Judge hits 47th as Yankees get to Scherzer

Benintendi delivers two RBI hits to back strong start from Germán

August 23rd, 2022

From his early-game vantage point in Yankee Stadium’s left field, Andrew Benintendi surveyed the scene of his first career Subway Series game, deciding that the raucous atmosphere rivaled a postseason contest. With Max Scherzer on the other side, the pitching matchup indeed carried autumnal energy.

Though it had appeared to be a mismatch, Benintendi and the Yankees rose to the occasion, nicking the three-time Cy Young Award winner for a season-high four runs. Aaron Judge also hit his Major League-leading 47th home run in the Yanks’ 4-2 Subway Series victory over the Mets on Monday evening.

“That’s one of the reasons why I love this game, that little chess match you get to play,” Judge said. “To have a future Hall of Famer that you get to do that with, it’s electric. You’ve got the crowd on your feet for every pitch right along with you. It’s fun. I’ll look back on moments like that.”

DJ LeMahieu also drove in a run off Scherzer, who remained stuck on 199 career victories. The offensive production was a welcome sign for the slumping Bombers, who were swept in a two-game Subway Series at Citi Field last month and had lost six straight series.

On this night, the Yanks rode a strong 6 1/3-inning effort by starter Domingo Germán and withstood a key seventh-inning error to shake hands. Combined with Sunday’s victory over the Blue Jays, the Yanks have won consecutive games for the first time in August (6-14).

“We know what we’re capable of,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We think we’re capable of being the best team in the world. That’s what we’re working to get to. We’re a little banged up right now, but what we’ve been through these last couple of weeks, it’s encouraging to play really good against two really good opponents.”

The runaway frontrunner for the American League’s MVP Award, Judge snapped a nine-game homerless drought with his third-inning blast off Scherzer, barreling a 95.9 mph fastball for a solo shot to right field.

Judge has nine homers in 20 career games vs. the Mets and remains on pace to hit 62 home runs, which would eclipse Roger Maris’ single-season AL record of 61, set in 1961.

“It’s news to me,” Judge said. “I really don’t worry about that. I was just happy to barrel something up and add to the lead that we already had against one of the best pitchers in the game.”

Benintendi doubled in a run in the fifth and singled in another in the seventh off Scherzer, tipping the balance of a game played in front of a crowd of 48,760 -- the largest in the Bronx this season.

“To string together a couple of wins in a row against two really good pitchers,” Benintendi said, nodding to Scherzer and Toronto’s Alek Manoah, “your confidence can really go up.”

Making his seventh start of the season, Germán turned in his sharpest, most efficient performance thus far, pitching scoreless ball into the seventh inning despite being struck on the right calf by James McCann’s liner in the sixth. Germán had a slight limp in the clubhouse but expects to make his next start.

“Tonight it was just first-pitch executing,” said Germán, who allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits without a walk, striking out three. “Getting strike one, getting ahead of the count, being economical on the mound and keeping them off the bases. A lineup like that, that’s key.”

Said Boone: “Domingo, when he’s at his best, he fills up the strike zone with fastball, changeup and curveball. I thought he had them all going.”

The Yankees -- seemingly snake-bitten for most of the past seven weeks -- survived a miscue that could have flipped their evening.

After second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera and right fielder Marwin Gonzalez collided on a one-out pop fly by Pete Alonso in the top of the seventh, Daniel Vogelbach slugged a two-run homer on a hanging curveball that chased Germán.

“Oswaldo was camped [under the ball] and Marwin came in calling,” Boone said. “Sometimes you relinquish when you’re camped, but if the outfielder is aggressively calling it, you’ve got to get out.”

Ron Marinaccio and Jonathan Loáisiga combined to record the final eight outs in relief. Loáisiga has pitched to a 1.93 ERA over his last 12 appearances and became the 11th Yankee to earn a save this season, establishing a franchise record.

“It’s a long season and we haven’t been playing the type of ball we want to,” Judge said. “It’s time to get back to what we do. That’s what we were able to do tonight.”