Aaron Judge may have homered twice as part of a four-hit night on Tuesday in the New York Yankees' 5-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles (box score), but after the game he was in a venting mood. Despite earning the win and producing an impressive individual statline, Judge made sure to express his annoyance with Camden Yards' redesigned left-field dimensions after they robbed him of a potential hat trick.
Judge's frustration stems from his first hit of the game, a double that would've been a home run had the Orioles not installed a taller, deeper wall. Judge's double, which traveled 399 feet per Statcast's data, nearly left the park anyway. Take a look:
"It's a travesty, man," Judge said, according to Bryan Hoch. "I'm pretty upset. It just looks like a Create-A-Park now."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone took a similar shot at the Orioles and their construction, telling Hoch: "He almost had three (homers), but Build Your Own Park got him."
For what it's worth, the Orioles' own Trey Mancini would seem to agree. From the Baltimore Sun:
"Nobody likes it," Mancini said with a laugh. "No hitters like it, myself included."
The Orioles tweaked their outfield dimensions over the offseason in an effort to improve their pitching staff's ability to keep balls in play. The new left-field wall is approximately 30 feet farther from home plate than it used to be, as well as five feet taller, according to estimates made by the Baltimore Sun.
Those changes, in conjunction with the deadened baseball and perhaps some improvements in talent, have led to a drastic shift in home-run tendencies and the overall production of balls hit to left field in Camden this year versus the last several:
*A TruMedia measure based on launch angle and exit velocity
Judge, 30 years old, has a special reason for feeling robbed by Camden's new dimensions: he'll qualify for free agency this winter after failing to reach a long-term extension with the Yankees. In other words, every base matters as it relates to his maximum earning potential. We don't think those extra two bases will make or break him based on how he's played to date. He entered the night hitting .296/.369/.632 (194 OPS+) with 12 home runs. After his onslaught against the Orioles, he's now batting .315/.384/.692 with 14 home runs.
Judge and the Yankees will play two more games against the Orioles this week before returning home to host the Chicago White Sox.