Sometimes, you don’t want to be a part of the record books. There are the records you’re known for because of something you did. Other times, you’re part of the record books because you allowed someone else to write their name there.
Take Mike Bacsik for example. Who is Mike Bacsik you may ask? Well, he was the pitcher on the Washington Nationals who gave up a record breaking 756th home run to Barry Bonds.
On Wednesday night in the Bronx, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Eric Stout was determined to not become another Mike Bacsik after facing Aaron Judge on the cusp of hitting a potential record-tying 61st home run.
Instead, Stout pitched around Aaron Judge, walking him on four straight pitches with the Yankees up 11-2 and the game truly out of hand. None of the pitches came anywhere close to the plate.
The following at bat, Stout gave up a three-run home run to Gleyber Torres and he was pulled. No record books for him.
Instead, his name was dragged through the mud on social media, as Yankees fans derided him for his cowardice in failing to challenge Judge.
‘To be entirely fair to Eric Stout, that is exactly how you should pitch to Aaron Judge. Just lay face down on the ground and beg for mercy,’ wrote one fan.
Other fans took a more humorous, bordering on ridiculous approach. ‘If you walk Aaron Judge on four pitches in garbage time the crowd should be allowed to throw batteries at you,’ wrote one Twitter user.
Some fans looked forward to what could be a sports writers’ dream, with the Yankees’ four-game homestand against the Red Sox.
‘It’s all good, Yanks. Aaron Judge is meant to tie and pass Roger Maris against Boston.’ wrote ESPN’s Luis Miguel Echegaray.
After hitting his 60th home run yesterday off Pirates pitcher Wil Crowe, Judge entered tonight’s game on the precipice of tying former Yankees outfielder Roger Maris’s 61 home runs in a season.
That’s an American League record and the most home runs hit in a single campaign by someone not using performance-enhancing drugs. Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and the current record holder Barry Bonds all hit for greater numbers but did so unnaturally.
The Yankees have a four-game series against the hated Boston Red Sox at home which provides Judge with the chance to break Maris’s record with an added sense of emotion.
According to Boston’s rotation, Judge is likely to face pitchers Michael Wacha on Thursday, Rich Hill on Friday, Nick Pivetta on Saturday, and Brayan Bello on Sunday. Of those four, Judge has only hit a home run of Pivetta before.