“How do you catch that?” Judge’s Ohtani Home Run Judge… admiration for both enemies and colleagues

 The moment Aaron Judge jumped up in front of the fence and caught Shohei Ohtani’s home run. Everyone in Yankee Stadium burst into exclamation. 

On the 20th (hereinafter Korean time), the 2023 Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels was held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA. The confrontation between Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)메이저놀이터 and Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who competed for MVP last year in the American League, drew attention, and from the first inning, the two players’ fierce match-up thrilled baseball fans. 

It was an Angels attack in the first inning with a score of 0-0. Ohtani, who appeared in the absence of a runner, played a full count match against Yankees starter Johnny Britto, and hit an 88.6 mile (142 km) change-up on the sixth pitch, hitting a big hit that was expected to be a home run. However, at this time, the center fielder judge jumped in front of the fence and stretched out his arms to snatch the batted ball, turning it into a floating ball for the center fielder. Judge missed the ball he caught as he landed, but caught it with his right hand without a glove and robbed Ohtani of the home run.

According to MLB.com, the official MLB website, Judge said after the game, “I want to be an all-around player. Especially when the pitcher is throwing hard, I want to play for him,” he said. “I don’t want to be a home run hitter or just a hitter. The goal is to become a great all-round player. I am focusing on that and working on the game.” 

Not many expected that Judge would catch Ohtani’s batted ball. “I expected it to be a home run,” said Yankees starter Brito. I saw the jersey near the fence and the moment he got the timing right, I thought maybe I could catch it,” said teammate Gleiber Torres, “amazing. It was a really nice catch. It looks easy to catch the batted ball, but it is actually very difficult.” Angels’ flagship hitter Mike Trout also said, “I don’t know how that ball didn’t go over the fence.”

The planting of the enemy general was uncomfortable. Angels manager Phil Nevin, a former Yankees coach, said, “I’ve seen Judge play that kind of defense many times. Having experienced this as an opposing team, it is not so pleasant. Judge is a game changer in both offense and defense.” 

Good defense followed by good offense. At the end of the first inning, Judge appeared at first base with no one out and fired a preemptive two-run gun that broke the balance of 0 in front of Ohtani. The game also ended with the Yankees’ overtime victory in the 10th inning, and in the end Judge won a decision over Ohtani. Ohtani, who started as the Angels’ second designated hitter, faltered with no hits in four at-bats, one walk, and two strikeouts. 

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