clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees At-Bat of the Week: Aaron Judge (9/18)

Number 59 is deserving of the at-bat of the week.

New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Aaron Judge. The man, the myth, the legend. I’ve been wanting to do this for a few weeks now, so it’s time to make it happen. For the rest of the season, this series will feature strictly Aaron Judge home runs. Barring an extremely unlikely scenario in which he doesn’t homer in a week, I’ll cover another at-bat, but let’s be honest here, that’s not happening.

It’s time to sit back and appreciate everything Judge is doing. Even if you think you’ve heard endless talk about Judge’s season, you haven’t. Judge is in the midst of Barry Bonds-ing the league. He is on an unbelievable roll of getting hit after hit after hit. In my adult life, I have never witnessed such domination. There really is no viable option against him other than walking. But you know what strategy really does not work? Throwing the same pitch to him more than twice in a row.

Not an ideal start to an at-bat against Judge! You simply do not want to be down in the count against a hitter who is a borderline automatic home run. Judge was seeing beach balls all weekend. Good luck not having your very best command!

Very nice swing. This is the type of swing you want to see from any hitter whose team is up a handful of runs in a 1-0 advantage count. That’s been one of the beauties of watching Judge this year. Every at-bat is as competitive as possible. Almost every swing is an A swing and there are only good swing decisions. Yes, the swing is amazing, and the power is unmatched, but you only hit this well when you pair swing decisions perfectly with your swing type. It’s next level understanding and execution of hitting. Okay, now back to the at-bat. We have ourselves a 1-1 count.

I’ve talked about this before, but Judge’s pitch to pitch adjustments have been so special. After a swing and miss in the last pitch, he adjusted to the spin. He clearly recognized it better and that led to him putting a more competitive swing on it. Yes, the previous pitch had a better location, but you still have to give Judge credit for making the adjustment and taking an aggressive swing on a pitch in the zone. You have to understand you might not always get the perfect pitch to hit, so if you have a chance to do damage on something in the zone, you have to give it a try.

I literally cannot understand the logic of throwing Aaron Judge four of the same straight pitches. I don’t care what your best pitch is or what Judge’s tendencies are. It doesn’t make sense. There is no logic. Pitching backwards or with some element of surprise is a great idea, but this is not that.

This is an obvious incompetency for every party involved. You clearly aren’t reading the two swings Judge took. Even in missing the first slider, he took a very good swing. In the 1-1 count, he took an even better swing. He was clearly picking up on the spin and only a hair away from hitting it 110 mph. Whether or not the slider is your best pitch, this is a silly decision. No matter the spot, you have the best hitter on Earth at the plate and you decide to give him four consecutive chances to hit the same pitch? I don’t get it. This is the result. A 443-foot nuke.