The Boston Red Sox are effectively out of the playoff race. They have nothing to play for, but by watching Michael Wacha’s first-inning approach to Aaron Judge, the Red Sox seemed determined to avoid their place in a historical highlight reel.
Judge, as most know, went into Thursday night’s game tied with Babe Ruth at 60 home runs on the season. He’s one home run away from Roger Maris’ American League record of 61. And Yankee Stadium was absolutely juiced to watch that historical pursuit unfold on Thursday.
That was until Wacha and the Red Sox walked Judge on four straight balls in the opening at-bat — with no pitch even coming close to sniffing the zone.
The Red Sox walk Aaron Judge on 4 pitches in his first plate appearance of the night.
: https://t.co/NvZPAyEZeD pic.twitter.com/aQ8FucMHyd
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 22, 2022
With each ball in the at-bat, the Yankee Stadium crowd booed even louder. And they were right to do so.
Aaron Judge saw just 4 pitches in his first appearance at the plate—he was walked—the crowd at Yankee Stadium is not happy pic.twitter.com/LyAtXt7HUa
— Jennifer X. Williams (@JenXperience) September 22, 2022
Like, I get that no pitcher wants to see a home run they gave up looped throughout baseball history. But at the same time, you need to be competitive as a professional athlete. Wacha’s job is to get hitters out (or at least try to), so him starting a game with a four-pitch walk was telling. He wasn’t missing his spots — he was deliberately avoiding a chance to compete against Judge out of fear and pettiness.
On top of that, Wacha has been dominant in past matchups with Judge.
Wacha walks Judge on four pitches. By the way, Judge is 0 for 14 with 9 strikeouts versus Wacha in his career.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) September 22, 2022
It doesn’t get much lamer than that. Just ask other baseball fans.
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