The New York Yankees needed a pick-me-up after Thursday’s 11-2 drubbing by the Minnesota Twins. And Anthony Volpe and Aaron Judge were the ones to oblige.
The rookie shortstop and defending American League MVP hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the first inning of Friday’s game against the Twins.
It was the first home run of Volpe’s career, and the 225th of Judge’s time in MLB.
The back-to-back jacks served as a bit of revenge after the Twins posted nine runs in the top of the first inning in the series opener.
Anthony Volpe was moved to the top of the New York Yankees batting order in front of No. 2 hitter Aaron Judge in an effort to break the rookie out of his season-opening doldrums – and likely get him some better pitches.
The idea worked as Volpe took his leadoff offering from Twins starter Louie Varland deep over the left field wall. Judge stepped up next, and one pitch later deposited a blast in the right center seats.
It was an indication of what might be a tremendous pairing of the two players at the top of the lineup for a long time to come.
Volpe is struggling to climb out of his early season hole after somewhat surprisingly being named the team’s starting shortstop after a strong spring training. The lifelong Yankees fan is hitting .175 after his homer.
The 21-year-old does have a power stroke. In his two full minor league seasons, he hit 27 and 21 home runs, respectively. He also had three round-trippers in just 53 at-bats during spring training.
Judge’s homer got his batting average back above the .300 mark at .306. It was the fifth blast of his 2023 campaign as he looks to follow up on his American League record 62 bombs last season.
Of course, for a New York Yankees fanbase that is either rubbing everyone else’s face in it or crying out that the sky is falling depending on the outcome of the last game – or even last inning – the efforts of Anthony Volpe and Aaron Judge have the needle firmly planted back on the happy side of the scale.
The Yankees just scored two runs in the first inning on Friday. The Twins scored nine in the first on Thursday.
Anthony Volpe, Aaron Judge could be a powerful 1-2 combo for the New York Yankees
If all goes to plan, the Volpe/Judge 1-2 punch could cause a lot of damage to opposing clubs for the next several years. Volpe is just shy of his 22nd birthday, Judge is a few days away from turning 31.