Hitting home runs is not new to Aaron Judge. Entering Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, he had 167 in his career. But No. 168 was the first of its kind for the New York Yankees slugger.
Judge came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with two runners on and his Yankees trailing 5-3. Toronto closer Jordan Romano got ahead 1-2 on Judge but then made a bad mistake over the plate. Judge made him pay, launching a ball into the left field bleachers for the first walk-off home run of his career.
Save it for the Judge. pic.twitter.com/FHWrERduEV
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 11, 2022
The home run drew two different kind of reactions. One was from people who were caught up in the emotion of the game. Naturally, those cheering for the Yankees were happy. Fans pulling for the Blue Jays, however, were not.
One of the best games I’ve watched so far. What a way to end it. #walkoff #yankees https://t.co/d814aLXZmC
— Darien Prall (@Pra11y) May 11, 2022
We choked again. Gonna say it again. #FireCharlieMontoya https://t.co/xHN9kYtszU
— Seth Drakin (@SethDrakin) May 11, 2022
💥 BOOM. Glad I stuck around. #Yankees https://t.co/znH1iT91tq
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 11, 2022
— em (@moonchildballad) May 11, 2022
Walk off homers are so darn cool. https://t.co/Yibpj67sxc
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) May 11, 2022
— Alice “Big Al” Moran (@Alice_Moran) May 11, 2022
Stanton 3-run Bomb to tie it 3-3.
Judge 3-run Bomb to win it 6-5!
Just like they planned it 4 years ago. https://t.co/rXeqv3Yjck
— Yankees.Blue🐢 (@Yankees_Blue) May 11, 2022
It was indeed a wild, memorable game. New York’s offense consisted of two three-run home runs. Prior to Judge’s walk-off blast, Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run home run with his team trailing 3-0. Following that, Toronto pitcher Yimi Garcia hit Josh Donaldson and was controversially ejected.
But not all of the chatter was about the moment, or even the game.
Judge is also a free agent. While he had hoped to get a deal signed before the season started, that did not happen. He rejected a substantial offer from the Yankees, opting to bet on himself. While it’s early, that is looking like a good bet. Tuesday’s walk-off blast was his 10th home run of the season, which leads all of MLB.
Several fans felt that this game-winning home run will only make Judge’s value increase even more.
BLANK CHECK ! https://t.co/6Wi8gQ5CUA
— Dom (@domschmidt48) May 11, 2022
Walk off in style, please pay this guy! https://t.co/CTfnJk3C51
— Big Ant (@Bigantsgaming) May 11, 2022
get the contract out, put it on the table. Let him sign it. Let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there… https://t.co/FrX7FhYKKX
— austin (@CFCaustin) May 11, 2022
I know Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are mad as hell right now 😂 #Yankees https://t.co/vfcNmGrQEm
— Julez (@JULEZ_91) May 11, 2022
Was that Judges signature moment as a @Yankee? I think only thing that could have made it better is if it was vs the @redsox or during the playoffs or WS. But this was incredible, Judge is a beast & the Yankees need to sign him ASAP!! 🙂🧡 https://t.co/yrxpLrSYmL
— Fabulous And Thick Modeling (@FATFabandthick) May 11, 2022
Obviously, the value of Judge’s next deal will depend a lot on what happens for the rest of the season. But winning a game against a division rival and fellow contender isn’t going to hurt matters for Judge.