MIAMI -- One day after being crowned as the champion of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Aaron Judge was told that Commissioner Rob Manfred had referred to him as the kind of player "who can become the face of the game."The Yankees phenom grinned and said he didn't know what
MIAMI -- One day after being crowned as the champion of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Aaron Judge was told that Commissioner Rob Manfred had referred to him as the kind of player "who can become the face of the game."
The Yankees phenom grinned and said he didn't know what to say. He was simply thrilled to be part of Tuesday's 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, a 2-1, 10-inning win by the American League over the National League.
"I just think of myself as a little kid from Linden, Calif., getting to live a dream right now," Judge said. "This was awesome. It's my first time coming to Miami, and the goal is to have some fun and compete. That's what happened. We got the win and it was just an awesome experience all around. What a couple of days."
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One of five Yankees All-Stars, Judge went hitless in three at-bats as the starting right fielder for the AL, joining Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui as the only Yankees rookies to start a Midsummer Classic. Judge struck out in a six-pitch battle with the Nationals' Max Scherzer in the first inning, waving at a nasty 87.7-mph slider.
"It's a good pitch. I can see why he was the NL starter," Judge said. "Great competitor, man. That was pretty cool."
That showdown was part of the reason that AL manager Brad Mills batted Judge third, ensuring he would hit in the first inning. Judge grounded out to shortstop against the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez in his second at-bat, then flew out to center field against the Dodgers' Alex Wood before being replaced defensively in the bottom of the fifth.
"I just got it off the end a little bit. It was a changeup away," Judge said. "It happens. They're all All-Stars. They're going to fool you every now and then."
Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances turned in a shaky but scoreless third inning in relief of starter Chris Sale. Zack Cozart singled to left-center before Betances struck out Charlie Blackmon on a 98.6-mph fastball and Giancarlo Stanton on an 87.9-mph slider.
Bryce Harper walked in a six-pitch battle that included a wild pitch, and Buster Posey walked on four pitches before Daniel Murphy grounded out. Betances became the fourth pitcher in All-Star history with two wild pitches in an inning, joining Juan Marichal (1962), John Smoltz (1993) and Dave Stieb (1980).
"I was just trying to settle down," said Betances, a four-time All-Star. "I felt like after I walked Harper, I lost concentration a little bit, but then I was able to settle down. I made pitches when I needed to."
Gary Sanchez made his All-Star debut, entering behind the plate in the sixth inning. He grounded out against the Padres' Brad Hand in the seventh and struck out against the Dodgers' Kenley Jansen in the ninth.
"It was a great experience," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I had a lot of fun. We got the win. I feel really happy."
With Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox on the mound, Sanchez was charged with a ninth-inning passed ball that allowed Yadier Molina to move into scoring position.
"Obviously I've never caught him before, but he has a heck of a fastball and with the slider, it breaks out and away from guys," Sanchez said. "It was a different experience, but an enjoyable experience, getting to catch him."
Luis Severino would have pitched the 11th inning if there had been one, but said there was no disappointment in finishing his first All-Star experience on the sidelines.
"No, I wanted to win," Severino said. "Maybe next time."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.