He will not be the American League Most Valuable Player. Nor will he finish second, and you can’t stop him from finishing the top five overall.
But it seems with every game he plays, Aaron Judge moves toward a weight of a consolation prize.
How could the Yankees not seriously discuss a long -term deal with him after showing this virtuoso value?
The judge ran his club to another disgusting win on Thursday night, 6-2 over the Blue Jays at Rogers Center, and thanks to the Red Sox falling to the Orioles, 6-2 down to Baltimore, the Yankees (91-68) went to a very good spot on their homecoming to end their regular season schedule with three games against the Rays: Another win ensured them a tournament that ties the Monday. Two more are giving them a field advantage in the Oct. 5 wild-card game of the American League. That happens, and you don’t have to worry about what the Red Sox (89-70), Mariners (89-70) or Blue Jays (88-71) are doing.
It would be a much hairier scene for the Yankees if they didn’t come back against Toronto ace Robbie Ray, the favorite still to win the AL Cy Young Award. And Judge, who is competing in a moving left rink he suffered Sunday night at Fenway Park, can give the most credit for that return. Not only did he blast a pair of expert home runs in the middle of Ray’s field, 455 feet in the first inning and 441 feet in the sixth – both cutting the tie, the second for good – but he also made a great diving catch of a Santiago Espinal flare in the short right field.
“He’s playing like such a great player that he’s right now when we need him more,” Aaron Boone said of the Judge.
“He is a really good outfielder. I think that kind of brush was brushed somewhere because he was so offensive, “Corey Kluber, who handled the Blue Jays’ dangerous lineup well, said of the Judge.” He’s a really good outfielder. here, that rose in his hand glove probably doesn’t feel good after making a diving catch like this. But that’s the kind of player. “
He lifted the Yankees out of all the ways, all the time, his great stats (39 home runs and a .923 OPS) combined not with bursts and stops like his memorable 2017 rookie season but consistently continued through this rigorous campaign, the only zero in his ledger number of visits to the damaged list.
Tonight, with the Yankees facing a noticeable loss at the start of the pitching match, the Judge first got his men in a two-out, mammoth blast in the middle. While Wednesday night’s 6-5 loss stopped 19 consecutive games with at least one homer, Judge ensured in advance that running games without a tater would stop at one .
As Kluber moved his pitches all over the area to keep the Jitt hitters ’balance, Ray found his groove against the Yankees, retiring 13 straight following a walk in the second inning to Gary Sanchez. So when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. missed. a two-run dinger in the fifth, bouncing double at the top of the center-field wall, Marcus Semien came from first to give the Jays a 2-1 edge.
However, that did not last long. In one of the sixth, Anthony Rizzo tied the contest with a bang on the right field, his first time deepening since Sept. 10. The Judge then hit a fastball by Ray to center again, one more with an explosive liner than a raised shot. At the end of the inning, the Yankees knocked down Ray in the game, Gleyber Torres ’two-run homer at the end of the strike.
My, how far the Yankees have come in this nutso season. How far did Judge come at the same time, reporting on spring training as the man who couldn’t stay on the field and approaching the final regular-season lap.
We can hash the numbers later. With Judge a year away from free agency, however, the Most Important Yankee made himself. Which generally pays well.