Bronx, NY – Manager Alex Cora said he wasn’t coming to New York for a vacation as his Boston Red Sox came to the Bronx and faced the Yankees. His team is out of contention and the Yankees are nearing their fourth AL East division title since their 2009 World Series championship.
And the Red Sox are contending with Aaron Judge, the Major League home run leader with 60, and one away from tying the long time Roger Maris American League home run record of 61.
Thursday night in the Bronx, the Yankees got another walk-off win, 5-4, in 10 innings. The Yankees clinched their sixth consecutive postseason berth, 24th in the last 28 years.
Judge, though, did not establish a new single American League home run record. Perhaps, he will establish baseball history Friday night when the series continues. Regardless, the baseball world is caught up in the Aaron Judge home run quest with history as he also seeks to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since 2012 when Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers pulled off that accomplishment.
So, here is Cora with a disappointing Red Sox team and playing out the string in the Bronx. No matter the circumstance, the Red Sox are planning to regroup and look at ways to challenge again for a division title in 2023.
As the Red Sox watch Judge, his every at bat, they are aware about being a part of baseball history in the Bronx the next few days. Except, now, any team with strategy will have a difficult time preventing Judge from establishing history.
Red Sox starter Michael Wacha walked Judge two times and of course fans at Yankee Stadium expect Judge to be challenged and hit the home run ball.
“Judge is so disciplined,” said Cora after the walk-off loss. “He will take his walks. Obviously, it’s not easy, but we’re going to attack and if he takes his walks, he takes them. If he chases, he chases. I think, overall, we did a good job.”
But, right now, the Yankees are becoming a difficult team to beat. If it’s not Judge, teams have to pitch to the resurgence of Gleyber Torres at the plate. And they have to contend with the resurgence of a home run coming from Giancarlo Stanton who hit his 28th in the sixth inning.
Cora said, this was a Red Sox loss that has occurred more than once this season. He added the Yankees have Judge at that’s one of the reasons they have led wire-to-wire as a first place team in the division.
“Overall a good game but we have seen this script too many teams,” Cora said. “Judge is amazing. He’s been that way the whole season for them.”
But this was all about Judge in the Bronx. It was about the home run record, and continuing his quest to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since 2012. And as usual, this was Aaron Judge placing more emphasis on what his team accomplished.
“A great accomplishment,” Judge said about the Yankees securing a playoff berth with the magic number dwindling to five to clinching another AL East division title. “A lot of hard work over the course of the season to get to this point.”
And the Yankees mission from the beginning of spring training was to win their division. The mission for Aaron Judge has always been to get his team to play deep into October and return to their first World Series since their last championship year of 2009.
To be continued Wednesday evening in the Bronx. Judge is going for a record and Cora with his Red Sox are playing out the string attempting to not be the team that will be remembered for giving up the record home run ball.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.
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