All of Aaron Judge’s plate appearances have become must-see events because of his record-setting home run barrage. Without that caveat, we might not have paid particularly close attention to his fourth-inning plate appearance against left-hander Brent Suter on Saturday, which turned out to be one of the most fascinating matchups all season.
The plate appearance resulted in a 10-pitch walk for the Yankees slugger, which probably doesn’t sound all that exciting. But if you’re a pace-of-play advocate, then it was truly a dream sequence.
Knowing that Suter likes to dictate at-bats by working fast, Judge turned it around by keeping his feet planted firmly in the batter’s box. In turn, Suter tried to slow things down somewhat, but that’s just not his style. The result was a lightning fast exchange that was undoubtedly the fastest paced at-bat in MLB this season.
Brent Suter's first three pitches to Aaron Judge in 4th inning took 22 seconds. #howbaseballcanwinfansback
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) July 8, 2017
Here’s the rest of the at-bat. It featured several foul balls, but even that couldn’t derail their pace.
Some have suggested Judge was mocking Suter. If gamesmanship goes under the category of mocking, then maybe that’s the case. Mostly though, it seemed like a batter attempting to rattle a pitcher who had retired the first 10 batters of the game in order.
We’re not necessarily sure it worked in the grand scheme of things. Though Judge walked and finally got Suter out of the windup, the fast-working and soft-tossing lefty wouldn’t allow his first hit until the fifth inning or his first run until the seventh.
Suter won two or three battles against Judge, striking him out in the first and getting a fly out in the sixth in a slightly slower paced at-bat. He ended up tossing 6 2/3 innings of two-run, but took a no-decision when the Yankees walked off on Clint Frazier’s dramatic three-run homer in the ninth.
As for those in favor of faster paced MLB games, Judge and Suter have shown us the best-case scenario. Now the trick is getting everyone else to play along.
Be more like Brent Suter and Aaron Judge.
— Kevin Neary (@kneary22) July 8, 2017
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