The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels began a star-studded three-game series Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium that features Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout against Aaron Judge & Co. (GameTracker). A round after the start of the match, it was the advantage: judge. He stole a home run from Ohtani to the center field wall in the first inning.
Here is the flight of the judge’s home run:
The side angle during the YES Network broadcast showed the ball going over the wall but barely. It was a scratcher for sure, but it would have counted had Judge not gone up and used every inch of his 6-foot-7 frame to steal the circuit. For what it’s worth, Statcast says Ohtani’s ball would have been a home run in 20 stadiums.
The judge of course stole that home run in center field, not in his usual right field. He started 23 games at center last season and Tuesday is already his 17th start at center this year. Judge may not look the part because he’s so big, but he’s an excellent defenseman who ranks third among all outfielders with 55 defensive points saved since 2017. Only Mookie Betts (86 ) and Lorenzo Cain (56) are better.
Ohtani smashed two home runs on Sunday and hit seven homers in his last 18 games. Judge won a home run on Tuesday, although he’s obviously feeling pretty good at the plate. Ohtani took a .249/.325/.470 line and 11 homers in Game 1 of the series in New York. That’s a cut below his MVP output in 2021, but still very good.
The Yankees entered Tuesday’s game with the American League’s best record at 33-15. The Angels are in wildcard position at 27-22.