VIDEO: Aaron Judge hits home run in All-Star Game off of Max Scherzer
By Mike Mazzeo
Jul 17, 2018 at 9:00 PM
WASHINGTON – Justin Verlander called it.
Luis Severino caught it.
And it’s all documented on video.
Prior to Aaron Judge’s second-inning at-bat against Max Scherzer during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, Verlander, doubling as both an elite pitcher and camera man for MLB's Instagram Live, told Judge he was going yard. “I’m calling a homer. Homer!” Verlander told Judge as he was putting on his batting gloves. “Hey, I’m good at it, too. I got a feeling. I didn’t just say it because it’s you. F—k it. Go deep.”
As Judge headed to the plate, Verlander, talking to another teammate, told him: “I called it.”
Judge was able to get his revenge on Scherzer, who had struck him out on a nasty 3-2 slider in his first career All-Star at-bat last season in Miami.
The 26-year-old Judge recorded the first Yankee homer in an All-Star Game since Jason Giambi in 2003. He also became the first Bomber to record a hit in the Midsummer Classic since Derek Jeter in 2014.
Severino, pitching in his first All-Star Game, worked around a leadoff double by Matt Kemp to produce a scoreless second inning. The Yankees’ 24-year-old ace struck out both Bryce Harper and Brandon Crawford during the inning and also got some help from Judge, who caught a fly ball from Nick Markakis.
“It was great,” Severino said. “Just being on that mound facing those hitters is something special that I will never forget.”
Severino took a selfie with his infielders before his inning began, saying he wasn’t worried about his phone being damaged while he was on the field because he has “a really good case.”
“You have to have fun,” Severino said. “I told the guys before I went out there.”
The Yankees had four representatives in the All-Star Game, including flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman and 21-year-old rookie wunderkind Gleyber Torres. But neither was able to play due to injuries, Chapman to his knee and Torres to his hip.
That left just Judge and Severino, two of the cornerstones on the team with the second-best record in all of baseball. And it’s significant, given that both went through their share of adversity in 2016.
Judge hit just .179 with 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats in a brief cameo late in the year, while Severino went 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA as a starter and was demoted to the minors and banished to the bullpen.
But Judge blasted his way to the Home Run Derby title last season and went on to hit 52 homers while being named AL Rookie of the Year. Severino ended up going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA.
And the two have proven their breakout seasons were no fluke in 2018. Judge has 25 homers, while the Bombers are 18-2 with Severino on the mound.
Judge went hitless in last season’s All-Star Game so his goal for this one was to “make contact this year, get a base hit and I’d be happy with it.”