Will Aaron Judge Take Over MLB Playoffs? Watch Yankees Rookie Crush Home Run Against Twins

Luis Severino dug the New York Yankees, and himself, a hole on Monday night in the Bronx.

The Yankees’ mix of young sluggers and veterans dug them out of it, seeing off the Twins in a raucous American League wild-card game 8-4. After Severino gave up three runs for one out and was pulled without completing the first inning, Didi Gregorius hammered a home run to even up the score at 3-3.

Brett Gardner, the longest-tenured Yankee on the roster, hit his own home run in the second inning to put his team ahead, waking up a crowd that had been stunned by Severino’s struggles.

And then, in the fourth inning, Judge hammered his name into MLB postseason history. The 25-year-old took a pitch in the center of the plate from Jose Berrios, who had replaced a struggling Ervin Santana, a line drive that went low and hard into the front rows of the bleachers.

"He's just very intimidating—the size and the strength," Twins manager Paul Molitor said post-game in quotes reported by ESPN. "There's just a very small margin of error."

Judge exploded out of the blocks early in the season but slowed down markedly after he won the 2017 Home Run Derby at Marlins Park in Miami on July 10.

He found form, though, in the final weeks of the regular season and ended with 52 home runs to lead the American League. That feat broke Mark McGwire’s previous American League rookie record of 49, set in 1987 for the Oakland Athletics. With his home run on Monday, Judge became only the third rookie in Yankees history to homer in his postseason debut, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The Yankees move on to a five-game Divisional Series matchup against the Cleveland Indians, which begins at Progressive Field on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether Severino gets another start in Game One. Judge, though, looks set to take over the postseason as he did in the regular part of a remarkable rookie campaign.

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