Mets leftfielder Yoenis Cespedes didn’t move an inch.
Aaron Judge led off the fourth inning Wednesday night and teed off on a hanging 1-and-0 Robert Gsellman slider, the contact creating a distinctive “crack.”
The ball traveled well into the Citi Field’s third deck in left, a spot rarely, if ever, visited by baseballs, and the reason Cespedes barely flinched as the ball sailed overhead in its towering elliptical flight.
“I’ve never seen a ball go up there,” Chase Headley said.
“I think we can all kind of say, ‘wow,’” Joe Girardi said.
The blast, Judge’s 37th of the season, was estimated to have traveled 457 feet. It had the sizable contingent of Yankees fans in the sellout crowd of 42,260 high-fiving and even plenty of Mets fans murmuring in admiration.
According to hittraackeronline, it was the third-longest homer this season at Citi Field, behind Kyle Schwarber (467 feet) and Anthony Rizzo (461) of the Cubs.
The measurement had Judge’s teammates perplexed.
“530 feet, that’s what I’ve been telling everybody,” Didi Gregorius said. “That’s at least 500 feet. One of the farthest [this season he’s hit] I think. He keeps hitting them further and further each time.”
Said Headley: “If that’s 450, no ball’s ever going [to be measured] over 500 feet. That ball was crushed.”
Judge put his head down as soon as he hit it and said he became aware of where the ball landed only after teammates pointed it out to him in the dugout. That’s been pretty much par for the course this season.
“Not really,” Judge said, asked if he’s ever tempted to watch where one of his shots lands. “When you hit it and you kind of know you got one, it’s just run the bases.”
Judge finished 2-for-5, he also singled and scored in the sixth inning to make it 3-2, but added his name to the record books, though in a way he likely would have preferred not to.
In his last at-bat of the night, against Mets righthander Erik Goeddel in the ninth, Judge struck out swinging. It extended his consecutive game streak with a strikeout to 33, pushing him past Adam Dunn for the longest such streak ever by a position player.
“I was told before [the game] that I had tied the record and I think you just informed me that I broke it. So thank you,” Judge said with a smile. “There’s great pitchers in this league. You’re going to get fooled sometimes, they’re going to get you. But if I keep taking my right swings, swinging at the right pitches, good things will happen. People strike out. I strike out a lot. It happens. Just have to keep working.”
Entering the night the 25-year-old Judge had 54 strikeouts in 110 at-bats during the stretch (one in which he did walk 29 times).
It was part of an overall rough second half for the rightfielder, one in which he came in slashing .175/.344/.369 with six homers and 13 RBI.
Though it hasn’t shown up in the numbers quite yet, the Yankees and Judge have seen improvement. Wednesday night made it two homers in three games and the rookie is still drawing his share of walks, 10 in his previous nine game entering Wednesday.
“I’ve been feeling good every day,” Judge said. “It’s just about taking what you’re doing in the cage and in BP into the game.”