Home News Greeted by boos, Judge shows SF Giants what they’re missing

Greeted by boos, Judge shows SF Giants what they’re missing


SAN FRANCISCO — No, two years was not enough time to heal this wound, not if the reaction Friday evening inside Oracle Park offered any indication.

Boos reigned down when Aaron Judge’s name was announced for the first time in introductions. The torrent continued into his first at-bat, the home fans still aflutter when the Giants’ starter, Jordan Hicks, fired his first pitch to the 6-foot-7 slugger who spurned San Francisco two winters ago.

Then, just as the angst of a failed free-agent pursuit began to fade, Judge ripped open the flesh anew with one swing and cauterized it with another.

Back at Oracle Park for the first time since his free-agent visit, Judge handed his onetime suitors a 6-2 loss with a pair of 6-foot-7-sized home runs, providing a glance at what it might have looked like had the Giants’ aggressive pursuit of the Northern California-born superstar come to fruition.

Instead, Judge opted to re-sign with the New York Yankees, who were the beneficiaries of his bat once again in the first of three games between the interleague foes. It is the Yankees’ first visit to the shores of McCovey Cove since 2019, and their traveling fan base at times outcheered the home fans’ jeers.

The chants of “Let’s Go Yankees!” reached their apex shortly after Judge’s second home run ball fell from its own onto the netting beyond the 391′ sign in center field.

The solo shot, his league-leading 20th of the season, extended the Yankees’ lead to 4-1 to begin the sixth inning, and they would tack on two more and force Hicks from the game before the frame was finished. Receiving chants of “M-V-P” from behind the visitor’s dugout, Judge was responsible for four of the Yankees’ runs.

Winning an eight-pitch battle with Hicks in his second trip to the plate, Judge deposited a middle-in splitter into the left-field bleachers to open a 3-1 lead in the third inning. The ball was struck at 104.4 mph and traveled 394 feet, measurements that paled in comparison to his sixth-inning blast that left his bat at 112.3 mph and traveled 426 feet.

The pair of homers gave him seven in his past nine games and 13 since the start of May; his 26 extra-base hits this month trail only Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig for the most in one calendar month in the Yankees’ illustrious franchise history. This season, Judge owns the top marks in the majors in walks (45), slugging percentage (.648), OPS (1.056), extra-base hits (38) and homers (20).

With Judge as its $360 million anchor, the Yankees’ lineup entered the series leading the majors in home runs and OPS and proved to be Hicks’ toughest test of the season. Allowing five runs (four earned) over 5⅓ innings, Hicks didn’t issue a walk but surrendered eight hits, including the two big ones to Judge.

The two homers and four earned runs were both the most Hicks has allowed in any of his 13 starts, raising his ERA to 2.70, still eighth in the National League.

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