The camera operator during Thursday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game had everyone convinced Aaron Judge had just tied Roger Maris’ home run record.
Everything was set up for Aaron Judge, the Yankees and the MLB world. You couldn’t have scripted it better.
It was the bottom of the ninth in a tie game between bitter rivals. Judge came to the plate with a chance to hit his 61st home run of the season and walk off a playoffs-clinching victory.
He swung. He made sweet contact. The ball soared high through the air. The crowd erupted. The broadcasters raised their voices.
The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the camera work, which didn’t exactly track the high fly ball until it was landing harmlessly in the glove of Red Sox outfielder Enrique Hernadez.
It had literally everyone fooled.
We didn’t get a record-tying home run but at least we got some great calls from the Spanish-language broadcasts.
Judge wasn’t the hero on Thursday, though he did make an incredible play with his arm earlier in the game, so it wasn’t exactly a quiet night for him. Instead, Josh Donaldson got to set off the fireworks in the 10th inning with a walk-off RBI single to left field.
New York has now clinched their playoff spot. All that’s left is to clinch the AL East and get Judge his AL home run record.
Maris set the record in 1961 with 61 home runs. One more from Judge will tie it. Two more will break it. He’s got about two weeks to produce those historic home runs.
The big question is how many chances he’ll get. He took walks on his first two at-bats against the Red Sox on Thursday. They certainly won’t be eager to give him opportunities as the series continues through the weekend.