Many fans watching the Rangers fall to the Yankees 3-1 in Arlington on Monday night were hoping to see a history-making home run in the game. They were instead treated to a pitchers-dual in which one hurler had a no-hitter heading into the eighth inning.
The Bronx Bombers and Aaron Judge opened a four-game set against the Rangers to start the week with over 35,000 people in attendance, most hoping to see Judge hit his history-setting 62nd home run of the season.
Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 homers in a single season last Wednesday but has remained homerless largely because opposing pitchers have taken to walking him rather than allowing that 62nd dinger.
Not so for Texas and their pitching ace Martin Perez.
Judge led off the game — moved to the number one spot in the lineup to maximize potential at-bats — with Perez making his 32nd and final start of the year.
Judge has had an MVP-caliber year in 2022. He is currently in the American League Triple Crown title chase as he leads the league in homers (61), RBIs (130), and is second in batting average at .311, four points behind the Twin’s Luis Arraez (.315) with three games left in the season.
Perez fired a knee-high sinker across the plate with the first pitch, clocking in at just under 93 MPH, for a called strike.
Judge took the next offering — a ball outside, this time a change-up — and the crowd hoping to see Judge hit strikes booed when the count evened at 1-1. Jeers could be heard each time Judge drew a ball in his next three at-bats in which Texas pitchers threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
Perez let go a 90 MPH cutter that Judge got a piece of but fouled off to go down 1-2. Perez went back to the change-up on the fourth pitch of the at-bat, and Judge hit a grounder to the Ranger’s third baseman, Josh Jung, who quickly threw Judge out at first base.
The Texas pitchers challenged the Yankees’ 6’7, 282-pound right-handed right-fielder in each of his at-bats. Johnathan Hernandez blasted a 98.6 MPH sinker by Judge for a swinging strikeout in the eighth. Judge finished 1-for-4, earning an infield single off Perez in the sixth but with no homers or RBIs in New York’s win.
Aside from Judge, Luis Severino was pulled from the contest heading into the eighth by Yankee’s Skipper Aaron Boone. Severino was in the middle of throwing a no-hitter against the Rangers, and after the game Boone told MLB.com it was a decision “that sucks to have to make.”
Severino came off the injured list in late September, and Boone wants his righty-starter ready for the postseason as the Yankees shoot for their MLB-best 28th time this fall.
Severino said that, although he understood the decision, he also felt confident the no-hitter would have been his.
“To throw a no-hitter is tough,” Severino told MLB.com. “You need all your guys out there, but how the fastball was, I feel like I would’ve come through. Nobody wants to [come] out in that situation, but I understand. I’ve been out for a couple of months.”
Jung hit a one-out single for Texas in the bottom of the eight, ending the no-hitter, and would eventually circle the basepath, finally making his way home on a Kole Calhoun single, the only run for Texas on the night.
Severino earned his seventh win against three losses, while Perez – who lasted six innings and was charged with an earned run – saw his season end in defeat despite a 12-8 record.