Jordan Hicks ‘tips’ to Yankees judge Aaron Hicks after dual performance – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

SAN FRANCISCO — Jordan Hicks is hoping he can get back two games from the Giants’ 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday night at Oracle Park.

“Can you guess?” Hicks asked sarcastically after the loss.

The answer couldn’t be more clear. Yankees star and Northern California native Aaron Judge hit two home runs for Hicks in the baseball player’s first game at Giants Stadium. He first hit a three-run blast in the third inning into the left field stands, and later hit a solo shot into dead center field in the sixth inning.

And both of them were not skeptical. He didn’t make Hicks guess what was about to happen next.

“With that force, when he hits the ball I know it’s gone,” Hicks said. “There’s some guys, they hit him and it sounds like it might be right at the wall, but it’s just a different sound.”

Listen to yourself.

The moment the ball met the bat, the outcome was never in doubt. What was about to happen next wasn’t going to be a single, a double, or a triple, and it certainly wasn’t about to go out.

Hicks had previously confronted the judge three times and struck him twice. But all of their previous outings came when Hicks was a reliever when he was regularly backpedaling and throwing 101 and 102 mph. The hardest pitch Hicks threw Friday night were two 96.1 mph sinkers — one by Gleyber Torres and one by Judge.

Judge’s pitches from Hicks were 86.8 mph and 91.9 mph.

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“If I can catch a player who is in the top three in the game with probably the best month of his career, I have to take my hat off,” Hicks said. “I thought he played great, hit some hard pitches. Obviously I hope I can get one or two of them back, but don’t count the threes.

“That’s my best advice.”

While Hicks said he will take back two shots launched at 820 feet, a splitter that traveled 394 feet, and a diver that traveled 426 feet, there is a bigger lesson to be learned that the 27-year-old identified. Hicks, or anyone else for that matter, can’t allow a power hitter like Judge to get into position.

Hicks did not allow a walk for the fourth time this season in 12 starts. However, he also trailed 10 of the 23 batters he faced. Even though he threw more than 67 percent of the strikes, Hicks allowed perhaps the most intimidating man in baseball to get too comfortable when he made the play.

Judge hit each of his teammates with three balls. Hicks threw a first-pitch ball while hitting Judge’s first homer but then had two hits on him after two pitches. Judge ended up fighting off an eight-pounder before utilizing a splitter in his wheelhouse.

The long ball was the first homer Hicks allowed in a shutout all season.

Hicks delivered a top-order strike in his next at-bat, but then three straight balls out of the box put him in a tough position. Judge then again unloaded on a low and inbounds ball, and this time the ball sank where both the 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-7 wanted it.

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“He’s too good a hitter to get comfortable,” Hicks said. “You have to be more selective in those moments.”

Although the five earned runs Hicks gave up were the most allowed this season, he also achieved a milestone. Hicks had already thrown 89 pitches over five innings. His previous season and career high was 96 pitches on April 21. The Giants went through the contest and Hicks told manager Bob Melvin after the fifth inning that he still felt good.

When Hicks was pulled in the sixth, he walked out having thrown 101 new pitches. Hicks is happy to achieve this achievement for the first time in the major tournaments, and he did not feel more tired compared to the other matches.

“I feel like I’m in full building mode right now,” Hicks said. “It’s good for me to get a 100-pitch mark. If there’s a situation where we need to go 110 and the bullpen hits or something like that, I think 10 or 15 extra pitches isn’t too far off.

No one holding a baseball had a chance to stop Judge throughout May, including Hicks. Judge slashed .371/.488/.928 for the month. The 2022 AL MVP has 12 doubles, 14 runs scored and 27 RBI on his way to becoming the first player this season to reach 20.

“Let’s go Yankees!” The chants echoed. The letters “MVP” have been shouted more times than franchise workers searching for the next hot dog eater. Hicks wasn’t alone, he was just a man returning to his hometown park to finish a month of mowing down everything in his path, leaving fans with another bitter taste of torment from a star who rejected them.

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