Major League Baseball
Crew chief says Aaron Judge should have been called for interference on slide during Yankees' rally
Major League Baseball

Crew chief says Aaron Judge should have been called for interference on slide during Yankees' rally

Updated Apr. 28, 2024 8:54 p.m. ET

Aaron Judge should have been called for interference for his slide on a botched double-play attempt that sparked New York's winning rally Sunday at Milwaukee, crew chief Andy Fletcher acknowledged after the Yankees' 15-5 victory.

With the score tied 4-all in the sixth inning, Judge raised his left arm while sliding into second base after Alex Verdugo hit a bouncer to the right side of the infield. Brewers shortstop Willy Adames was attempting to complete the double play when his throw bounced off Judge's padded hand and landed on the ground, enabling Verdugo to reach safely.

The Yankees went on to score seven runs in the inning, all with two outs.

"On the field, we got together and did the best that we could to come up with the correct answer," Fletcher told a pool reporter after the game. "After looking at it off the field in replay, it appears that the call was missed. It should've been called interference because it wasn't a natural part of his slide. It didn't appear that way to us. We did everything we could to get together and get it right. But after looking at it, it appears that it should've been called interference."


Fletcher noted the call isn't reviewable.

Judge said he had no worries about getting called for interference even as the crew gathered to discuss the play.

"No, that's never happened before in my life, and I've been sliding like that for years," Judge said.

Brewers manager Pat Murphy had come out of the dugout to argue for an interference call. He continued pleading his case while speaking to reporters after the game.

"It's hard to say that he wasn't making an attempt at least purposely to obstruct," Murphy said. "I don't think he wanted to get hit by the ball, but I think he was trying to purposely obstruct. That's my opinion. I don't know what his intent was. He seems like a wonderful man, but very competitive also."

Adames noted how Judge's 6-foot-7 frame made it particularly difficult to attempt a throw to first.

"He's like 7 feet tall," Adames said. "He's huge. I think when he puts his hands up, he's taller than me even when he's sliding to second base. It's a tough space for me to throw the ball."

Judge reached on a leadoff walk before Verdugo hit his bouncer to second baseman Brice Turang, who threw to Adames to retire Judge at second. As Judge raised his left arm on his slide to second, he was wearing a sliding glove on his hand. Judge, who said the throw hit him on the side of his fingers, noted he frequently slides that way.

"You can look back at any picture you want of me sliding into second base," Judge said. "That's always happened."

It appeared the lack of an interference call wouldn't make much of a difference in Sunday's outcome after Abner Uribe retired Giancarlo Stanton on a pop fly for the second out of the inning. But everything fell apart for the Brewers from that point on.

Verdugo advanced on Anthony Rizzo's walk and scored the go-ahead run on Gleyber Torres' single to center. Oswaldo Cabrera walked to load the bases before Jose Trevino singled home two runs. Elvis Peguero replaced Uribe and threw a wild pitch that brought home Cabrera. After Anthony Volpe walked, Juan Soto hit an RBI single.

Volpe and Soto executed a double steal while Judge was at the plate receiving a chorus of boos from the American Family Field crowd. Judge capped the seven-run outburst with a two-run single that extended the Yankees' lead to 11-4.

The Brewers never recovered from the missed call.

"They admitted they messed up," Adames said. "We mess up sometimes. That's how it goes sometimes."

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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