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Yankees’ Phil Nevin waves Aaron Judge home, results in easy out for Red Sox in wild-card game

The Yankees potentially missed a big opportunity against the Red Sox in their American League wild-card game.

With New York trailing 3-1 with one out and Aaron Judge on first in the top of the sixth, Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton hit a long ball to the top of Fenway Park’s “Green Monster,” bouncing into the glove of Boston center fielder Enrique Hernandez.

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Unfortunately for New York, Judge — whose base-running speed is in the 62nd percentile, per Baseball Savant — rounded from third base and attempted to score. He was easily thrown out at home after the Hernandez-Xander Bogaerts-Kevin Plawecki relay. It negated any sort of momentum for New York, which had also scored its first run in that inning (a solo home run from first baseman Anthony Rizzo).

The play upset Yankees fans and confused impartial viewers, as New York would have had runners on second and third with one out had third-base coach Phil Nevin not waved Judge home. A still from the play showed how easily Plawecki tagged Judge:

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Here is how some notable people reacted to the play.

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Look, the Kiké Hernandez-to-Xander Bogaerts-to-Kevin Plawecki relay was a thing of beauty. But the Yankees had runners on second and third with one out, and now, after Aaron Judge was thrown out by 10 feet, they’ve got a runner on second with two outs and nothing to show for it.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 6, 2021

You can’t get Judge thrown out at the plate there. Just terrible.

— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) October 6, 2021

Let’s not pretend that wasn’t a bad send because it was such a great relay.

Great relay? Yes. But Judge was out by half the baseline. He’s out there even with a mediocre relay

— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) October 6, 2021

A Joey Gallo pop-up ended the inning, with nothing to show for Judge’s aggressive base running. The Red Sox later extended their 3-1 lead over the Yankees to 4-1 in the bottom of the inning, then 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh.

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