What took so long? Jesus Montero homers twice for Yankees in fourth career game

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Jesus Montero is progressing pretty nicely for the Yankees.

He went hitless in his debut, collected one hit in his second game, notched two hits in his third game, and homered twice against the Orioles today in his fourth game.

Not that there needed to be any more hype surrounding Montero at this point, but here’s a complete list of all the 21-and-under players in baseball history to homer twice in one of their first five games:

                   YEAR     AGE
Manny Ramirez      1993     21.096
Tom Brunansky      1984     20.234
Billy Conigliaro   1969     21.244
Don Money          1969     21.305
Curt Blefary       1965     21.286
Brian McCall       1962     19.248
Charlie Gilbert    1940     20.290

And now Montero, who is 21 years and 281 days old.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.