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On a Chilly Day, Fans Keep Waiting for Judge’s 62nd Home Run


If a moment of history wasn’t on the road, Yankees fans would have been quite pleased with their team’s 8-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

The starting pitcher, Nestor Cortes, who didn’t surrender successful through 4 and two-thirds innings pitched, struck out a dozen batters, walked two and gave up one hit in seven and one-third innings of labor. The Yankees also got home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka, but fans were left waiting for the house run they really desired to see: Aaron Judge’s 62nd of the season, which might break a tie with Roger Maris for essentially the most by an American League player in a single season.

Maris’s 61st home run had come on Oct. 1, 1961, which led to many fans — including Roger Maris Jr. — hoping the date might be a good-luck charm for Judge.

In five plate appearances, Judge was hit by a pitch, walked twice and struck out twice, much to the frustration of the faithful who stuck it out on a cold October afternoon despite a brief rain delay before the sport and gusty winds that didn’t abate, making it feel even colder.

A lot of those fans booed Baltimore’s starting pitcher, Austin Voth, and, later, reliever Spenser Watkins, who didn’t offer Judge many pitches within the strike zone.

After Saturday’s game, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said he understood that it has been a “hard situation” for those pitching to Judge who “need to attack him” and in addition get him out.

“I get the conflict there, and that’s probably a little bit bit weird for each pitcher,” Boone said. “I totally respect that it’s a troublesome situation to be in as an opponent.”

Pitching around Judge, nevertheless, has given the Yankees opportunities to seize on their opponents each time they walk him. That was the case in the underside of the seventh, when Judge was walked by Watkins and the Yankees proceeded to pile on with three singles and a double, extending their lead by 4 runs.

“We all know we got to capitalize on that, otherwise they’re going to maintain doing it,” Stanton said of teams pitching around Judge. “I feel they’ll either way, but it surely’s good extra punch after we do capitalize.”

After the sport, Cortes, who recorded his twelfth win in his final start of the regular season, said he has admired Judge throughout his chase for keeping a consistent attitude.

“He’s the identical guy each day,” Cortes said. “That’s what’s special about him. He’s helped us navigate through the ups and downs.”

Boone praised Cortes after the sport for the impressive start, adding that he has been “instrumental” for the Yankees this season. Cortes notched his twelfth strikeout of the day in the highest of the eighth inning before being taken of out the sport. As he walked toward the dugout, many fans rose to their feet to present him a standing ovation.

Boone said after the sport that the opportunity of such an ovation can have played a task in letting Cortes pitch to 1 batter within the eighth.

Boone said it will even be “an added something” to see Judge hit his 62nd home run in Yankee Stadium.

“But that said, if he does it, period, 62 homers goes to be 62 homers,” Boone said. “That’ll be something you see without end and ever.”

Judge doesn’t have much time left. The Yankees have yet one more home game, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but a likelihood of rain within the Bronx could put that game in jeopardy. The Yankees even have 4 games scheduled against the Texas Rangers to shut out the regular season.

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