Aaron Judge is trying to get into the heads of the Boston Red Sox … on their home turf … as the Yankees‘ sensation walked past Boston’s Fenway Park clubhouse early Sunday morning, blaring Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “New York, New York” from a boom box atop the wheelie bag he was pulling with his left hand.
“It’s a good song. And Aaron, he’s one of our resident deejays, so he’s got a pretty extensive playlist,” said New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone later in the day at Yankee Stadium, a smirk filling his face. “We like to hear that song sometimes when we win a big game.”
New York and Boston split at Fenway Park and are tied 1-1 in the best-of-five AL Division Series going into Game 3 on Monday night. Luis Severino, coming off four scoreless innings in the wild-card game against Oakland, starts for New York and former Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi pitches for the Red Sox.
Severino was 10-2 with a 2.74 ERA and .217 opponents’ batting average at home, just 9-6 with a 3.99 ERA and .257 opponents’ batting average on the road.
“Maybe my wife cooks better food here,” he said.
New York is 19-9 in the postseason at new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were 53-28 there during the regular season, the second-best home record behind Boston’s 57-24. The win over Oakland in last week’s wild-card game improved New York to 7-0 at home in the postseason since the start of the 2017 playoffs.
“The fans, they’re out there on the field with you,” Judge said. “Every single pitch they’re locked in. It’s electric.”
New York is built for Yankee Stadium, where it takes advantage of the short right-field porch and hit 144 of its record 267 home runs. Boston is constructed in a similar fashion, knowing half its games are played in front of Fenway’s Green Monster lurking in left field.
“Two places that are historic franchises where the fans are definitely rowdy for their home team and against the visiting team,” noted Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes.
Here’s Aaron Judge walking past the Red Sox clubhouse on his way to the bus. Note the music selection on his boom box pic.twitter.com/0vHGBxRoP3
— Jim Witalka (@jwitalka) October 7, 2018
This will be the first postseason game in the Bronx between the rivals since Boston won Games 6 and 7 of the 2004 AL Championship Series across the street at old Yankee Stadium, becoming the first major league team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven postseason series.
“All empires fall sooner or later,” then-Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said that night.
A year earlier, Boone’s 11th-inning homer off Tim Wakefield won Game 7 and the AL pennant. Now he’s a rookie manager, leading a group of Baby Bombers that reached Game 7 of the AL Championship Series last year before losing to Houston.
“This fan base I feel like absolutely connected with kind of this new generation of Yankee player, this young corps that has developed,” Boone said . “Me watching from afar last year, especially in the postseason, you could kind of see that raw intensity connection that the fan base had with the players.”
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