Tim Mayza threw a bad pitch, and Aaron Judge made sure the left-hander for the Blue Jays ended up on the wrong side of history.
With a game-winning, two-run home ball in the seventh inning, Judge equaled Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, helping the New York Yankees defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 on Wednesday.
Mayza said he attempted to use sinkers to target Judge in an effort to induce a ground ball but missed his mark.
To a truly excellent hitter, only one nice pitch was thrown over the plate, according to Mayza.
The Rogers Centre left-field fence was breached by the 30-year-old slugger’s belt-high fastball from Mayza traveling at 94.5 mph. The 3.7 seconds it took for the 117.4 mph shot to fall 394 feet from home plate gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
It’s been a few games since I did that, but when I hit it, I believed I had enough, Judge said.
Just behind two spectators who attempted to grab the ball by reaching over a railing, Judge witnessed the ball clang off the front of the stands. Just before touching first, he pump his arm and slapped coach Travis Chapman.
Matt Buschmann, the Blue Jays’ bullpen coach, caught the ball as it fell into the Toronto bullpen and handed it to the Yankees.
Roger Maris Jr. and the Judge’s mother stood up and embraced each other. After reaching second base, he looked to nod in their direction. The whole Yankees squad applauded him and gave him a bear embrace.
As soon as he struck it, Maris Jr. recalls, “I was like, ‘OK, that’s gone. Then, all that was left to do was to sit back and watch him advance the bases while giving his mother a huge embrace.
Judge surpassed Babe Ruth’s 1927 major league record of 60 home runs, which held until Maris surpassed it in 1961. While playing for the Yankees, all three players attained such incredible figures.
For the San Francisco Giants in 2001, Barry Bonds owns the major league record with 73 hits.
Judge had gone seven games without a home run; in mid-August, he had endured a nine-game dry spell. The Yankees still have seven regular-season games left after playing in their 155th game of the year.
Judge’s home run came in his fourth at-bat of the evening, snapping a string of 34 at-bats without a home run.
Judge leads the AL in both batting average (.313) and RBIs (130). He might become the first AL Triple Crown champion since 2012’s Miguel Cabrera of Detroit.
The Yankees won for the ninth time in ten games after securing their 20th AL East crown the previous evening.