Yankees fans, eager to see an Aaron Judge homer, settle for fun win in the Bronx

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NEW YORK — Aaron Judge’s night at the plate was supposed to be over when the benevolent Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen stepped up to provide him another plate appearance in the eighth inning of a blowout game in the Bronx.

In his first four plate appearances of the evening, Judge had posted a pedestrian-for-him 2-for-4 night with two doubles, two runs scored and a strikeout, which raised his line from .316/.419/.703 to .317/.421/.705 for the season. Still, the 46,175 fans who came to watch the Yankees face the third-worst team in baseball this year were here in case he hit home run number 61. Instead, they had to settle for a good performance that boosted his overall season numbers.

The Yankees’ lineup stomped two Pirates relievers in the eighth inning, allowing seven batters to take a plate appearance before turning it over to Judge for the fifth time in the evening. By the time Judge’s spot was two batters away, Yankees fans smelled an opportunity.

“WE WANT JUDGE,” echoed throughout the ballpark in the leadup to his arrival in the batter’s box.

As phone cameras around the ballpark pointed toward the plate, the fans got Judge again. He then, understandably, faced four non-competitive pitches and took an easy walk before being removed for a pinch runner.

The eager crowds should have been more specific: “WE WANT YOU TO PITCH TO JUDGE.”

“Tonight it felt like waiting for that big moment,” manager Aaron Boone said after the 14-2 win. “It did feel a little bit different tonight.


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