An interesting moment happened on Monday night’s Toronto Blue Jays broadcast in a losing game against their division rival, the New York Yankees.
As he has shown in the past at Rogers Center, Aaron Judge can hit a ball a country mile, which was exactly the words play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman used when he wrapped his second home run of the game in the top of the eighth inning, this one on a slider by Jay Jackson, who was recently recalled from Triple-A.
During the fight, Shulman and his color commentator counterpart, Buck Martinez, recognized something unusual in their eyes with Judge at home plate. As he waited for the pitch, he seemed to be looking towards his canoe.
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A slow-motion video replay confirmed this.
“Alright Buck, so you and I looked at each other at the same time when we saw this three lengths ago. What is this?” Shulman asked.
“Where is he looking?” Martinez stepped in. “Really, really unusual.”
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Shulman continued, “You don’t want to unknowingly throw allegations, but…”
Shulman is obviously talking about the potential for cheating on Judge’s part here, and while Martinez didn’t suspect it, he also didn’t think Judge’s move here would have allowed him to see where the receiver is settling behind. him.
“I had guys looking back when I was catching and obviously you could see it and he couldn’t see the receiver with the way he was looking right there,” Martinez said.
At that point, Jackson hooked a slider — his third consecutive batting judge slider — on a 3-2 count that the judge “beat,” in the words of Shulman to deep center field. The ball traveled about 462 feet to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead. They would end up winning 7-4 to open the series.
As the judge circled the bases, Shulman and Martinez continued.
“This is the third time this season that Aaron Judge has hit two home runs in a game,” Martinez said. “And again he looks at something and then the next move is this power swing and he sends one to center field. I’ve never seen that before with him.”
“Do you think he’s trying to see if Alejandro Kirk is set up?” asked Shulman. “You know, it’s more likely to be a slider if Kirk is in it, and if he can’t see Kirk, it’s more likely to be a fastball?”
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Martinez added, “But the way his head was, I’m not sure he could see the receiver or anything.”
After the game, the judge was asked about the situation and he responded by referring to his manager, Aaron Boone, who had been thrown to bat earlier after a low slider in the area was called for a strike by plate umpire Clint. Vondrak. Boone was thrown out for arguing over balls and strikes.
“A lot of chirping from our dugout, which I really didn’t like in the situation where it’s a 6-0 game and I know Boonie got thrown out,” he told reporters. “I was trying to save Boonie by calling a timeout like, ‘Hey, wait here. Let me work here.’ I was kinda trying to see who was chirping in the dugout 6-0, Boonie was thrown out, so let’s get to work now.
Judge added that his teammates didn’t stop talking to Vondrak after their manager was ejected, causing him to watch once more.
“I’m kinda like, ‘Who’s still talking here?’ It’s 6-0 and our manager got fired. He did his job, so let’s get back to playing ball.
The judge ended by saying that “hopefully it won’t happen again”.
Since returning from the injured list, Judge is 8 for 25 in May with four homers and 10 RBIs in seven games, which is what the Yankees need since their first month ended with them in last place in a difficult AL East division.
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The judge’s first home run came from Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah on his first at bat of the game.