Aaron Judge

USA Today

The Yanks Are Pretty Good

Tomorrow night. Fenway. Let’s get it on.

October 04, 2018 - 9:24 am

Last night, the New York Yankees served up a couple of reminders in their 7-2 win over Oakland in the Wild Card. One: they’re pretty good. And two: Aaron Judge is pretty good. Don’t believe me? Check the bottom of the first inning. Andrew McCutchen leads it off with a walk and Aaron Judge comes to the plate. Roll it.

That wasn’t a home run; that was a statement. With a couple of exclamation points. Absolutely crushed it. And crushed the A’s in the process. 

Don’t believe me? Ask A’s pitcher Fernando Rodney: "Once I saw how Judge hit that ball, I thought to myself... this is over."

That is as honest as honest gets. A guy admitting that he saw a home run in the bottom of the first inning of a Wild Card game and knew immediately that the game and their season was over. And he’s not wrong. Don’t get it confused. Bob Melvin’s team didn’t give up. They battled, because that’s what they do. 

And if you’re thinking of taking a run at Melvin for his “opener” instead of starter approach, take that somewhere else. Get that crap outta here. It didn’t work last night, but it worked to get them to the postseason. It worked to get them to 97 wins after losing just about every starter who’d ever put on an A’s jersey. It worked to get them into the Wild Card spot after three straight losing seasons. They just ran into Aaron Judge and Aaron Judge ran into a bad pitch. 

The A’s opener, Liam Hendriks, had not allowed a home run since June. But Judge ended that streak and that game pretty quickly.

And it’s not just about Judge. There’s Luke Voit, too. A guy who the Yankees acquired in a deal with the Cardinals that was more focused on international slot money than on Luke Voit. And then my guy went legend last night in the sixth when he broke it open with a two-run triple. 

Now, my guy is not exactly running down Vince Coleman any time soon, but if he keeps having moments like that, this Yankees team is downright nasty.

Because even after Khris Davis tried to pull the A’s back into the game with a 2-run bomb, Giancarlo Stanton came to the plate. And left the yard with an absolute moonshot. And a reminder that this crew can absolutely mash. 117.4 miles per hour. The hardest hit ball of the Statcast era. 

They’re good. I’m telling you this because it feels like a lot of people got lost in the sauce when it comes to the Red Sox. Boston is great. Win 108 games in the regular season and you are a great team. But the Yankees still won 100 games. And you don’t back your way into triple digit wins. They’ve got some arms, they can hit a little, and they can even mix in some defense.

And the Yankees are a confident team right now. Almost as confident as their fans, who broke out the “We want Boston!” chant? Well, you got them. And the fact is, now that the Yanks are past the wildcard round, as much as they have to deal with the 108 win Red Sox, the Sox have to deal with them as well. 

And we got the first postseason meeting between the two teams since 2004. Think that’ll bring back any memories for Yankees fans and Sox fans? 

The first time both teams have met in the postseason after winning 100 games in the regular season. Tomorrow night. Fenway. Let’s get it on.