Giants Observations

What we learned as Judge hammers Giants in Oracle Park debut

NBC Universal, Inc.


SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Giants put the full-court press on Aaron Judge two years ago, they enlisted the help of Steph Curry, putting Judge in touch with Curry's camp during his two-day visit to the Bay Area. 

The hope was that the two superstars could be together in this corner of the city for a long, long time, and on Friday night, they both were at Oracle Park. Curry brought his family and some teammates to the game and helped Dr. Clarence B. Jones throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

After that, Curry sat back and watched the show, but this wasn't what the Giants had in mind. 

Judge arrived as a visitor for the first time and wasted no time taking over. His three-run homer put the New York Yankees on top in the third inning and he later hit a second one to dead center, leading the Yankees to a 6-2 win, their 40th of the season. The Linden native did everything the Giants imagined when they prepared to empty the coffers for him in December of 2022. He made the ballpark look small, and he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself. 

Judge watch 2.0

All eyes before the game were on Judge, who was making his first appearance at Oracle Park since a dinner at the Gotham Club during free agency that was attended by Logan Webb, Brandon Crawford, Rich Aurilia and team executives. A row of cameras was waiting for Judge as he stepped into the dugout and he drew the largest batting practice crowd at Third and King in years, eclipsing even the Shohei Ohtani visit from earlier this month.  

Judge was greeted with boos in his first at-bat, and he hit a hard grounder to short that initially was (correctly) ruled an error on Brett Wisely but was later (inexplicably) changed to a single. The next time up, Judge left no doubt. 

With runners on the corners and one out in the third, Hicks threw a 3-2 splitter that stayed up. Judge demolished it, and three innings later he hit a sinker into the net in center, which isn't easy to do on cold nights. 

Judge missed the Yankees' last trip to Oracle Park in 2019 because of an oblique strain, but he now has four homers off his hometown team in four career games. The second homer gave him an MLB-leading 20 for the season and 14 in May. 

Hell of a time

Trenton Brooks had to wait 638 minor league games and more than 2,600 at-bats to get the call to the big leagues. But one day, he can tell his grandkids that his first MLB hit came against the Yankees.

Brooks yanked a cutter to right in his first at-bat and then tipped his cap to a cheering dugout. He's from the San Diego area, so he had plenty of family here for the Phillies series and a large number of them stuck around long enough to see him get his hit Friday. In the sixth, Brooks drew a walk from Marcus Stroman -- another former Giants target -- and scored on Mike Yastrzemski's double. 

New high for Hicks

Hicks was at 89 pitches through five, so it was a mild surprise when he came out to face Judge a third time in the sixth. With three lefties in the next four lineup spots, manager Bob Melvin tried to steal an out before turning to lefty Taylor Rogers. Judge made him pay. 

Hicks stayed in and faced two more hitters before departing after a career-high 101 pitches. The right-hander was charged with four earned in 5 1/3 innings. Through 12 starts, he has a 2.70 ERA. 

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast

Contact Us