Twenty-four hours after his gaudy performance at the plate and on defense, rookie Aaron Judge made a rookie mistake on the base paths in the fourth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS.
Judge drew a leadoff walk off Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. with the game still scoreless. After Didi Gregorius lined out to center for the first out of the fourth, Gary Sanchez popped up to shallow right. Judge took off before Sanchez connected, and was already around second base while Astros right fielder Josh Reddick came charging in to make the catch. Judge then sprinted back to first, but was called out by first-base umpire Jerry Meals. The Yankees appealed the play, and the call was overturned.
But when Judge made his mad dash back to first on the Reddick catch, he did not touch second base in his haste to beat Reddick’s relay throw. After the call was overturned at first, Yankee manager Joe Girardi motioned for Judge to run to second once play resumed with McCullers touching the pitching rubber.
Aaron Judge triggered a bizarre string of events.
(David J. Phillip/AP)
The 6’7 outfielder ran to second, but McCullers fired to shortstop Carlos Correa, who was covering second. Correa tagged out Judge. The official scoring was caught stealing, but Correa also could have merely stepped on the second-base bag for the out as well
The inning ended with the teams still locked in a scoreless tie, but two innings later Houston plated three runs in the top of the sixth.