New York Yankees star Aaron Judge’s playoff debut: Scene, updates and more

 In Sports
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has gone through a bit of everything in his rookie season: A remarkable first half that earned him early MVP recognition; Home Run Derby heroics in Miami; a major, strikeout-filled second-half swoon; and finally, a late homer barrage to push the likely American League Rookie of the Year’s season total to 52.

Judge got his first taste of postseason play on Tuesday night and did not disappoint. A cast of ESPN reporters were on hand to chronicle the rookie’s big day.

Making a postseason splash

Aaron Judge reached out and sent a soft liner into center in his first major league postseason at-bat. Judge worked the count to 2-2 against Ervin Santana before using his 6-foot-7 reach and his 282 pounds of power to flick a slider to center to put runners on the corners in the first with no outs.

Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer

Starting with Yankees manager Joe Girardi, there have been comparisons between Aaron Judge and Derek Jeter. The one question that Judge hadn’t answered is: Does he have Jeter’s knack for being clutch? Well, Judge has put the first exclamation on his amazing rookie year. In the fourth, he pulled a two-run homer just over the left field wall to extend the Yankees lead to three runs. The crowd chanted, “MVP! MVP! MVP!” as Judge entered the dugout.

Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer

Aaron Judge is the 3rd rookie in Yankees history to homer in his postseason debut (Elston Howard did it in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series against the Dodgers and Shane Spencer did it in Game 1 of the 1998 ALDS against the Rangers) (via: Elias Sports Bureau).

ESPN Stats and Information

The Yankees’ Aaron Judge just missed another home run in the seventh inning, hitting a long drive just foul down the left field line. Twins’ reliever Trevor Hildenberger ended up walking Judge.

Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer

The Yankees are wild card winners after a come-from-behind 8-4 win over the Twins in a roller coaster of a game. The Yankees overcame starter Luis Severino lasting just one out and giving up two homers in the first, as four relievers picked up the slack, allowing just one run the rest of the night. Aroldis Chapman recorded the final three outs. Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer to tie the game in the first, while Aaron Judge extended the lead in the fourth with a two-run long ball.

Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer

Yankee Stadium was absolutely electric Tuesday night — and the hero of the AL wild-card game, Aaron Judge, noticed. “I was feeding off the crowd all night. They came in force tonight. They were behind us even when we were down early. I was just feeding off them,” the rookie slugger said in the champagne-soaked clubhouse after the game. “I can’t really describe it to be honest. The couple games I’ve played, Yankees-Red Sox here, it was pretty electric, it was probably the best crowds I’ve seen. But this was times 10, times 20 that.”

Matt Marrone, ESPN.com

Scenes from Yankee Stadium

The Yankees are opening The Judge’s Chambers this postseason to young fans and “everyday heroes” from the community. Tonight’s lucky guest judges: students from P.S.-M.S. 89 in the Bronx, who are being recognized for their academic achievement and service.

Matt Marrone, ESPN.com
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