NEW YORK — Remember that recent talk from Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge about how he doesn’t care how far his long homers travel?
The truth came out Wednesday night in Judge’s post-game news conference, which was almost as entertaining as his fifth inning at-bat in a Yankees’ 9-1 shellacking of the Chicago White Sox that finished off a 8-1 homestand.
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Told MLB Statcast measured his bomb to left-center at 448 feet, Judge responded with a smile that was accompanied by a look of disbelief.
“Ah, man. I don’t know! They had (Matt) Holliday’s the other night at 460. I thought I beat him. But I guess not!”
Holliday’s homer two days earlier against the White Sox actually was a 459 footer, and while it, too, was impressive, Judge’s did seem to go further.
Jokingly told he ask for a re-measurement, Judge laughed again and said, “I need to!”
Judge is having a blast early into a rookie season that is going a lot better than his first big-league call-up late last season, one in which he hit a 446-foot homer in his first at-bat before ending up with four jacks along with 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats.
The 6-foot-7, 282-pound giant already has five homers in 14 games this season, and his strikeouts are down some. In 47 ABs, he’s whiffed 15 times.
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“To be honest I don’t even worry about the strikeouts,” Judge said. “If I do what I’m supposed to be doing – swing at the right pitches – it’ll kind of work out the right way.
“I’m swinging at the right pitches now. That’s the biggest thing. If you swing at the right ones, you make more contact and you strike out less.”
Judge went after the right pitch in the fifth inning Wednesday, a hanging curve from White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey. He says he was hunting “for something out over the plate,” and that’s what he got.
One big swing later, the ball towered way over the wall in left-center.
Wonder what that feeling is like to hit a ball like that?
“Ones like those, you don’t even feel it touch the bat, to be honest,” Judge said. “If you get it on the sweet spot, you don’t even feel it.”
Judge knew it was gone off the bat. How could he not? He got all of it.
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“I honestly didn’t look at it too much,” he said. “I just tried to take a good swing on it. It was a pitch up in the zone and it just started running.”
Judge was asked if he ever impresses himself how far he can hit a ball?
He laughed again and then said, “Um … “I don’t know. I don’t got an answer for you.”
But he most definitely cares about how far the ball travels because the competitor in him wants to hit one further than Holliday.
“Sometimes!” he said. “Me and Holliday were talking about it a little bit. He said his was at (459). I was like, ‘That’s pretty deep.’ I thought I had him tonight.”
Randy Miller may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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