BALTIMORE – Such is the power of Aaron Judge that a three-hit night with a long home run can create the feeling that things might turn out right in Yankees Universe.
“That’s what it’s supposed to be like,’’ said Yanks manager Aaron Boone, his Saturday night mood brightened by a thorough 8-3 win against the first place Orioles.
Which gets you to wondering about what the Yankees might look like on Tuesday night, when the MLB trade deadline passes.
Every team in the bareknuckle AL East is in contention, they’re all buyers at some level, and the Yankees – in need of an offensive boost – have pitching to offer in this market.
Speaking generally about the Yankees potentially adding help by Tuesday at 6 p.m., the team’s captain gave the professional answer you’d expect.
“It’s out of our control,’’ Judge said of the front office’s business, while it’s on the current 26-player roster to maintain that daily focus.
Yankees play with an edge at Baltimore
And there was something urgent about the Yankees’ look on Saturday night.
“We played with a chip on our shoulder,’’ said Schmidt, the winning pitcher.
Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka hit solo homers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa contributed a key, three-run double to cap a terrific at-bat and the Yankees successfully turned the page from Friday night’s 1-0 loss.
Judge certainly gave the visiting fans what they came to see Saturday at Camden Yards, smashing his first homer in his second game back from the injured list – a third-inning, two-run clout that sailed an estimated 442 feet to center field.
Add in a gritty five-inning effort by Schmidt, some sharp relief work by Ian Hamilton, and the Yankees (55-49) were in position to take the weekend series against Baltimore (63-41), heading into a week where Boone’s club welcomes the Rays and Astros to the Bronx.
The power of Aaron Judge
Judge’s homer gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead and the evening’s tone was set.
“That’s why he gets the big bucks. He’s the captain for a reason,’’ said Kiner-Falefa, who further outlined how Judge’s lineup presence can have a calming effect.
In those nearly two months when Judge was on the IL with a sprained right big toe, “everybody’s flying open, trying to do too much,’’ said IKF, who came back from an 0-2 count to lash his key bases-clearing double.
“That was a big moment for me.’’
“One of the best at-bats of the season,’’ Boone said of IKF’s 10-pitch battle and Judge said, “that’s why I want him in there every single day. I was pretty hyped up, coming home on that one.’’
Speaking of being in there every day, Judge wants to play Sunday but Boone was more inclined to rest the captain from the lineup.
Anyway, another conversation was due.
“As much as I want to run him out there every day, we’ve got to be smart,’’ said Boone. “We’ll talk. But he’s in a good spot.’’
Judge understands, to a point.
“I’m not happy with it,’’ Judge said with a faint smile about management’s plans to play it safe.
But Judge was replaced in right field with a five-run lead in the seventh, providing some clue that he’d be the DH on Sunday night.
“We’ll see the schedule we come up with and go from there,’’ Judge said in a matter-of-fact tone.
As for the Yankees’ chances, regardless of what happens before the trade deadline, Judge said: “I wouldn’t count us out.”
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Aaron Judge home run vs, Orioles shows how Yankees can win again
Source: Yahoo Sports