Aaron Judge is a pretty fast learner. That has been evidenced by his significantly improved production on the field, where he’s gone from a .179 hitter during his brief callup last season to a Home Run Derby champion, Rookie of the Year favorite and perhaps even MVP favorite this season.
It was also evidenced in his actions during the Yankees walk-off celebration following their 5-4 win against the Rays on Saturday afternoon.
The walk-off win was the second in three days for New York. If you remember, it was during the last one that Judge chipped a tooth after colliding with one of his teammate’s batting helmets.
Judge had the tooth fixed right away on Friday and was immediately back in the lineup. But he still wasn’t taking any chances this time around.
And Aaron was extra careful this time pic.twitter.com/0SwX8URKzm
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 29, 2017
If he didn’t before, Judge now clearly subscribes to the theory of “chip my tooth once, shame on you. Chip my tooth twice, shame on me.”
OK, so that’s not a real thing, but the bottom line is there was no chipped tooth to be searched for by Yankee Stadium security on Saturday. There was no shame. There was only joy as the Yankees celebrated their sixth victory in a row.
We wouldn’t blame Judge either if there was a feeling of déjà vu as this celebration commenced. On Thursday, it was Brett Gardner who launched a solo home run in the 11th inning to top the Rays. On Saturday, it was Gardner again, this time with a run-scoring single.
Thanks to their latest hot streak, the Yankees have had a lot to smile about. It’s up to them now to keep the smiles coming and, more importantly, protected.
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