Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros was a bummer for the New York Yankees. With a chance to keep it tied in the later innings, Aaron Boone’s bullpen decision tree once again directly resulted in a loss.
The Astros weren’t hitting. Neither were the Yankees, but whenever the home team is failing to do so, it’s a premier opportunity to put the pressure on, steal a late run, and, at the very least, make the opposing team grind through their bullpen.
The Yankees had Justin Verlander at 75 pitches through four innings. He only needed another 28 to get through six and struck out 11 Yankees. Though New York ended up getting to Rafael Montero, which was a plus, both Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for 2.1 innings of shutout baseball on just 27 pitches.
Yankees star Aaron Judge was unfortunately a culprit here. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. The contact he made was incredibly weak … though he did make a beautiful diving catch that saved runs. Gotta acknowledge that.
What seemingly flew under the radar until Thursday, however, was his interaction with former Astro Josh Reddick, who was sitting front row at the game. It’s unclear when this happened, but a fan caught the footage and posted it to social media.
What was Aaron Judge’s interaction with Josh Reddick during Yankees-Astros?
Reddick looked to have a bit of a scowl on his face, which created further drama. Was he talking trash to Judge in the middle of a game? Was he directed by the Astros to sit front row and be an agitator after cueing up a “Play Ball!” to start the game?
One Astros fan on Twitter, of course, speculated Judge was “running his trap,” which promoted Reddick’s “response.” But thankfully the former MLBer weighed in on Twitter to reveal what he told Judge.
Very nice! Cool. Reddick was asked to attend Game 1 to deliver the “Play Ball” call at Minute Maid Park, and he ensured to remain dialed in to the game and offer Judge some words of encouragement. Surely a far cry from his defense of the Astros’ cheating scandal, in addition to what seemed to be a very prickly personality when dealing with the warranted criticism (remember CC’s “FOH, Reddick!”).
Maybe he’s fooling us, though. A little reverse psychology on Judge? Positive reinforcement is always better than giving the enemy fuel for revenge. The Astros know that better than anybody.