ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith took issue with the Toronto Blue Jays after Aaron Judge was walked 4 times on Tuesday. Judge finished the game going 0-1 with 4 base on balls. The Yankees still ended up winning 5-2, but it was clear that Toronto had no intention of letting Judge be the one to beat them.
Judge is sitting on 60 home runs. He’s looking to tie and eventually surpass Roger Maris’ American League single-season home run record. With such a historic record on the line, Smith couldn’t fathom the idea of handing Aaron Judge 4 free passes instead of pitching to him, per The Score on Twitter.
“You’re going to walk Aaron Judge four times? Pitchers, could you have some heart please?”
The Blue Jays’ Aaron Judge strategy may not have been favorable, but it made sense. They were looking to defeat the Yankees with the AL East on the line. But now that New York has clinched the division, the Blue Jays need to start pitching to Judge. They are going to earn an AL Wild Card spot, so there isn’t any reason to walk Judge unless the situation dictates to do so.
For example, walking Judge would make sense in a tie ball game and a runner on second base in the 8th inning. But in the 5th inning with nobody on base, the Blue Jays are going to need to pitch to Aaron Judge. Consistently pitching around him is bad for the sport.
Aaron Judge will try to match Maris’ home run record against the Blue Jays on Wednesday in Toronto.