How powerful is Aaron Judge?
During this magical season, the slugger can turn Yankees fans into Red Sox fans.
With the Red Sox threatening Saturday in the top of the ninth of a game the Yankees went on to win 7-5, Boston manager Alex Cora said he could hear portions of the crowd in The Bronx begin cheering for the enemy.
Judge, sitting on 60 home runs and one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record of 61, would have led off the bottom of the ninth if the Red Sox had tied the score or taken the lead.
“It was kind of weird,” Cora said Saturday after the Yankees’ third straight win over his club to begin the series. “The last inning, there was a section toward right field, they started chanting, ‘Let’s go Red Sox.’ There were a bunch of Yankees fans.”
A Yankees fan sitting near Cora yelled to him, “Let’s go Alex, score two!” the manager said. “I told him, ‘If you get this place going, chanting ‘Let’s go Red Sox,’ you’re the man.’ ”
He was not the man, and the majority of fans in Yankee Stadium remained cheering for the home team during a tense top of the ninth.
Scott Effross, handed a two-run lead, allowed a single to Rafael Devers before hitting Xander Bogaerts with a pitch. Effross bounced back and recorded two outs before walking Triston Casas to load the bases.
The Yankees escaped when Bobby Dalbec grounded into a fielder’s choice, which sealed the victory and ensured that Judge’s home run history would have to wait at least one more day.
Cora said that during the ninth, he flashed back to the end of the 2014 season, when the Yankees’ David Robertson allowed three runs to the Orioles in the top of the ninth inning, which gave Derek Jeter a ninth-inning at-bat in his final home game. Jeter hit a walk-off RBI single.
“It’s a cool scene,” Cora said. “These fans are great. They do a nice job rooting for the team.”
Most of the time, anyway. The Red Sox did not appear to be extra motivated by the turncoat fans.
“I couldn’t hear anything,” said Casas, who worked a full count before his ninth-inning walk. “I know after I swung through that second one to get to two strikes, the crowd got into it — I heard that.”
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