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You saw The Catch. Here’s what you didn’t see: the way Aaron Judge pumps everyone up in the dugout, including another big man, CC Sabathia.
This was a game Sunday the Yankees needed to avoid a three-game sweep. It was a day the Yankees tied a club record by striking out 17 times in a nine-inning game, and Judge had four of those strikeouts, but they still came away with the 3-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
They won because of Judge’s Superman-like dive and backhanded double-play Corey Kluber Authentic Jersey catch of Yankees killer Evan Longoria’s drive in the right-center gap in the sixth inning that looked like a game-tying RBI double, at the least.
They won it because of Brett Gardner’s two-run home run in the Yankees’ three-run second off Rays ace Chris Archer.
But they also won this game because of Judge’s pick-me-up approach that helped Sabathia (4-2) get through five innings for his second straight victory.
“Judge is such a great teammate,’’ Sabathia told The Post. “He always gets the dugout going. He gets me going. His energy rubs off on everybody. He’ll come to me and say, ‘Let’s go, C!’ And I start yelling. For him to do that and be comfortable enough to be that kind of emotional leader for us as a rookie, that’s great.’’
“CC has been around the game for a long time, and he doesn’t need my help,’’ Judge said, “but I like to say positive things to everybody. I tell CC, ‘Nobody can beat you, you are the best guy out http://www.officialavalancheauthentic.com/Calvin_Pickard_Jersey there. CC, you’re leading us. Let’s go. This is our game.’ ’’
Judge then offered his gap-tooth smile.
“Especially when I am 0-for-4 at the plate, I have to help him out somehow.’’
Those words carry a lot more weight when you stretch your 6-foot-7 body as far as it can go and make such a spectacular grab.
“It’s like he gained 12 feet at the end of the catch,’’ reliever Tyler Clippard said.
“With the way he throws, the way he moves, runs, he’s an athlete, he could play any sport,’’ Sabathia said.
Gardner, who has eight home runs over his last 20 games, batting .359 over that span, best put the amazing Judge in perspective, saying: “I think he is capable of doing some very special things and we’ve already seen some special things. He’s capable Authentic Erik Johnson Womens Jersey of doing things that nobody else in the game is capable of doing.
“You throw [Giancarlo] Stanton’s name out there, pretty comparable guys, it’s hard to find anybody else to compare those guys to, but he is bigger and stronger than Stanton is,’’ Gardner said.
“He had four punchouts today, but he is the same [expletive] guy as if we won 6-0, and he had two three-run homers, and you don’t find that anymore.’’
No, you don’t.
Judge is the perfect teammate and not just because he is hitting .321 and leads the Yankees with 15 home runs and 30 RBIs. He cares about his teammates. He pumps them up. He produces, and he does all of that with the same no-ego approach.
The monster home runs, the must-see batting practice, the spectacular catches are all part of the package, but there is so much more to Aaron Judge that makes him the kind of player his teammates rely on in all http://www.officialindianstore.com/Cody_Allen_Jersey phases of the game and to set a winning tone.
That is what this game is all about. The Yankees (25-16) are back in first place because of Judge’s heroics on the field — his home runs fly farther, and so does he when he makes the kind of awe-inspiring catch he made Sunday.
But there is a different lift to his game as well.
Aaron Judge not only produces on the field and at the plate, he lifts the spirit of his teammates. He helps carry them to success.