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Oct. 17 Aaron Judge postgame interview

October 17, 2017

Q. Can you walk us through the home run and then the double.AARON JUDGE: Yeah, the home run, just trying to get something up over the plate. They've thrown a lot of sliders down the zone, that fastball down the zone, just the whole series trying to wait and be

Q. Can you walk us through the home run and then the double.
AARON JUDGE: Yeah, the home run, just trying to get something up over the plate. They've thrown a lot of sliders down the zone, that fastball down the zone, just the whole series trying to wait and be patient and get one up in the zone I can do some damage on and be able to do that.

And the double, Giles, the arm he has, up to a hundred miles an hour-plus, and great slider. I've got to stay on the heater. I was looking for a heater up out of the zone, and then once it gets to two strikes it's time to battle, put something in play and trying to get the job done.

Q. After the seventh inning stretch you hit the home run. What do you think changed emotionally from that?

AARON JUDGE: I don't know, with our offense we're never out of the ballgame. We've been in that situation before, been down a couple of runs, down two, three, four runs, it doesn't matter with our team. We're going to keep fighting, keep putting out quality at-bats, and that's what we did.

We got down, but string a couple of quality at-bats in a row there and get the job done.

Q. Walk us through the situation in the 4th, where you almost got doubled off and took off for a second there before the appeal.

AARON JUDGE: Yeah, once I had stole and Gary hit it in the air, I didn't know if it was going to drop or not, I was kind of out in no man's land. Running back to first base, I didn't touch second base so I was safe at first but they were going to appear right after that and call me out at second base. I was going to be out no matter what, why not try -- if they make a play on me there at second base, then they can't appeal the previous play. If I slide in safe and they try to tag me, they can't appeal the previous play. That's the only option I had.

Q. As you were going through the system I'm sure you had dreams of hitting big October home runs here. Now that you've done it, how does the reality of doing it compare to the dream?

AARON JUDGE: It's pretty surreal, to be honest. I haven't reflected on tonight's game yet. But as a kid I've been in that situation in my head a thousand times, through the Minor Leagues, all your daily batting practice, your cage work, I'm putting myself in that situation. Get out there and get the job done. I've been in that situation a thousand times.

But the dreams aren't the same as reality. To be out with the crowd and the atmosphere, it was unbelievable.

Q. Did somebody on the bench tell you to take off there or did you know what was happening and you figured you'd try it?

AARON JUDGE: No, the coaching staff kind of gave me a heads up. So I said, all right, let's go, got to try something.

Q. You've seen a number of breaking balls in the postseason, even in the regular season. How tough has it been to make those adjustments? Do you feel like you've done what you need to do to make those necessary adjustments?

AARON JUDGE: I've been feeling good the whole postseason. I'm not swinging at the right breaking balls. You never get a good one, you never get a good slider or curve ball. You just try to go after the mistakes.

Tonight I was able to get a couple of mistakes and do some damage with them.

Q. After Gary's double, can you describe the dugout, not only did you come back, but now you're winning the game?

AARON JUDGE: It's tough to describe, to be honest. That ballpark is alive. It was unbelievable. That stadium was rocking. The fans were going crazy. I didn't know what to do after I touched home plate. I can't describe it. That's why we play this game, for a moment like that.

Gary came up in a big-time situation, did his job. And it's just all -- I think about all the hard work they've put in. I've been with Sanchez a couple of years in the Minor Leagues, and to see him come up big in a situation like that, it's incredible. It's about having that one moment in the game. No matter what you did in previous at-bats, if you made an error out in the field in the previous innings, it's having that one moment. Gary was able to do that.


AARON JUDGE: No, you can't hear anything. You're trying to talk to the person next to you, but it's deafening, it's crazy.

Q. Can you try to describe the contrast between where you were mid to late March, the uncertainty of whether you were going to make the club to now? And how do you think this ride has changed you?

AARON JUDGE: Yeah, in mid March there was a lot of unknowns. There was talks of you're going back to Triple-A, you're not going to be the starting right fielder, or are we going to platoon you and some other out fielders. There was some unknowns.

I knew what I was capable of, I wanted to go out and prove it. Making the decision where I'm going to go is out of my hands. But that doesn't mean I can't put in the work and make the decision on them tough.

This whole year has been a grind. The ups and downs, that's baseball life. That's what I live for, play for. To a certain extent I enjoy failure. It's part of the game. There's always room to grow, there's room to improve.

So it's been a fun ride. And it's my first year, still pretty crazy. Yeah, I have enjoyed it.

Q. What is it about this team's resilience, its ability to come back?

AARON JUDGE: It's crazy. We've been doing that all year. There have been quite a few games where we've gotten down 4-0, 3-0 early, and this team doesn't change their attitude. It's okay, time to go to work. And sometimes I feel like we like playing with our backs against the wall. It's kind of crazy. But like I said before, we're a team that goes out there and fights and keeps fighting until it's the last out.

Q. With Gary's sac fly and the double, hit them both hard, is it safe to say that his bat is awake now? Did you see anything in his preparation or other at-bats that gave you the sign that he was waking up again?

AARON JUDGE: Gary has been getting pitched tough this whole series in the postseason. He's been battling, he's been in the cages doing his work, getting prepared to the right way. Sometimes it won't show up in the first or second game. But sometimes it shows up in the ALCS in a big situation like that.

For Gary, nothing's changed with him. His attitude has never changed, he's always the same guy. He came up in a big situation for us.