NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge would prefer not to talk about his own homers, and when pressed on the issue, he swears that all of them feel pretty much the same. While that's probably true, anyone who witnessed his most recent blast is not likely to forget it.Playing in his
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge would prefer not to talk about his own homers, and when pressed on the issue, he swears that all of them feel pretty much the same. While that's probably true, anyone who witnessed his most recent blast is not likely to forget it.
Playing in his first career game at Citi Field, Judge reached a seating area that few players have, crushing his American League-leading 37th homer into the left-field third deck in the Yankees' 5-3 Subway Series victory over the Mets.
"I was looking for something out over the plate," Judge said. "I got a pitch out and over and I put a good swing on it."
• Check out reactions to Judge's mammoth homer
Did he ever. Judge's fourth-inning hack launched a Robert Gsellman slider at 117 mph, according to Statcast™, toward the third deck, where it was grabbed by a fan sitting in the far-off Section 536. Having put his head down immediately, Judge didn't learn where it landed until he returned to the dugout.
"They pointed to where it went," Judge said of his teammates, "so they let me know."
Not one of the Mets' outfielders moved during the titanic blast, including left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is believed to be the only previous player to homer into the third deck in left field at Citi Field. Cespedes did so on June 30, 2016, a shot that was projected at 441 feet.
"Home runs like that, you have to watch them," Gsellman said.
Statcast™ projected Judge's homer at 457 feet, a number that raised some eyebrows in the Yankees' clubhouse.
Said Didi Gregorius: "530 feet. That's what I tell everybody. They say , I say no chance. If you look, [Rene] Rivera's was almost 400 feet. It was 398. That's at least 500 feet. That's one of the furthest, I think. I don't know how they measure it, but I think it went further than that. But I could be wrong."
"It looked like 550," Jaime Garcia said.
Not that the Yankees were about to break out the calculators before boarding their bus back to the Bronx, but there are some legitimate explanations.
Judge's launch angle of 35 degrees created a moonshot unlike any that Statcast™ has recorded; each one of the 13 prior home runs Statcast™ has tracked at 116 mph or faster have been 28 degrees or lower.
"If that ball only went 450, then no ball is ever going over 500 feet because that ball was crushed," Chase Headley said. "I know it's high and I know it's coming down straight, but that ball looked like it went a long way to me."
Let's agree on this, then: Judge's homer is the eighth hardest that Statcast™ has ever tracked. In this remarkable season, Judge now has hit five of the top eight, and all at speeds of 117 mph or higher.
"I think we all kind of say, 'Wow,'" Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You just don't see that every day. We thought that he was making the adjustments and getting back to what he does. We've kind of seen it. He gets two hits tonight, which is great, but you don't see that every day. It's kind of fun to watch."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.