Dodgers Team News

Aaron Judge Calls Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto ‘Great Pitcher” After Facing Him Friday

If the Dodgers-Yankees matchup was a dartboard, throwing a dart at it would produce any number of compelling storylines. Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing with Los Angeles over New York would certainly be on that board – perhaps as a high-valued slice as well.

In the series opener, Yamamoto took the mound against the best offense in baseball, albeit without Juan Soto in the lineup. The three-time Sawamura Award winner rose to the occasion and pitched a gem. He went seven innings without allowing a run, walking two batters, and striking out seven.

After the game, American League MVP front-runner Aaron Judge spoke with the media, including Alden Gonzalez of ESPN. The Yankees captain praised the 25-year-old rookie after his performance,

‘He signed the deal he did for a reason — he’s a great pitcher,’ said Aaron Judge, who produced the Yankees’ only run with a one-out single in the bottom of the 11th. ‘Besides having elite stuff, he’s got great command. I think that’s what we really noticed today was we’d get into hitter’s counts and he still wouldn’t give in to the heart of the plate. He really lived on the edges and could work any pitch at any time. That curveball, splitter and that good heater that ran up to 97, 98 tonight. He kept guys off balance, kept us on the ground, and we couldn’t get anything in the air.’

Per Aaron Judge via ESPN

On the night, Judge went 1-for-2 against Yamamoto with a double and a walk. The Dodgers starter did manage to get Judge to ground out in his second at-bat, but otherwise, Judge showed why he’s one of the best hitters in the league.

Yamamoto had every pitch working for him on Friday night. He has developed a nasty slider against right-handed batters that has a near-identical whiff rate to his split-finger fastball. The slider generated two strikeouts in New York while the split-finger generated three.

File this game away for October conversations. It will get referenced a lot when it comes time to decide who should get the ball in game one of a playoff series.

The Dodgers will pitch Gavin Stone on Saturday night and Tyler Glasnow in the finale of this exciting series against the Yankees. The Yankees will counter with Nestor Cortes followed by AL Cy Young candidate Luis Gil.

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports

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