Judge rewrites rules, homers after 3rd out

July 21st, 2020

NEW YORK -- Here’s a good rule of thumb for any pitcher: Don’t give a free at-bat.

The Phillies’ Vince Velasquez learned that the hard way in the fifth inning of Monday’s 2-2 exhibition tie at Yankee Stadium, after the right-hander induced DJ LeMahieu to hit into what appeared to be an inning-ending groundout.

Phils manager Joe Girardi gestured from the third-base dugout, indicating that he wanted Velasquez to stay on the mound to get in a few more pitches. Judge responded by slugging a homer to right field, prompting the Phillies to leave the field in the most bizarre "walk-off" you’ll ever see.

“Joe just wanted Velasquez to get to a pitch count,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think he wanted to see one more batter, and Judgie obliged.”

Even Judge was confused as he rounded the bases, briefly stutter-stepping between second and third, and joking with shortstop Didi Gregorius before third-base coach Phil Nevin pointed Judge toward home plate.

Once Judge touched home plate, the Yankees took their positions for the top of the sixth inning.

The Yankees made a press box announcement that Judge’s homer indeed will be counted in the official stats, giving Judge his third homer of Summer Camp after he hit two in Sunday’s exhibition against the Mets.

“Judgie looks really locked in right now,” LeMahieu said. “I mean, really locked in. For not having Spring Training and having [only a] few ABs, he looks really good. Just another impressive swing.”

With this being the final game of Summer Camp, both clubs were playing loosely with the rules even before Velasquez faced one batter too many.

Girardi agreed to allow LeMahieu to continue batting even after he was replaced at second base, and the Phillies used a 10-man lineup with No. 10 batter Alec Bohm listed as an "extra hitter."