Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Video: Paul DeJong’s trick shot single

5 Comments

Every now and then, we see a billiards-style hit in which a batter makes poor contact with a pitch, beating it into the ground but putting just enough english on it that it stays fair. Derek Dietrich did this last year when he was with the Marlins. The Tigers’ Nick Buss had spin working in his favor several years ago, turning a foul ball into a double. What we have never seen — at least to the best of my memory — is a hit with the amount of english on Paul DeJong‘s foul ball-turned-single yesterday against the Giants.

The Cardinals were threatening with runners on first and second with two outs against Giants starter Dereck Rodríguez in the first inning. With a 2-2 count, DeJong nearly swung and missed at a change-up. Instead, it glanced off of his bat something like five feet into foul territory before spinning back into fair territory about two-thirds of the way down the first base line. Rodríguez, who understandably assumed it was a foul ball and did not charge after it, had no chance and first baseman Brandon Belt had to charge in, allowing DeJong to reach safely and load the bases.

The Cardinals were not able to capitalize on the stroke of good fortune as Yadier Molina flied out to end the inning. They still went on to win 1-0 thanks to a superbly pitched game by Jack Flaherty and a solo homer from Marcell Ozuna. His homer went into “Big Ac Land” — the M in the sign was broken last month by DeJong.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.