WATCH: Aaron Judge Clutch Play Secures MLB Playoff Berth for the New York Yankees

Published 10/04/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
Oct 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) waves to the crowd after his game winning RBI single to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 and clinch a wildcard playoff spot at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


On a frantic final day of the MLB regular season, the New York Yankees scored a narrow 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays to make the American League wildcard game. Once again, the Yankees had star hitter Aaron Judge to thank for getting them over the line.

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The 29-year-old came good in the clutch to continue the Yankees ongoing streak of making the playoffs every year since 2017.

Aaron Judge secures playoff berth for the New York Yankees

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Prior to yesterday’s games, four teams were in the race to make the playoffs in the American League. The Yankees faced stiff competition from the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees faced the toughest test among all these teams in the new AL East champions, the Tampa Bay Rays. They lost two games to the Rays successively prior to their final meeting yesterday. Unlike their previous matches, yesterday’s game remained scoreless for a majority of its duration.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Yankees had runners on the second and third base. At this point, Judge stepped up to the plate and faced Rays’ pitcher Andrew Kittredge. The 29-year-old hit a 90mph pitch in the strike zone right into the middle of the diamond, which set the Yankees in motion.

Tyler Wade, who stood at third base prior to Judge’s hit, completed the only run of the game to secure their spot in the playoffs.

This season, Judge has been a focal point in the Yankees’ road to securing a spot in the AL wildcard game. He scored 89 runs, 39 home runs and a stunning 98 RBI with a batting average of 0.287. All these statistics are team-leading numbers, indicating his influence on the Yankees’ form.

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What does the playoff route look like for the Yankees?

On October 6, they will face their long-time rivals, the Boston Red Sox in the AL wildcard game. The game will take place at 8:00PM ET in Fenway Park, home to the Red Sox.

Oct 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) is doused with water after his game winning RBI single to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 and clinch a wildcard playoff spot at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Should they win the wildcard game, the Yankees will face the Rays in the American League Division Series. The Rays have the best record of any team in the American League.

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: New York Yankees Go Wild in Celebration on Securing MLB Playoffs Berth

17 days ago

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Sanket Nair

791 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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