NEW YORK – Four feet apart. Aaron Judge His ninth-inning drive exploded into Legends’ Monument Park on Thursday night, making history in spectacular fashion at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps on a hot night the ball would have landed near the retired number 9 of Roger Maris. We’ll never know.

Because Judge’s fly ball ran out of steam, it was instead. Josh Donaldson Judge capped off a meaningful Yankees victory by awarding a consolation prize to those who had trouble watching him hit his 61st homer. Donaldson’s walk-off RBI single in the 10th powered A 5-4 victory clinching the Bombers’ spot in the 2022 postseason against the Red Sox.

“It’s not over yet, but the opportunity to play baseball after the season will be exciting,” Donaldson said. “I thought Juji had a homer, but it was good for the team to be able to come.”

The Yankees are a playoff club for the sixth straight year — or to put that in context, the start of each of Judge’s full seasons. They have reached the postseason 24 of the last 28 years, and Aaron Boone is the first manager to punch a playoff ticket in his first five seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“You never want to take it for granted,” Boone said. “We’re in the dance, and now we’ve got a chance.”

Aiming for the American League East title since the first day of spring, this team’s goal has never been to just make the postseason. Yanks The magic number for the room It’s six on the Blue Jays, and as such, their clubhouse celebration was more of a muted acknowledgment.

Donaldson received the team’s gold-plated, grappling style championship belt as the night’s most valuable contributor. “Welcome back to the playoffs,” the veteran closed his comments to his teammates.

“It was a lot of hard work to get to this point at the time,” the judge said. But I think you can ask anyone in this room — the work is not done.

Oh, but it could be a magical moment meant for A. Yankeeography Room and schmaltzy music borrowed from “The Natural” soundtrack. In one big flurry, tying Maris’ American League record of 61 hits in a single season, Judge walked in three of his first four plate appearances, the fans loudly hearing the pitchers who didn’t dare jump the cookies to center.

Judge served as a reminder of why he should be the AL’s Most Valuable Player in the top of the 9th, firing a seed over the right field wall to second that cut off Tommy Pham trying to stretch a single into a double.

“You take that away from our team and we probably wouldn’t be where we are right now,” Donaldson said.

Judge was showing patience once more in the bottom of the ninth, working the count against Matt Barnes to make it 2-2. The Boston right-hander tested a 95.8 mph fastball that caught several plates in the upper half of the strike zone. Judge threw a cannonball of a 113 mph bat — a crowd that cheered 43,123 and stood on every side of the plate.

The umpire dropped his bat and walked at three-quarter speed in the hope that he might net over the stumps. Center fielder Kiki Hernandez backed up, backed up, then stopped, clutch firmly planted on the warning track. The ball landed in Hernandez’s glove, and an entire city groaned in unison.

“I got under him a little bit,” said the judge. “It was a nice windy night. I was hoping it was exploding. She just missed him.

Boone said: “I thought it was really fun to throw it in Monument Park.

The seeds were planted early for the Yankees’ Major League-leading 16th walk-off victory. Although Judge remained no-show against Michael Wacha (0-for-15, 10 strikeouts), Kyle Higashioka picked up a fifth-inning flyout and crushed Giancarlo Stanton with a two-run homer in the sixth.

Jameson Taillon turned in an impressive performance, scattering four hits and pitching eight over six scoreless innings. Clark Schmidt allowed Tristan Casas a solo home run and a three-run homer to Reese McGuire to put Boston up 4-3.

Stanton sparked an eighth-inning rally with a leadoff single. Pinch runner Tim Locastro stole second, walked and scored on Harrison Bader’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4.

There was a lot to see; Not what we all expect.

“At any time [Judge] “Everybody runs outside to watch the at-bat,” Tylon said. No one wants to miss it. We know it will happen at some point.

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