Aaron Judge said that he is ready for Opening Day.
he was right.
The judges started a lot of delays on Thursday with Youngis missing 4-1.
They were enough to impress a new partner.
“They were two pure swings on the ball,” Gerrit Cole said of the judge’s work at the plate.
In September last year, the right fielder was sidelined in March after a judge was diagnosed with a broken rib and a collapsed lung on the diving play.
General Manager Brian Cashman said Rib’s injury may have ruled the judge out until “summer”. The judge dealt with a stiff neck when baseball returned from a labor dispute after a long-closed COVID-19 shutdown.
But he returned to hit three homers in two exhibition games and warmed up against Max Shozer of Washington on Thursday.
He first gave up a 108 mph run with one in the top and later scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s Mammath Homer in the inning, giving the Yankees and Cole a 2–0 lead.
“In the big picture, it was a chance to see our crime when everyone is healthy,” the judge said. “I’m just trying to get on base for the big hitters behind me. We showed up tonight. We know [Stanton] Talk to him
The judge came out again in the third after Tyler Wade’s leadoff walk and an Aaron Hicks strike.
This time, the judge gave up a double and landed fast – which started at second base in place of DJ LeMahieu – came around to score to bring the Yankees back by two runs.
The judge had a chance against Schenzer with a runner on the corners to lead the Yankees in fifth and once again, but he was looking outside. Stanton selected him with the RBI after Glibber Torres walked in to load the bases.
The judge insisted during spring training 2.0 that his neck was not an issue and on Tuesday declared himself “ready to go”.
The judge was limited to 102 games a year ago due to a left slant stretch and in 2018 he played 112 games due to just a right wrist fracture.
In this brief season, a similarly extended absence would be especially damaging to the Judge and the Yankees – and he proved why he is so important to his lineup again on Thursday.
Aaron Boone said he was happy with what he got from both the judge and Stanton in the middle of the lineup.
“One thing that I liked very much was that this team was ready to go and those guys were leading the way, in a sense,” Boone said of the two sluggers. “We really have the quality of the bats to confirm the work that we are seeing. The judge had really good bats.”
But the judge also admitted that there was something strange about the setting.
“It was nice to have some real baseball back, but it was definitely weird,” the judge said. “It was awkward with the team celebrating the World Series Championship and they had no fans to celebrate with.”
However, in the end, it was fine.