Aaron Judge smashed a towering home run and received some Hall of Fame praise
Mere days after making headlines with a monster homer at his home park, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took his show on the road. During Saturday afternoon's 11-5 victory over the Pirates, Judge crushed an impressive blast at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
It was the ninth inning of what was then a 10-5 ballgame, with Pittsburgh's Antonio Bastardo trying to keep the Yankees at bay. Bastardo got ahead in the count, 1-2, but hitters like Judge only need one mistake to do damage. The lefty's next pitch came into Judge's wheelhouse, and the slugger unloaded.
Joe Girardi put it best: "I'm not so sure I saw it land. ... Sometimes these balls these guys hit so far, I just can't follow 'em."
Girardi can't be blamed. Judge's titanic blast traveled 457 feet, the longest by a visiting player at PNC Park in the Statcast era. It was the third-longest at PNC Park in that timeframe, trailing only Starling Marte on April 17, 2015 (467 feet), and Pedro Alvarez on Oct. 4, 2015 (479 feet).
Judge might not have hit one out of the park entirely like Alvarez, but it was enough to impress another towering outfielder in Yankees lore.
At first, Judge was rendered speechless by the Hall of Famer's words. "Just keep everything simple. ... If you start thinking about too many things at the plate, you're not gonna be successful," Judge recalled Winfield saying. "For [people] like us who are big, simplify it and put the barrel on the ball, and good things will happen."
With six home runs in just 16 games, those "good things" Winfield alluded to are definitely happening right now at the plate for Judge. The only question seems to be "Where will the fireworks go next?"