back of the juggernaut Rays in the American League East, had already suffered an 8-2 drubbing against Tampa Bay earlier in this series.
After digging themselves a 6-0 hole against one of the best pitchers in the American League, Rays ace Shane McClanahan, not even the most optimistic Yankees fan was predicting a comeback.
But Judge, who has posted just a .619 OPS in 18 May plate appearances since his return from injury, broke out in a big way, cutting the deficit to two runs with a fifth inning home run, then giving the Bronx Bombers the lead with his towering sixth-inning blast.
Of course, the Yankees are not out of the woods yet, as they’ll still need to hold off the best offense in baseball to preserve this victory.
But Judge made a statement to the division-rival Rays, both with his home run- and what he did after the blast.